One couple blames oil for home not selling - - The News for South Mississippi

One couple blames oil for home not selling


By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Three months ago, Jessie and Kerrie Loya made the tough decision to sell their 1,800 square foot Creole cottage in Bay St. Louis. Right away, they got several calls to see the place.

"I felt very good that we were going to be selling our house," said Kerrie Loya. "Then, the oil spill and basically we were just dead in the water."

The couple believes they won't be able to sell their house until the oil crisis is over.

"Even if it has just affected the psyche of people the perceptions is we're all messed up oil is everywhere and whose going to want to buy a house down here."

Realtor and office manager of Latter & Blum Coastal Living Stephanie McConnell backs up what the Loya's are experiencing.

"We've lost only one sale. We had a property under contract, and I think the buyer was a little nervous about the oil reaching where they were purchasing," McConnell said.

She considers her company lucky to have only lost one sale so far because of the oil spill. But she said with everyday the oil continues spewing, phone calls decline.

"The term Gulf Coast encompasses so much area that I think people are very aware of the impact of this from Texas to Florida, so I think they are thinking through their purchases about what they're going do about purchasing property in a vulnerable area."

McConnell credits the state for promoting the coast is open for business, but she said it may not be enough.

"It's all in the perception of the purchasers," McConnell said.

Several major banking institutions have suspended foreclosures in the oil affected region through mid-September. And others are offering mortgage payment reductions to their customers.

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