Over two years after Harvey devastated communities in Houston, we are still struggling to sell homes that flooded. Despite the fact that even the Texas Real Estate Commission has revised seller’s disclosures to differentiate the homes that flooded from the “release of a reservoir” and homes that flooded from a “natural flood event”, a large percentage of buyers are still hesitant to buy these homes.
It is important to remind buyers of the following when it holds true: 1) These homes never flooded before. 2) These homes flooded after 50” of rain and the release of not one but TWO reservoirs. 3) when professionally remediated, these homes can be restored.
Buyers often ask me, “How do we know what is behind the walls and if the seller remodeled correctly?” I always respond with, “How do you know what is behind the walls of any home in Houston, including new construction?” Now more than ever, it is important to be diligent with inspections including checking the following inspections:
- Structural and Mechanical
- Underground Plumbing or Hydrostatic Tests
- Foundation Inspections
- Mold Inspections
The silver lining after Harvey is homes that were old and outdated have now been modernized with more on-trend finishes and open floor plans, so when you find a home that has been remodeled well, it is a great opportunity to buy in these flooded neighborhoods. Many of these homes are priced 10%-20% below pre-flood value, despite the fact that they are in like-new condition.
Please be careful because there are some remodeled flood homes that are not done well. Ask questions about the remodel and permits when applicable. A good Realtor can guide you through this process. No two homes are created equal and some of these flooded homes were remodeled with poor finishes and workmanship.
The neighborhoods in the Energy Corridor have so much to offer and as the memory of Harvey fades, the location and quality of living that you can find in these locations will far outweigh the risks. Prices will come back, it is just a question of how soon! Stay tuned for neighborhood videos coming soon on the Energy Realty website that highlights why these neighborhoods are a great place to live.
Writer – Sherry Campbell