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West Houston Market on the Road to Recovery

Energy Realty just hosted the first annual Energy Corridor International Festival last weekend to help remind residents and local businesses why the Energy Corridor is a great place to live, work, and play. Overall, the festival was a great success as many local businesses came out and shared their food, culture, services and product on a beautiful sunny day, and the live performances and DJ created a lively atmosphere.

                This was a grass roots effort pulled together by myself and other volunteers, Amy Dukes of Energy Corridor Living Magazine and Barbara Denson, author of the Gary the Go-Cart series. As residents of the Energy Corridor, we have seen businesses and neighborhoods hit hard by first the downturn of the oil industry and second by Hurricane Harvey, and we want to revive this community again. Our hope is that this annual event will continue to grow every year and become as popular as White Linen Nights in the Heights.

                While driving through the neighborhoods that were hit hard by the release of the reservoir in 2017, I am happy to see that the neighborhoods have come back to life and are beautiful and pristine again for the most part.  As a result, the home sales in these neighborhoods and the Energy Corridor have picked up again, although the market still remains saturated with a 9 month supply of inventory.

                We are finding that in order to compete in a market full of remodeled flood homes that are often priced below pre-flood value, homeowners have to update and freshen their homes to sell, even if they did not flood. In 77077, there are 294 single family homes on the market;  205 in 77079; and 1147 homes for sale in Katy! That’s a lot of homes to choose from, so buyers can be picky right now.

                As the memory of Harvey slowly fades away and the neighborhoods look better than ever, the desire to live in the Energy Corridor will far outweigh the risks of flooding and this area will come back stronger than ever! At the same time, as oil prices continue to stabilize in the $60’s and are predicted to go up to $70/barrel in a year, the empty office spaces will start filling up again, and home values should follow this trend.

                There are great things happening in West Houston and I am excited to be in the middle of it!

We are officially under a storm watch going into the weekend, and the homeowners who have just started to recover from Harvey, are probably holding their breath over the potential threat of a hurricane entering the Gulf. Communities that flooded from Harvey are still recovering from the financial blow to home values, and surrounding homes that didn’t flood have felt the impact as well.
How did Harvey change our market in Houston? Flooded homes in established neighborhoods have been remodeled to look like new, or in some cases remodeled poorly by investors that wanted to turn the house for a quick profit. After sitting on the market for over a year in some cases, some investors have now let these homes go back to the lenders, and although they are not in a “foreclosed” state, the prices are being slashed for a quick sale. If you have a home in the same area that didn’t flood but you have not remodeled, how do you compete with a fully remodeled home that is priced 10-20% less?
Buyer’s expectations have changed in this market, and they are looking for homes that are not only remodeled on trend but floor plans that are more open. Many homes in established neighborhoods have not been remodeled, and it is becoming a struggle to sell these homes to today’s buyer. There are some areas that are an exception to the rule, like homes in Spring Branch that are built in the 1960s and 1970s yet are still highly sought after for the schools.
Harvey isn’t the only event that shifted buyer’s expectations-HGTV has created the image of the dream home that every buyer is looking for. Today’s trend of the dream home is open and neutral with wood floors and white cabinets. Buyers expect bathrooms and kitchens to be updated, and surprisingly, that includes the secondary bathrooms. Today’s buyer is not giving the seller any slack! Selling a home today is like selling a car–make it look like new, or the buyers will think your home is worth a lot less.
Energy Realty agents are equipped to guide you and offer advice as well as contractor options to help you sell your home for the best price. Read the attached article what buyers want in a home as well as an update on mortgage rates. It is a great time to buy a home in Houston with low-interest rates and increasing inventory.

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