Almost 12 months after Harvey flooded over 200,000 homes in Houston, we continue to see remodeled homes coming on the market that are better than ever, yet they aren’t moving! When I spoke to one relocation agent last week, she said that only 1 out of 5 of her rental clients will consider a flooded home. Why are buyers and renters still reluctant to buy or lease a flooded home?
While I can blame some of the reluctance on the fact that many communities are still in the rebuilding process and neighborhoods are not yet fully restored to their former glory, I get the same response from many of my clients-they don’t want to consider a home that flooded. The big question that is looming in most people’s minds is what is the City or County doing to ensure that a flood of this nature will never happen again?
The $2.5 billion bond proposal vote that is outlined in the article below clearly identifies the flood control projects, confirming that the City of Houston and Harris County are making plans to prevent another Harvey. However, we need everyone to vote YES! The projected annual increase to our property taxes is $5 a year beginning in 2020. I think it is worth sacrificing the cost of one Starbucks coffee to insure the safety of our neighborhoods!
At Energy Realty, we are working hard to help neighborhoods recover and offering guidance to flooded home owners. The media continues to report that Houston home sales are at an “All-Time High”, yet I wonder if these numbers are skewed by the flooded homes that sold to investors. The Houston Chronicle reported that 1 out of 8 homes that sold six months after Harvey was a flooded home sold to an investor.
Based on what I am seeing in the Energy Corridor, Katy, and surrounding communities, homes are still taking longer than normal to sell, and prices are continuing to drop. Houston is a big city, so zip codes that were impacted by Harvey and the oil downturn have still not rebounded.
The good news is that relocation activity has picked up, and we are getting more calls daily about rentals. I am hoping to see a strong 4th quarter!