We are approaching the one year anniversary when Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, and I am sure that what is foremost in most people’s minds, is “will it happen again”? As a flood victim myself, the first time we had a heavy rain after Harvey, I cringed, then breathed a sigh of relief when nothing happened.
An estimated 20% of flooded homeowners sold their homes to investors following Harvey, and as expected, many of those remodeled homes have started to come on the market. Some of these homes are being priced way above pre-flood value, while others are priced around the pre-flood value or slightly below. However, there is very little movement, and the prices on these remodeled flood homes are starting to drop.
As predicted, buyers have not forgotten what happened when the reservoirs were opened and 1000’s of homes were flooded overnight in the Energy Corridor. I spoke to one agent, and she said that her buyers are avoiding flooded zip codes entirely. Somehow that doesn’t seem fair, since most zip codes were not entirely impacted, and these homes are being rebuilt better than ever. While the location of these homes in the Energy Corridor and Katy are exceptional, most of the homes were dated both cosmetically and structurally, so the silver lining after Harvey is that these homes are being remodeled better than ever.
While I understand the concerns that these homes may flood again, I have to remind buyers that this was the largest rainfall in the history of the United States, so those odds have to be pretty slim, correct? No one can guarantee that any home in Houston doesn’t have a risk of flooding, and Harvey proved that point to 150,0000 homeowners, of which only 15% had flood insurance,and many were not in designated flood zones. So why not purchase a new, more energy efficient home with modern interiors in a great location? In 2-3 years, buyers will have forgotten about Harvey, and when given the choice, the remodeled home will have more value than the dated homes in these neighborhoods.
As the broker/owner of Energy Realty, I am working hard to remind buyers why these neighborhoods were, and are, a great place to live. I hope to release my first video on Memorial Thicket by next week, so stay tuned.
Homeowners, please continue to work with your HOAs to insure that the lawns are being maintained, even in the vacant homes. There is a notable difference on both sale and rental activity in the communities that have pristine lawns and the aftermath of Harvey is no longer visible. The resilience and strength of Houston can be seen throughout all of these neighborhoods as homes are being restored and people are moving back in. We are Houston Strong and are our real estate market will be back!