Words are not enough to express the impact that Hurricane Harvey has had, and will have, for months to come for our community. The crisis has already proven what a strong resilient bunch we truly are, as we lock arms, utilize our many community resources and rebuild.
The primary questions my office is receiving is, “What will happen to the value of my home or neighborhood now?” There are many factors impacting the answer. Values will be somewhat dictated by appraisers, lenders and insurance companies. Because of this, I have reached out to leaders in ALL THREE of these areas to give you some insight and their perspective on the present and future regarding your home value.
Lending: (Jason W. Rinn broker/owner Mortgage Outfitters 281-782-7955) – The most immediate impact of flooding on the lending process is delays. Lenders will want to make sure a property was not damaged and is still in good condition before completing the transaction. There were thousands of properties affected in the Houston area alone.
Many lenders are offering delayed mortgage payments or forbearance programs to affected mortgage holders. This will give some temporary relief during the recovery period. Contact your lender directly for details. FHA is offering zero down payment loans for certain potential buyers affected by the disaster.
Insurance: (Trish Cooper, Cooper Insurance 281-356-9955) There are a number of homes that have now flooded 2-4 times in the last 2 years and have the potential to be designated as “severe repetitive loss” locations by FEMA. This can be homes not in the flood plain as well. These homes would now have to go through a special rating process to get flood coverage and the cost would be definitely higher.
I would expect the FEMA may also redraw the flood plain maps in the near future putting homes in the food plain that have not previously been there.
(Mitzi Vaughn, of WINSURANCE 281-732-5613) recommends if you are interested in flood insurance “purchase it soon, before the ripple effect from the hurricane causes rates to rise. “
Appraisals: This area is so complex and changing daily that I have reserved the November column to be dedicated to bringing you the latest up-to-date information regarding Harris County and Montgomery County future appraisals. In the words of Paul Harvey – “Rest of the Story” is yet to come.
According to Houston Realtors Association, there has been a 12% reduction in ‘active’ homes in the Lake Houston area. We have shifted from a buyers’ market with 4+ months of inventory to a sellers’ market. So, if your home was NOT impacted by Harvey and you were/are contemplating selling – now would be an excellent time to put your home on the market. At Rose Realty our team of agents are ready to help make that happen for you. For those less fortunate, I have listed some websites of immediate benefit in dealing with the clean-up, repairs, and financial assistance. Unfortunately, it is not a quick fix and is not without its stress and hardship. The blessing is in the strength of our community and the reality that growth is still imminent for our Lake Houston Area.
We will keep you up-to-date with any changes to lending and appraisals in future columns. Please call me or email me with any of your immediate concerns and questions.