Francois Delille

Cozy Homes
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My house just flooded - what do I do with it now?

September 23rd, 2017

Has your house just flooded? Are you debating about fixing it then returning to the house?

Well you are not alone. Approximately 100,000 houses flooded in Harris county alone and another
10 to 20,000 in Fort bend county.

Only 15 to 20% of these people were covered by flood insurance which leaves as many as about 100,000 homes in both counties with damages not covered by insurance.

After the hassles of finding temporary housing, saving whatever personal property could be saved, many owners finally have time to sit down and think about what to do with their flooded houses.

There are a few options:

1.       Option 1: Fix the house and move back to it several months down the road.

If you decide to fix your house, you need to take into account the need for drying the house for a long enough time to ensure the humidity level is back to normal before you perform the repairs.
You also need to think about mold certification prior to doing the repairs to make sure high level of mold is not present prior to you repairing the house. You then need to think about temporary housing while you do all that work which is going to take much longer than you expect, specifically with the labor shortage in Houston at the moment. We all have nice friends that can host us for a few days after Harvey, if these few days become several months, will you all still be friends?

2.       Option 2: move on by selling the property to an investor

Our company both buys and represent investors who buy flooded houses. If you sell to an investor on an ‘as is’ basis, you do not have to worry about the condition of the house or fixing any defects in the house as the investor will take care of these issues and fix it himself taking the responsibility of managing contractor and liability for mold remediation. This option is by far the fastest alternative to move on with your life and get immediate cash from your house.

3.       Option 3: fix it yourself and sale the property while you look for housing alternatives

You can decide to quickly move to another house (either rent or purchase) fix your current house and sell it. You need to be concerned with all the issues mentioned in option 1: managing contractors, mold remediation, mold certification etc. On top of these you will need to clearly disclose to prospective buyers that the house flooded. Please consult an attorney regarding issues related to selling a flooded house with mold, issues could arise down the road if the buyers claim the mold was not fully or properly remediated. After you solved all these technical and legal issues, you finally can market the house to buyers and you will need to face another issue: psychological stigma of flooded houses and neighborhoods.  

Experience from Ike, Alison and Katrina, shows us examples of Stigma that basically shows that:

a)       The immediate loss of market value after a major flood is 22%

b)      It takes about three years for the house to get back to its pre-flood market value.

Every flooded home owner should carefully draw the pros and cons of the three options in front of him.

We are glad to help you make this decision and feel free to reach us at /
 713 397 8857

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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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