The impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, whose real estate market has been more than hard hit, is almost startling by this chart. The impact of Irma is yet to be seen since she made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 10 before continuing up the west coast of Florida and heading inland. But widespread preparation and evacuations in Florida reduced mortgage applications by more than 25 percent before the hurricane arrived as business ground to a halt. When you are running for your life, you tend to forget about things like house closings.

Harvey was unprecedented in its rainfall for the coast of Texas and caused flooding that affected up to 30 percent of the state’s population.  As one Houstonian whose property was unscathed told me, “everyone in Houston knows someone who was affected.” The effect on our real estate market, too, will be unprecedented, though possibly less in Houston than Florida. 

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Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston on August 27, 2017, to aid residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: Texas Army National Guard)

So many people lost everything — homes, cars, and all their possessions — in the wrath wrought by Hurricane Harvey. But there’s another category of people who were just as badly affected by this record-breaking storm: renters. 

In some cases, renters are required to continue paying rent on uninhabitable apartments and homes, and some can’t even work, with many businesses either wiped away, flooded, or otherwise damaged. If your apartment or home is uninhabitable and you’ve notified your landlord about terminating your lease in writing, the next step is finding someplace else to live. This can be daunting, but RentCafe and its parent company, Yardi, have teamed up to help.

Yardi, the California-based property management software company, has created a free online housing registry where displaced residents can find new places to live in the affected region and beyond.

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Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston on August 27, 2017, to aid residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Texas Army National Guard photo)

As the devastation Hurricane Harvey wrought two weeks ago becomes devastatingly clearer and flood waters slowly recede, many have asked: What would a similar flood look like in my neighborhood?  

And could something like this happen in Dallas? (more…)

Hurricane Harvey put many previously safe areas underwater. If you’ve never coped with rebuilding from a flood, the Dallas Builders Association has some advice.

By Phil Crone
Special Contributor

The Dallas Builders Association extends its heartfelt thoughts to our friends on the coast who are suffering from the wrath and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. To help those affected, please text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross or visit redcross.org.

While storms of this magnitude bring out the best in most, they can bring out the worst in others. Often this comes in the form of unscrupulous contractors from out of state who follow major weather events looking for work. Sadly, the damage left in their wake is usually financial, adding to the suffering of storm victims.

Please use the information below as a guide on how to rebuild with confidence. Additional information is available through the Texas Association of Builders and the Greater Houston Builders Association.

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Over Labor Day weekend, teens all over town (who were in town) were likely sleeping in, texting each other, or playing games on their ipads. Not the enterprising, gold-hearted teens of MY neighborhood in North Dallas (Preston/Royal north of Preston Hollow).

Janey Daniels is an 8th grader at Levine Academy. She wanted so badly to do something to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Her family moved to Dallas four years ago from Houston, so they have lots of friends and family in Houston directly affected by the storm.

In fact, Janey’s old school in Houston flooded.  So she asked her friends and neighbors to help her do something to raise money for the school. Many of these cute girls are also members of Girl Scout Troop 5566. They got up early, baked like crazy — hand-frosted sugar, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies — they baked cakes, cupcakes and brownies. They mixed up both pink and yellow lemonade. Then they constructed a large sales table right near the Northaven Trail, just east of Preston Road, after shouting out the news on the neighborhood ap NextDoor. Two girls even bravely flagged down cars on Northaven. Parents and friends came out to help.

 “We raised almost $600 today all of which we will donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund,” says Janey’s mother, Taryn Daniel.

Enterprising young ladies! When you seek out neighborhoods, seriously, check the pulse of the teen and tween population. Lemonade stands and giving hearts mean this is a neighborhood of kids with big hearts, like our’s, because of great kids like Janey and her friends! (PS: Stay tuned for THREE great listings in our hood!)

Real Estate Story

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the South Texas coastline on Aug. 25. In Houston, the endless rain would take its toll on the city, leaving much of it underwater for days.

The moment Hurricane Harvey hit, everyone called family and friends to see if they were safe and find out what we could do. My first call was to my friends Suzy and Brian. Brian is a vice president with an energy company. Suzy is a designer and owner of an antique shop. They have two boys and a Labradoodle. They live in West Houston close to Buffalo Bayou. This is their story. (more…)

There is nothing like being in your own warm, dry, clean home. But for almost one-third of Houston and residents in other southeast Texas coastal cities, that feeling will be several months off. But the Texas real estate community is gearing up in a frenzy that almost rivals the size of the cat 4 storm that has crippled and drowned out Houston and the Texas Gulf coast. As we hear about these missions, big or small, we will pass them along. 

Keller Williams’ has always been one of the first brokerages to respond to tragedy. KW’s charity arm, KW Cares, has three bright-red 18-wheeler trucks parked at a depot outside Austin, Texas, ready to enter Houston:

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A Texas National Guardsman shakes hands with a resident after assisting his family during Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017 (Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West).

As the floodwaters recede and Hurricane Harvey survivors assess the damage to their homes, the inevitable question arises: What will this do to the housing market in the Houston area?

With a flood of this magnitude, it’s hard to predict, experts say. History tells us that it can take a lot longer for housing stock to recover — but how long? And how will a possible widespread lack of flood insurance affect the market?

Todd Tomalak is a building products spending forecaster and expert with John Burns Real Estate Consulting. While he and his teammates are just beginning to assess and compare historical data to current data, he did have a few insights.

“Major storms have a very long effect on the housing stock – following Hurricane Katrina, it took eight years for the number of total housing units to recover back to pre-storm levels,” he said. (more…)