Author Topic: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?  (Read 2489 times)

ChpBstrd

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Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« on: August 29, 2017, 12:43:28 PM »
Maybe it's "too soon" but I wonder if any mustachians are planning to sweep into Houston or the Texas coast to buy fixer-uppers or other distressed property (or even non-distressed property)? It seems like there will soon be a surge in the supply of property for sale that might depress prices in the short term. Then things will return to normal in a few months to years.

During my visit to New Orleans earlier this year, I was astounded by the quarter-million dollar remodeled rowhouses. They were selling too!

Also, a lot of competing businesses in the remod field have been flooded, so just as demand for services spikes, supply of services has shrunk.

So who's rebuilding Houston?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 12:59:29 PM »
Yeah, dude. It's too soon.

We're not even completely out of the woods yet, and I've got friends that lost everything and there were deaths just a few miles down the road.

This really bugs me seeing this pop up at this time. I get wanting to cash in on an opportunity... but you're literally assessing making a profit off of a disaster area that is still actively being evacuated. That is ghoulish.
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solon

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 01:02:36 PM »
I don't know, it doesn't sound ghoulish to me. The rain and flood water will be gone in a few days or a week, and re-building will begin immediately. But buying, fixing, and flipping takes months - if you've put in the proper amount of planning. It seems to me you might even be too late to this party, not too early.

dycker1978

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 01:09:20 PM »
In my opinion, this is what is wrong with capitalism.  All ready trying to prey on those affected by this mess as a way to makes a few bucks, instead of trying to help those in need. 

Edited to change spelling

LifeHappens

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 01:10:08 PM »
So who's rebuilding Houston?

Perhaps you'd consider helping Houstonians rebuild by making a generous donation to a reputable charity? https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/hurricane-harvey-donations/

solon

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 01:13:21 PM »
In my opinion, this is what is wrong with capitalism.  All ready trying to prey on those affected by this mess as a way to makes a few bucks, instead of trying to help those in need. 

Edited to change spelling

Prey? Is any fix-and-flipper preying? What about the hurricane in Houston makes this an instance of preying?

The opportunity to make some money is what is going to turn Houston around quickly.

dycker1978

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 01:23:32 PM »
In my opinion, this is what is wrong with capitalism.  All ready trying to prey on those affected by this mess as a way to makes a few bucks, instead of trying to help those in need. 

Edited to change spelling

Prey? Is any fix-and-flipper preying? What about the hurricane in Houston makes this an instance of preying?

The opportunity to make some money is what is going to turn Houston around quickly.

No a fixer upper is not preying, but bidding below market value, hoping that the person doesn't have insurance, or will dump the place is.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 01:33:45 PM »
Yes, it's too soon.  Firstly, the catastrophe is ongoing; anyone with a heart is thinking about the people involved instead of geographic financial arbitrage.

Secondly, we know nothing at this point of how the state of Texas or US government as going to assist those many, many people without flood insurance who are going to have damaged homes.  They may receive a credit or rebate to help fund the needed repairs.  If not, there may be a situation in which folks will be looking to sell water damaged homes because they cannot afford to repair them and the homes cannot be financed via Fannie/Freddie because they are uninhabitable as is.  If that happened and you could buy in cash, repair them then return the houses to the marketplace in good condition via either sale or rent, then it would be a benefit for the area.  But that's a lot of if's and really, you should be embarrassed that this is the first place your mind went when hearing about what's happening there. 
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 02:17:31 PM by kellyincville »

MsSindy

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 01:35:06 PM »
Where ever there is a crisis, there is opportunity.  Think about the reasons people let houses go for cheaper than market pricing: death, divorce, job loss, health, etc.  These are all crisis situations.

I don't think that people who want to buy the houses or offer services to rebuild are preying on people - someone will need to provide these services and the market is going to demand more than what is probably going to be available.  However, I'd hope that people offer a fair price and don't over inflate to take advantage... that would be preying on them.

But yeah, it's "too soon".... show some restraint and compassion.

GenXbiker

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2017, 07:30:19 PM »
I was looking into Houston real estate less than two weeks ago, well before anyone knew what would develop.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/do-you-regret-moving-from-hcol-to-lcol-to-achieve-fire/msg1658525/#msg1658525

I mentioned the "possibility of hurricanes."

GoConfidently

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 09:17:15 PM »
Who's rebuilding Houston? We are, and we don't need "help" from people like you.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 07:47:51 AM »
Questions for the "too soon" crowd:

1) Would it help the property owners of Houston if we all boycotted their real estate market, refused to lend them money, and refused to sell them services at a profit that may only be available at high prices due to scarcity in their local market?

2) If a flood victim allows foreclosure of their uninsured flood damaged home, are they a victim or have they scammed a bank and its investors? If an out-of-area investor prevents the foreclosure by buying the property, are they a vulture or have they prevented an additional loss of value for both the bank and the homeowner?

3) Is providing livable shelter in post-disaster areas a less ethical business than, say, selling truck nutz(r) on ebay or $20 bar soap on etsy? What is it about primary needs that make them unsuitable for capitalism?

4) Imagine a local entrepreneur owns one of the few drywall or whatever companies in Houston not wiped out by the storm. How should he decide which customers to serve? By auction, or is that price gouging? If an out-of-area firm comes to Houston, would they be guilty of exploiting the high price and lack of supply, or should they be commended for increasing supply, meeting people's otherwise unmet needs, and reducing price pressures?

Just some questions. The rebuilding of Houston will be a multi-billion dollar market employing tens of thousands of people and entrepreneurs regardless of opinions at the moment, but isn't it interesting how the phrasing of statements affects our emotional responses?

bwall

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2017, 08:25:11 AM »
Answers to your questions:

1) In it's current state, the real estate market is not functioning. Therefore, there is no market mechanism which will allow for price discovery. As a result, people arrive at the conclusion that it is 'too soon' to engage in real estate market activity.

2) Depends on the damage and the location and market valuations. Since there is no market providing valuations at the moment, some people think it is 'too soon' to begin providing market bids.

3) Shelter: Many people are engaged in providing shelter in post-disaster area free of charge, due to the huge dislocation of the market. I read an article today about a furniture store in Houston that is providing free shelter for a few hundred families. Are churches responding the same way? Dunno. I hope so. Since the real estate market is not functioning properly at the moment, people are practicing humanity, not capitalism.

4) Again: Is the market functioning properly, or is it still dislocated? Many victims of the flooding engaged in lifelong responsible acts, other than living in Houston, they did nothing wrong. Why should someone profiteer at their expense?

Keep in mind that the real estate market in Houston is not functioning. And, it probably won't for a few more weeks. This isn't the first time that an entire market shuts down due to external events and no fault of the market participants--remember after 9-11 the stock markets (NYSE, NASDAQ, etc) were closed for a week (or so). They stayed closed for the same reason as I mentioned above--no reason for someone to profiteer while the markets are not functioning.

To me, capitalism is about willing seller and willing buyer. Not willing seller and distressed buyer/under duress. Every market participant has their own viewpoint in this regard. YMMV. Why not just embrace your inner capitalist and admit that money is more important than people?

GoConfidently

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2017, 09:17:57 AM »
First of all, no one who was displaced by Harvey is even thinking about selling right now. They're thinking about what to do, how to get a FEMA number, where their families are, how they're going to get the kids back in school, etc. No one is sitting in a shelter hoping someone will come make an offer on their wet house. Most don't even know what their house looks like right now.

Those that flooded but stayed in their home don't want to sell to you right now either. They're busy cleaning up. Pulling carpet and cutting drywall with the help of friends and neighbors. Yesterday the local high school baseball team was volunteering to help pull carpet in my area. The clean up work will be done mostly free of charge by neighbors helping each other.

Secondly, the banks are fine. Don't insinuate that your idea to swoop in and buy real estate is in some way altruistic because it helps banks. That's laughable.

Believe it or not, people can live a long time without carpet and drywall. The market for those services will stay strong for a long time and we'll see an influx of crews from surrounding areas. Some will be honest people looking to start a business. Many will be unscrupulous contractors trying to scam people in distress. Both of those things can exist side by side. Whether or not they are guilty of exploiting people is dependent on their behavior. Exploitation is exploitation in good times or bad. You seem to be arguing that a disaster shifts the moral code and allows people to do things they wouldn't otherwise.

People aren't having an emotional response because of your phrasing. It's emotional because we haven't even counted, much less buried, the dead and you're thinking about how to profit from this disaster. It's disgusting. Go back to reading your Ayn Rand collection and stay away from Houston.

Kroaler

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2017, 05:03:26 PM »
Man the OP really got tore up on this thread. 

I believe folks will always say its too soon. . . 


Theres gotta be people who want to GTFO and are willing to accept the cash to leave their flood prone city behind.

I agree right this second may be too soon, but in the coming months it will be time to start cleaning up abandoned houses...

SC93

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2017, 11:09:47 PM »
Just a few days after Harvey hit I know a realtor that sold 3 houses that were up on higher ground. What would have gone for $180k a week before went for $420k the week after. I am told it's already getting crazy.

Too soon? For some it is because they have to rebuild their lives. For others, they have to continue to grow. Time doesn't stop for anyone.

Was it too soon for all the people to go down and make money from clean up? I know a guy from Omaha that sent several guys down to New Orleans and 3 years later he had made $17 million profit. I won't mention any names because I know some people from Omaha on this site but let's just say they have yellow and black for their colors. :)

Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2017, 01:30:22 PM »
The OP posted this thread DURING A NATURAL DISASTER. Not a few days after, not a week or two after. DURING. August 29th, we were still flooding, waters still rising, people trapped, without power and being evacuated by anyone that could reach them. Bodies floating in water, rescues still occurring, the gravity of loss still incomprehensible.

There is a time and a place for people to step in and make a profit, and this was not one of them. If you see no problem with musing about profits during a time when people were still in danger and actively losing everything they owned, then you might want to check your moral compass because I think it might be on the fritz.

I only hope that none of you that seek to profit off of others' misery and loss while they are still actively experiencing it find yourselves facing this same type of thing. But maybe that is what it would take for you to see just how wrong this type of thing is?


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bwall

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2017, 01:31:09 PM »
Just a few days after Harvey hit I know a realtor that sold 3 houses that were up on higher ground. What would have gone for $180k a week before went for $420k the week after. I am told it's already getting crazy.
How is that possible, unless they are all cash deals? Is a lender going to now fork out over twice as much just because other houses are damaged? On what basis did they appraise for $420k whereas a week before they appraised at $180k? The comps aren't there. The houses didn't get larger or have any improvements in the meantime.

Something's not right with that assessment.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2017, 01:48:07 PM »
The OP posted this thread DURING A NATURAL DISASTER. Not a few days after, not a week or two after. DURING. August 29th, we were still flooding, waters still rising, people trapped, without power and being evacuated by anyone that could reach them. Bodies floating in water, rescues still occurring, the gravity of loss still incomprehensible.

There is a time and a place for people to step in and make a profit, and this was not one of them. If you see no problem with musing about profits during a time when people were still in danger and actively losing everything they owned, then you might want to check your moral compass because I think it might be on the fritz.

I only hope that none of you that seek to profit off of others' misery and loss while they are still actively experiencing it find yourselves facing this same type of thing. But maybe that is what it would take for you to see just how wrong this type of thing is?

Not a "blood in the streets" type of ghoul, are ya?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2017, 02:06:25 PM »
The OP posted this thread DURING A NATURAL DISASTER. Not a few days after, not a week or two after. DURING. August 29th, we were still flooding, waters still rising, people trapped, without power and being evacuated by anyone that could reach them. Bodies floating in water, rescues still occurring, the gravity of loss still incomprehensible.

There is a time and a place for people to step in and make a profit, and this was not one of them. If you see no problem with musing about profits during a time when people were still in danger and actively losing everything they owned, then you might want to check your moral compass because I think it might be on the fritz.

I only hope that none of you that seek to profit off of others' misery and loss while they are still actively experiencing it find yourselves facing this same type of thing. But maybe that is what it would take for you to see just how wrong this type of thing is?

Not a "blood in the streets" type of ghoul, are ya?



Awww, that's funny. Way to ad hominem me, huh? ;)

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slappy

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2017, 03:01:04 PM »
I will admit that I had the thought that Houston may be a good place to look for affordable housing, but I was thinking of a couple of years from now. I read that it would take years to rebuild and that some people just wouldn't go back due to being traumatized from the experience. I was thinking I would see what it looks like in a couple of years if my husband and I are even still interested in relocating at that time.

SC93

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2017, 03:02:07 PM »
Just a few days after Harvey hit I know a realtor that sold 3 houses that were up on higher ground. What would have gone for $180k a week before went for $420k the week after. I am told it's already getting crazy.
How is that possible, unless they are all cash deals? Is a lender going to now fork out over twice as much just because other houses are damaged? On what basis did they appraise for $420k whereas a week before they appraised at $180k? The comps aren't there. The houses didn't get larger or have any improvements in the meantime.

Something's not right with that assessment.

I tried buying a house for right about a year here in the Fort Worth area. I would bid $160,000 and someone would come in with $200,000 cash and go over us all. I would bid $200,000 on another house and someone would come in with $300,000 cash and out bid us all. I wouldn't doubt that someone wanted those houses in Houston to sell in a year at a huge mark up or they freaked out and bought before the prices go up even higher. As we saw with gas in our area, people freak the hell out very easy. Personally, I will never pay more than the house is worth but it has been proven to me that many people will. If we don't get in an older house in a few months we are just going to build new. We really like old and didn't want to build but we may be forced to.

J Boogie

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Re: Anyone looking at Houston real estate?
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2017, 11:39:49 AM »
I wouldn't even think about buying real estate in a city/county that doesn't learn from the past.

Major flooding in 94, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2015, 2016, and now 2017.

They know rain patterns and they know hurricanes come.  They know their city doesn't deal with it all that well.

And the big floodproofing efforts don't get executed while new development with tons of paved parking lots keep getting greenlighted.

This is irresponsible greed.  They want economic growth and more property & sale tax revenue, so more concrete is poured.  Floodplains aren't very profitable.  Updating infrastructure to better deal with flooding is costly.  $26 billion is what the estimate came in at.  And then when shit hits the fan during the rainy season they are bailed out by generous people as well as the federal govt.

End rant.  I feel for the Houstonians and the generous people who came to their aid, and I detest those who profit off projects that make Houston less safe and/or vote against spending the required amount to make the city floodproof.  I don't trust them to pony up, so I wouldn't invest in Houston.