Offbeat How fires and floods have upended the 2018 housing market

19:57  25 may  2018
19:57  25 may  2018 Source:   mediafeed.cheapism.com

Why don't people who can't afford housing just move where it's cheaper?

  Why don't people who can't afford housing just move where it's cheaper? California is in fact losing population, but for many people, the calculation is more about social networks than economics.Why, lots of readers wanted to know, didn’t they simply move away instead?

These events upended real estate markets in the areas they affected, and made buying or selling a home, already a stressful process, even more The fires destroyed thousands of homes that were on the market . Many owners of the properties that remained converted them into rentals for people the

These events upended real estate markets in the areas they affected, and made buying or selling a home, already a stressful process There was high demand for a limited housing stock. Wildfires diminished that stock dramatically. The fires destroyed thousands of homes that were on the market .

a group of people posing for the camera: disaster homes © Anne Belden disaster homes Natural disasters caused historic damage in 2017. Hurricane Harvey caused up to an estimated $59 billion in flood damage in Texas, according to CoreLogic, a property data company. A series of wildfires destroyed thousands of buildings in California.

These events upended real estate markets in the areas they affected, and made buying or selling a home, already a stressful process, even more unpredictable. Here's what the search for a home is like after disaster strikes.

What buyers should know

Buying a home in Sonoma County, Calif., was hard enough before the wildfires. There was high demand for a limited housing stock. Wildfires diminished that stock dramatically.

Ready to buy a home? Lock in your mortgage rate now

  Ready to buy a home? Lock in your mortgage rate now With the benchmark 10-year Treasury at a 7-year high, borrowing costs are rising, while home prices also climb"Rising mortgage rates are further squeezing affordability for would-be homebuyers that are already frustrated by limited inventory of available homes and the higher home prices that have resulted," Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, said in emailed comments.

The immediate housing impact of the IPO windfall will extend in all possible directions: South along the San Francisco Peninsula, north along the ferry The short-term fears of an IPO wave flooding San Francisco with cash are overblown, but the long-term fears of the Bay Area failing to accommodate

The county’s housing market is still feeling the effects of October wildfires, which claimed 24 lives and destroyed more than 5,100 homes here. In November and December, buyers here purchased a record 8 million in houses and condominiums. The amount surpassed the value of such properties, not

The fires destroyed thousands of homes that were on the market. Many owners of the properties that remained converted them into rentals for people the fire displaced. Many victims had help paying rent through their homeowners insurance, which generally covers temporary housing if a home is destroyed. The assistance coaxed rental prices higher.

Brad Zigler, an editor for a wealth management magazine, started looking for a house in the area soon after the fires for his in-laws, who lost their home to fire. They wanted a home to live in while they decided on whether to rebuild. Zigler planned to buy a home, then rent it to his in-laws, who are in their 80s.

"They wanted to remain in Sonoma County," Zigler said. "It's been their home for decades."

Cell phones thrown in the trash are exploding, causing fires in garbage trucks

  Cell phones thrown in the trash are exploding, causing fires in garbage trucks Thrown into the trash or even the recycling bin, lithium-ion batteries are causing fires at trash and recycling centers. Last year, 65% of waste facilities fires in California began with lithium-ion batteries. And when one goes, others can, too. “If there are multiple batteries there, you will have not just a fire, you will have explosions,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, a national recycling program funded by battery manufacturers.

For decades, marketing theory and practice have been defined and refined in the West, from the four Ps taught in MBA programs to the sophisticated brand management run by multinational corporations. That’s the world of marketing that today’s guest started out in. Kim Whitler worked for Procter

The American advertising market grew by around 3% last year, to 6bn, but only because of the tech giants. MoffettNathanson, a research firm, estimates that Google and Facebook each accounted for more than bn of growth in advertising spend, and for almost 90% of online ad growth.

Real estate agents initially listed homes at pre-fire prices, sparking bidding wars. Prices escalated. Zigler quickly learned the new rules: If you see a property you like, make an offer, preferably quickly, preferably in cash.

Competition has been fierce, with developers and speculators swooping in to buy properties, Zigler said. His in-laws have the luxury of time, since Zigler is putting them up, but others may have to make compromises.

"Perseverance is necessary," Zigler said. "A little creativity is necessary in your financing approach. And you need flexibility."

But by April, Zigler and his in-laws still hadn't found a house. They opted to rent instead. 

Beware of build costs

Cash is king in wildfire-affected areas, said Mark C. Spaulding, a real estate agent with Pacific Union International in Santa Rosa. But buyers also need to be ready if their properties need work.

HUD pulls tool used to identify segregation in communities

  HUD pulls tool used to identify segregation in communities The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it's pulling a tool designed for communities to identify instances of segregation. The move, announced in a press release Friday, is the latest step by the department targeted at the Obama-era fair housing rules.The press release states that local governments found that the "Local Government Assessment Tool was confusing, difficult to use, and frequently produced unacceptable assessments.

How to Spend Your Bonus. Russia will ship an average of 19 percent less crude through its main ports on the Baltic and Black Seas in the first five months of 2018 compared with a year earlier, according to loading However, the lost Russian cargoes are being felt in tanker markets , which had

March 19, 2018 , 5:47 pm By Kelsey Ramírez. Millennials are the largest living generation, however, according to Freddie Mac’s March Insight report, they are falling short of dominating the housing market . Freddie Mac explained that a population of this size should be fueling the housing market .

"Along with shortage of inventory, we are having a need for a large amount of building and construction to be occurring here for the next couple of years," Spaulding said.

There is a limited supply of labor and building costs will rise as a result, Spaulding said. Buyers could lose money if they don't account for building costs.

Fire insurance

Anyone looking for a home in a wildfire-affected area should speak to an insurance agent to talk through the risks and costs, said John Venti, a real estate agent for Redfin in Santa Barbara. The availability and cost of insurance has become a big concern for potential buyers.

The California Department of Insurance received numerous complaints that homeowners insurance in wildfire-prone areas was increasingly difficult to obtain and afford, even before the 2017 fires. The department recommended in January the state legislature act to make it easier for homeowners to get insurance if they take steps to reduce their wildfire risk like managing nearby vegetation. (You can learn more about what homeowners insurance and extreme weather here)

Next U.S. Recession Seen Beginning in 2020: Zillow/Pulsenomics

  Next U.S. Recession Seen Beginning in 2020: Zillow/Pulsenomics Mark your calendar. The next U.S. recession will begin in 2020, a survey says. More than half of the 105 real estate experts and economists in the quarterly survey by housing data provider Zillow and research firm Pulsenomics LLC point to “monetary policy as the likeliest cause.”Fed officials have signaled at least three rate increases this year. A year ago. a geopolitical crisis was seen as the most likely cause of the next recession by survey panelists.In the meantime, the housing market is expected to see stronger price appreciation than forecast a year ago with home values rising 5.

How Museums Fight Fires , Floods and Climate Change. Sophisticated systems are protecting art As climate change magnifies the threats from fires and floods , museums are taking increasingly Houston’s Menil Collection is housed in buildings situated on high ground on a 30-acre campus, most

The Seattle housing market has benefited greatly from strong Chinese buyer demand, but now weakness in the Chinese yuan, as well as tighter restrictions on money leaving China, are Local real estate agents say Chinese buyers are pulling back dramatically, especially in the condominium market .

No time to think

Hurricane Harvey has had a similar effect on real estate in the Houston area. Morgan McCord closed on a home Feb. 26 in Pearland, about 20 miles south of Houston, after a two-and-a-half-month search.

"It was pretty frustrating," she said.

Her family of four, plus a dog, had outgrown their apartment in the Clear Lake section of Houston. But houses were going fast after the hurricane. McCord would spot a house one day and there would be an offer on it the next.

Federal aid helped raise demand. The Department of Housing and Urban Development made mortgages available with no down payment through the Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims program. Houston residents qualified if their homes were destroyed or heavily damaged in the storm.

After losing out on a few houses, the McCords found a home listed at $220,000 they were able to get for $216,000. The sellers said they had a backup offer, but McCord wasn't sure if that was a negotiating ploy.

"Right now if you're looking to buy, you don't have time to think about if you love a house or not," she said. "If you like a house you have to put an offer on it or it's going to be gone the next day."

Ed Wolff, president of Beth Wolff Realtors and chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors' governmental affairs advisory group, is still bullish on the Houston market because of the jobs available.

Thinking of selling your home? Do it before 2020, economists say

  Thinking of selling your home? Do it before 2020, economists say A panel of economic and housing experts sees a dip in house prices on the horizon.Prospective home buyers these days are probably feeling pressure to lock in a deal quickly given skyrocketing home prices across most of the country. But those who wait a couple of years may be rewarded.

"You can't pick up the refining and energy and oil and medical and move it somewhere else," Wolff said.

Housing prices took a dip right after the hurricane, but quickly rebounded, especially for newer homes that didn't flood, Wolff said. These properties are selling quickly because the people whose homes did flood are looking for places to live.

A seller's market, if you didn't flood

Leslie Welby (who is Morgan McCord's aunt) listed a home near the Johnson Space Center in February. She bought the house from a neighbor who was moving to Slovakia.

"I just wanted to make sure I met the people that were going to be my neighbor, because I live two doors down from the property," Welby said.

She decided not to work with a real estate agent and was unaware of how hot the market was for undamaged homes. Welby listed the home for free on Zillow, and the calls started coming in. She estimates she got eight calls a day from investors alone. She listed the property at $168,000 on Feb. 10 and was offered $170,000 on Feb. 15.

"It was very easy," Welby said.

But many houses in Houston were damaged by the hurricane. For their owners, the selling process has been difficult.

'A horrific purgatory'

Flooding ruined Cynthia Hand Neely's Houston home. She and her husband renovated just before the storm, in hopes of selling it to fund their retirement. It's now for sale at lot value.

The home is not in a flood plain, but like many Houston homes, it flooded when the Army Corps of Engineers released water from a nearby reservoir to relieve pressure on a damn.

Some millennials might never recover from the Great Recession

  Some millennials might never recover from the Great Recession A recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that some Millennials born in the 1980s may never make up the wealth they lost during the Great Recession.The net worth of a typical family headed by someone born in the 1980s was 34% below what was expected, according to a new Federal Reserve Bank of St.

"When they released the water, that's when thousands of us flooded," Neely said.

Neely had flood insurance, but now she and her husband must decide what to do with the proceeds.

"It is such a lot of money and it's like going to Vegas," she said. "Are we going to put all the money we get from our insurance claims back into this house gambling that we'll be able to sell it at a later date at enough of a profit to make it worthwhile?"

Neely is 68. Her husband is 71. They're not sure they want to put the time into restoring a house if it won't return any value. She's watched with worry as other homes in her neighborhood that flooded sell for less than expected.

It took weeks for the couple to find an apartment for themselves and their two Labrador Retrievers. Apartments and hotels are full of people who are also displaced. And while they received insurance money, the Neelys are still paying property taxes and utilities to keep the lights on to show the house.

"It's just a horrific purgatory Houstonians are facing right now," Neely said.

Neely and her husband gave themselves until February to sell the home at lot value. If that didn't work, they would restore the house. But they found mold in the house, which "catapults restoration into a whole other price stratosphere," she said.

As of April, they have an offer on the property for lot value, but the buyer has come forward twice before without following through. The lease on their rental ran out at the end of March, so the couple is living there month-to-month until they can find somewhere else to rent.

And, she warned, this could happen again, unless Houston shores up its infrastructure against another flood by building another reservoir.

"Houston has reached a point now where no place is really safe until they do something," she said.

Consider elevating

Even homeowners who didn't see flooding should still get flood insurance and be aware of the flood risks in their area. If they do purchase a home in the flood plain, they may want to take steps to mitigate future damage, like elevating their home, as Wolff is doing.

Wolff's house took on three feet of water. He's elevating it six feet as he expects Congress to raise flood insurance rates when it reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance program, which is set to expire at the end of July. If prices rise enough, the cost of elevating a home may prove worthwhile.

Recovery in sight

Real estate agents are actively recruiting sellers in California's wine country, said Jill Silvas, vice president of corporate services for Pacific Union. The market was active immediately after the fires and she expects it to get even busier now that spring has arrived. She expects a wave of new buyers as people who rented houses while waiting to rebuild their homes decide to simply buy something new.

Silvas expects the tourism industry, the main economic driver in the region, to recover as well. Most of the vineyards were unharmed and are beginning to look like they did before the fire, Silvas said. Tourists, and buyers, should come back with them.

"Our communities are really strong and the resilience shown after the fires was incredible," she said. "These are amazing places to live."

This piece originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

North Carolina floods trigger house collapse; two people missing .
Rescue teams were searching Wednesday night for two people who vanished after a home collapsed in North Carolina due to extreme flooding and mudslides from the remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto. The Boone Police Department tweeted that crews were on the scene of a structural collapse in the Heaven Mountain Area after two people were reported missing at the collapse site.Multiple emergency personnel from the surrounding county responded to the scene and police said the U.S. Army Reserves in Asheville were on their way.Search and rescue teams continued to search late into Wednesday night.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!