Even after the hurricane, business moves forward to accomplish its goals, and real estate transactions are taking place. Here are some brief facts to help you out if you are in the process of buying/ selling a home in the Houston area right now.
Closings- Even though many homes do not have power, home closings are taking place. Title companies are up and running. You may wish to ask your inspector to do a re-inspection to allay concerns about damage. If the power is not on, you should consider an addendum to the contract which states that the home should be in the same condition as before the storm or how will repairs needed because of the storm will be handled.
The Market- many thought that August would be good for single family sales, but there was a drop of 20.1% when compared to August 2007. No one was expecting things to be normal, but many RE professionals felt that transactions were going well that month. These homes are seeing an increase of value (a 4.3% increase). The days that a home spends on market (an average) is increasing to 81 days. The expectation for home sales is that there will not be the traditional rebound after a disaster, since Ike destroyed so many homes.
Protesting Your Appraisal- I have been informed that if you were in the process of protesting your appraisal with the Harris County Appraisal District, you will need to reschedule. The offices are currently closed, and I am not sure if the information on their recording is correct. I was told that as of yesterday morning (the morning of 9/23) that it had not been correct. Until power is fully restored to the city, we have to be patient. I noticed that the city is trying hard to bring everything back to normal.
Building Inspections in Effected Areas- The TRCC is currently trying to send 100 electrical inspectors and 100 plumbing inspectors onto Galveston island to have homes checked out so that utility services can be restored to residents. They are looking for qualified Texas building inspectors to fill these positions.
Related to your home, but not really RE news, Comcast has announced that they will give users credit for time lost during Ike, but you need to apply. Here is the link to check this out: http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/houston.html
I have seen their crews around town repairing lines.