Opportunities from Hurricane Harvey

15 Replies

There are going to be a lot of opportunities related to Hurricane Harvey. Vast amounts need to be spent on renovation and construction. This offers the chance to do well by doing good. Any thoughts on investments?

I think there are going to be a lot of empty lots for sale in the coming months. These lots will be places that will sell very cheap and people will begin to build new houses on these lots. 

I was thinking a similar thought.

Houston will bounce back, but it may take years. Just think about Katrina - there were areas that took 5-10 years to bounce back in New Orleans. Although it is different in Houston, it will likely be a slower process.

Keep in mind, insurance costs due to hurricanes are more expensive. The high deductible amounts will cause many homeowners to break the bank.

Do you guys feel people are going to start moving out of Houston now? And how will it affect rental demands?

Houston = energy capital of the world. You can't look at it from strictly a bricks and mortar standpoint. Houston will absolutely bounce back faster than NOLA.

Part of the reason NOLA bounced back at all is because the US Army Corps of Engineers made huge investments and improvements into our drainage infrastructure. Without that people would not have had the confidence to rebuild. If Houston doesn't make any improvements to their drainage system, what sense of security do the people there have to rebuild? 

@Braden Smith Houston will most definitely make changes to the infrastructure to prevent future wide scale flooding. In particular the reservoirs they have put up (Addicks being most problematic) have failed on several occasions. While Harvey was significantly more rain I feel that Katrina due to the wind damage and deaths will take a greater toll. I'm thankful that given the size of the disaster there wasn't a larger loss of life and the current estimates of damage appear to be much lower. I'm glad New Orleans has bounced back as it is one of my favorite cities in the US.

@Kevin Wood ,  Sorry bud you are flat out wrong and spreading untruths when you say Addicks has failed on several occasions.  It has done exactly what it was designed to do, which is to prevent even more devastation downstream, including Central and downtown Houston.   First, Houston, has done major improvements since hurricane Ike.  No they were not enough to deal with a "500 year flood" or "1000 year flood".  Nobody can afford to plan for that eventuality and that is, unfortunately, what happened here.   Had those improvements not been made, the devastation would have been much worse.  Houston and Harris County definitely have more work to do, and billions need to be spent, to improve our drainage and flood preparation for the future.   Gosh, I just love all the out-of-town experts on Houston! LOL!

@Tom Cooper ,

I've lived in Houston for 27 years. Addicks may prevent some areas of Houston from flooding worse, but it has had to be "released" on two occasions flooding areas of newer homes. Addicks and Barker were further identified as "Extremely High Risk of Catastrophic Failure" by the Army Corps of Engineers. 

I sold a wholesale in Bear Creek and read through their community notes during this time. Addicks work was begun after that area flooded in 2016. It's rather rude of you to make assumptions on my level of research or my ties to Houston (44 units under management and friends and family along with personal residence in town). I've gone so far as to read community meeting notes from Bear Creek and review Army Corp of Engineer proposals and assessments.

Note that none of these articles are AFTER Harvey of which you will find plenty thus the issue was known well before the Harvey flooding.

Some Links:

Extreme High Risk of Catastrophic Failure Two Worst in Nation

The original 1940 plan for drainage was ignored- additionally this article goes over the "Tax Day" floods that ended up flooding multiple homes unintentionally

Army Corps of Engineers Outlines 4 years of work in 2016 to make them adequate- I've also read the meeting notes and viewed the presentation of this meeting

The water will flow from the dams into Buffalo Bayou. Officials said the released water will not lead to more flooding downstream.- Wrong see the article above which is in response to Addicks flooding almost the entire neighborhood.

So unless you are talking about pre-1940 the following is true:
- The original plan for adequate drainage from 1940 was not followed and thus the current solution has never been adequate
- Both the Addicks and Barker dams were identified as Extremely High Risk in the last 3 years and two of the worst dams in the country
-In 2016 the Army Corp of Engineers said it would take 4 years of work to make them adequate

But you're right I'm just an out of towner who doesn't do my research. 

Shots fired!

@Kevin Wood Thank you for taking the time to provide links to these articles. As somebody who's planing on investing in real estate in the Houston area I want to have as thorough of an understanding about flood risk as possible.

@Kevin Wood,  Thanks for the research links.  You have indeed done your research and I apologize for my parting shot.  I have seen those and numerous others, including the plan in 1996 to run underground conduits from Addicks to the Ship Channel that was never funded.  If you go back and read my post, I never said Addicks and Barker were perfect or without risk.  I was calling out your false statement that Addicks had "failed" multiple times.   That simply hasn't happened.  Furthermore, typically, a dam failure means the dam has been breached or broken.   Also, those homes should never have been built inside the reservoir, but that is not a failure of the dam.  That is a failure, or lack of, planning, which we do have a good bit of in Houston.  As for my last comment, I again apologize to you, as you are well-informed.  That statement was a venting directed toward a large quantity of misinformed posters, many of whom seem to be looking to swoop in and take advantage of Houston's misfortune.  Hence the shot.

@Tom Cooper I understand your frustration. It's been tough for those of us with flooded homes. I apologize if I came off as rude as well. Seems I misunderstood what you were trying to say and that you were already aware of the short comings. All the best as you deal with your Harvey issues. Everyone I know in Houston is impacted either directly and indirectly by this terrible storm. I'm just hoping Irma doesn't do the same damage to the east coast. We have our crews that we typically have doing our rehabs/restorations working on flooded homes. Let us know if there is anyone in need.

I appreciate the thoughtful comments posted, but it would be helpful to address the question of investment opportunities. Any thoughts about paths that might be open to individual investors?

There are a lot of people uninsured for flooding . There will be those who have little or no equity in the house will find it better to walk away than to rebuild . Banks will end up with those houses  to sell

I'm from Houston. Everyone I know that was flooded got in and pulled the sheet rock and flooring. Mold, of course is the enemy. I'd be very nervous about purchasing a mold house unless I had someone who really knows their stuff about remediation.

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