Houston sits at around the 3 million mark in population, yet there’s one, fairly hidden, group of people that play a significant role in keeping the city revitalized and help it recover from disasters that we experience.
The real estate investors.
People think that all investors do is try to find homes that they can profit from, but what they don’t see are the implications and ripple effects from what they do.
How the city grows and expands
In our city, we’re used to seeing construction, whether it’s new land expansion, a new building, or roads/highways.
With new construction, we often see large master plans, new commercial buildings, or single family residences being built in neighborhoods, and all of these are commonly known that investors are involved in the creation of these.
As the city expands and we have more and more demand for homes and office buildings, investors identify that there’s this need and they facilitate that growth with new construction.
But what’s less commonly known is that roads and highways are often influenced by investors as well. While those are things that are funded by city and state departments (aka tax-payers), investors help identify what are common trends and value-add projects to cities.
When a city commits to a new development or revitalization project, investors advise on what the market generally needs and wants, and how best to provide value to the community.
Recovering from disasters
After Hurricane Harvey, many homes were damaged from the floods to the point where they were uninhabitable for months or even an entire year after the event. This would have left entire neighborhoods completely abandoned as residents rushed to find new housing in a city where almost 50% of its real estate was affected.
Real estate investment companies, such as Express Houston Home Buyer, were quick to take action, immediately looking for those that were affected and trying to figure out a financial way to relieve the homeowners while also restoring the home.
The problem for investors is that residents often think that they’re there to profit from a homeowner’s suffering, but in reality the homeowner is going to suffer regardless in a situation like this, and the real estate investor is able to help that homeowner completely get out from under a mortgage where the home is uninhabitable, was uninsured, and there are no funds to repair it.
Investors spend a lot of money and effort restoring homes, and to say that they should not make any profit would mean that they make no living. This is something often overlooked for homeowners that don’t know the industry or how it affects the community.
This is how bad the homes were damaged, to give an idea of how much work needs to go into each home that took on significant water:
Within 2-3 months in the aftermath, many homes were beginning to come back on the market, available for others that were displaced to purchase and move their families into.
8-9 months after Harvey, homes that were affected and sitting after the floods were still showing up, and investors have been continuously taking them over and restoring them, helping suburbs and neighborhoods repopulate and increase their value.
Waves of gentrification
As residents move into newer development areas and Houston receives more and more transplant residents from other cities and states, it’s inevitable for older homes to lose value and deteriorate as they age.
Because Houston is so large, restoration occurs in waves. In a particular 10 year span, there might be certain areas of suburbs of the city that start to attract investors, where they buy up properties and rebuild or restore to put them back on the market and increase value.
In those 10 years, another area becomes ripe for the same process, and investors move into it to repeat the same process.
Because of these waves, Houston’s neighborhoods are able to be updated to modern homes and designs. If this process didn’t occur, we would have large parts of the city that were completely abandoned and homes that were entirely uninhabitable. This would force the city to spend more and more on expansions and eventually the the city would start losing a lot of its appeal and value to newer, smaller cities.
This revitalization effect is immensely important for a city as old and large as Houston, but there are some areas that try to fight gentrification.
To learn more about real estate investment in Houston and how it affects our community, check back for more as we continue to share from our group and those that have played an important role in real estate here.