Being A Home Buyer in Houston After Hurricane Harvey – A Letter from Our President

First, Some Background…

I flipped my first wholesale deal on Effingham Drive in Westbury more than 12 years ago. I made $8,900 and loved the process. Not the real estate part of it, mind you. What I fell in love with was rooting out the seller’s need and solving a problem. Although I didn’t know how to estimate ARV (after repair value) at the time I was able to figure things out. Now I’ve come to love identifying value in real estate. Using photographic comparable data compounded by the emotions that drive home ownership and you wind up with something incredibly creative and artistic when it comes to assigning value to residential real estate. There is also more than one way to do this right.

Those who are in the industry of buying real estate make understanding property values their main priority. We are essentially assessing a home to determine two things: will people want to live in the home and how much are they willing to pay in order to do so? We use countless tools and analyze many different metrics to ultimately reach the answer to those two questions to determine if we should make an investment or not.

In over a decades’ work I have done every kind of deal there is and have watched values rise, fall and rise again. In all that time, I have done thousands of transactions and learned more about SFR (single family residential) than I could even begin to describe.

However, the beauty of this business does not like in the individual homes themselves or the ROI. What makes this business truly rewarding is learning how buyers and sellers see the world around them during the multiple phases of the sale process. In the end, a home means so much, and that becomes distinctly clear when a tragedy such as Hurricane Harvey strikes.

Being A Home Buyer During a Tragic Event…

When areas have been tragically struck and there is no sales data to measure the effects, how can we determine fair market value?

Some things we have to think about are how much will it cost to make repairs in the face of an amplified demand for materials and labor? If a home has experienced flooding before, what is an actual fair offer? And how to we come together to aid those in our community while also using caution to determine if we should take on such risk?

Those who have done this for some time have experience, logic and a wealth of lessons gained to guide us in making this decision. There is nothing that can beat ‘first-hand experience’ in this situation. This principle is what leads us in making the decisions that we need to make. While there will be some guesswork that is needed when putting offers together, the most important thing now is a ‘WIN-WIN’ scenario.

Moving Forward as A Home Buyer in Houston…

Our city is strong and I have no doubt that neighborhoods will be restored and values will recover. Our contributions to the quality of that result is determined in the small decisions we make on a daily basis. Ultimately, we are responsible for everything ahead and no matter what our goals, we all benefit from ensuring Houston is rebuilt with integrity and is valued as a community people want to join. When we practice the Golden Rule of treating others how we would like to be treated, it helps us to rise above a very vulnerable situation.

If the value of a home is measured by whether or not ‘people want to live here’ then we’re defining tomorrow’s value with the calls that we are making today.

Each new sunrise brings opportunity to inform, engage and deliver. It’s ok to get to work solving problems. Our business serves those in need and today we’re here to deliver our specialty – to define market value with logic and best practices. The almighty ‘market’ will correct errors, if any. Capitalism is a beautiful thing that way.

Houston, let’s get to work.

Brian Spitz

September 1st, 2017


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