People looking to purchase a home in Sugar Land or Missouri City this year have a lot to consider. Community Impact Newspaper spoke to several Realtors covering the markets about what clients have on their checklist as they search for the perfect home and what they may have to consider to live in certain areas.
1. Schools, remodel upgrades could trump flood history for interested buyers
As flooding becomes more concerning in the Greater Houston area, with rainfall as recent as early May bringing 9 inches to of water in about five hours to Fort Bend County, residents may be wondering how to sell their home if it has flooded.
Residents must disclose how many times their home has flooded in the selling process, said Shad Bogany, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Gary Greene.
Bogany recommends having mold-detection tests conducted before selling.
“If you put your home back together, my suggestion is that you get a mold-detection test done because if I’m a buyer, I don’t know how you put that house back together,” he said.
To make the home more marketable, Bogany suggested when homeowners redo their home as a result of flood damage that they make upgrades to make the house look better than before to appeal to more buyers because of the stigma a flooded home may have.
“You need to make it so cute that they just have to buy it,” he said. “It’s no different than people buying houses on the coast or in Galveston. You pay for that risk that it may flood, or you may get a hurricane, but the houses are put together really nice.”
Bogany said he recently sold a home with multiple interested buyers that flooded during three hurricanes, including Hurricane Harvey. The reason competition was steep was due to proximity to schools, he said.
“I typically believe that If the schools in the area are good, that overcomes flooding,” Bogany said.
2. Interest in multigenerational housing grows in Fort Bend County, builders present more options
Kunal Seth with The Seth Brothers Team at eXp Realty said in the last year he has seen more interest in homes meant for more than two generations under one roof.
Lennar offers a “Next Gen” floor plan in Sienna Plantation with a private suite with separate front entry, a living room, bedroom, full bath and kitchenette, according to a news release from Lennar.
While many options are becoming available in the housing market, Seth said a key cultural preference in Southeast Asian households is to have an extra master bedroom downstairs for grandparents to live in.
“Over the last year, there are definitely more builders and floor plans to come out that have that setup already built in,” Seth said.
3. Demand for Sugar Land homes keeps prices high, while investors grab affordable homes
Shad Bogany with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Gary Greene said competition to live in Sugar Land caused home prices to rise and stay.
“There is no affordable housing in Sugar Land, period,” he said. “There are cheaper, older homes, but for new homes, you will not find anything, especially for less than $250,000.”
First-time homebuyers should look in Missouri City in Sienna Plantation where older homes are as low as $175,000, he said.
In addition, homebuyers are losing out to investors who come in with all-cash deals for affordable homes, Bogany said.
4. School rezoning affects home values, interest
School district rezoning is often coupled with a discussion about the effect on home prices, Boulevard Realty Realtor Martha Beaudry said.
“Some schools are more desirable than others, and people with children make every effort to purchase a home zoned to the most ideal school for their children,” Beaudry said. “They will even pay extra.”
Michelle Posey, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Gary Greene, said even if a school is good, people will look to buy where schools are better.
“Overseas clients, especially, want an elite education,” Posey said. “Others want specific schools and then look for the home.”