Kingwood is showing its resilience with the next chapter in real estate after Hurricane Harvey with flooded homes that have been remodeled going on the market.

After Harvey and prior to the emergence of remodeled homes, flood homes that have been sold to date were as is, meaning they were sold without remediation and remodeling. Now, Realtors are just beginning to list those that have been repaired and reconditioned with modern updates, and it appears to be a great time to get an updated abode in the highly sought-after neighborhoods of Kingwood.

These homes are now beginning to compete with non-flooded, non-updated older homes, according to Deborah Rose-Miller. Rose-Miller is the owner of Rose Realty in Humble and is also a platinum Realtor, selling homes in the Kingwood, Spring and Conroe areas. Since dredging of the San Jacinto River has begun, along with the passage of a $2.5 billion bond in Harris County to address prevention of future flooding, homeowners and those hoping to be homeowners in the flooded areas are breathing a sigh of relief. The consensus is that homes that had never flooded prior to Harvey will not flood again with the proposed improvements.

“In talking with residents that have flooded, most feel it was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. They are praying that this is the case, and are working with the Lake Houston Chamber and their elected officials to ensure that the necessary steps are being done to protect this area from any future storms,” Rose-Miller said.

Houston Area Realtors (HAR) recently held an Insight Conference that Rose-Miller attended that hosted a post-Harvey panel including outgoing Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and HAR boardmember Ed Wolff. Wolff spoke about the Meyerland area which flooded twice, during the Tax Day Flood and again during Harvey, and the rebuilding of Meyerland and Harris County residential real estate in general. According to Wolff, it will be another six months before Realtors really have quantitative numbers to know about how Harvey makeover sales are going.

Rose-Miller has done a lot of research on sales in Kingwood since Harvey.

“To date, there have been 1,001 homes sold through the HAR/MLS website,” she said. “Of these, 106 were flooded (roughly 11 percent). Less than a dozen are homes that have been renovated and sold. The first one of these came on the market in January. Currently there are 221 active properties of which 27 were flooded, so the percentage of Harvey make-overs is rising. Of these 27, 25 are total ‘Harvey make-overs’ and there were 10 of the 106 that were remodeled. The majority of those homes on the market are being sold by their pre-Harvey owners, with investors’ properties just now coming on the market.”

Rose-Miller has recently listed one of the those Harvey homes, one of the first large estate (5,800-square-foot) homes in Kingwood that has been totally remodeled. This is just the beginning of the many fixed-up and updated Kingwood abodes that will be soon hitting the market at prices competitive to non-Harvey damaged homes.

As far as businesses, many are also still continuing to rebuild after Harvey. The Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce has set up a Lake Houston Area Harvey Small Business Grant Program that has assisted many area businesses with grants of up to $5,000 and still has plenty of funds to allocate for those who qualify for assistance. The program is designed to provide funding assistance for small businesses to cover both physical and economic damage by helping businesses replace needed capital assets as well as to provide working capital to supplement lost income. For an application and more information, visit lakehoustonedp.org/grant.

Sarah Mertins
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I grew up on a farm in New Mexico and miss eating hot chile and having four seasons. I didn't start college until I was already a mother and double majored in English and anthropology. I received an Honors B.A. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was named “Outstanding Student” in English. My honors thesis is titled “The Enduring and Ever-Changing Legend of La Llorona.” I worked as a police reporter for a bit before staying home in Kingwood to raise my two daughters. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.