Florence and Michael impact local real estate

Florence and Michael impact local real estate

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As residents in the Carolinas finally start to rebuild following Hurricane Florence, impacts from Michael only made matters worse.

Homeowners are left with the decision to rebuild or leave and even for those looking to sell, it could be a major uphill battle.

Real estate agents said before the storm, Horry County saw a record number of home buyers.

With thousands of homes experiencing flood damage, some for the third time in four years, many feel it could scare away future home buyers.

“Some people may be forced to move because their homes aren’t livable, it’s just not safe to live in and some don’t have the money to repair it,” said Tammy Eaves.

For homeowners, the amount of damage left behind by Florence has been overwhelming, some ready to call it quits and sell whatever remained of their homes.

“There is a point where you say no, I’m going to close the door, put a for sale sign on the door and say I’m not coming back and waiting for the Waccamaw River to rise again,” said Longs resident, Barry Peffley.

Broker Kevin Gunn said the recent floods have challenged real estate agents to truly know more about the homes and property they’re selling.

“They have to do more homework, you really have to dive in and know the area that you’re talking about and speak intelligently to the buyers and give them the best honest opinion you can through data,” said Gunn.

Before Florence hit, the buy rate for homes was at a record high, nearly 70 percent interested in purchasing a home in Horry County.

However following the flood, the price value for some homes may take a drastic hit.

“They’re going to have to disclose that the home is flooded even if it’s been perfectly renovating, you see no signs of flooding,” said Eaves.

For neighborhoods in Socastee, Gunn said the reality of getting those houses back on the market with the recent flood history presents a large challenge for sellers

“There were so many people out there throwing their hands up saying they’re done, I’m not coming back to it and you can’t blame them,” said Gunn.

Despite recent floods, Gunn and Eaves expect buyers' interest in Horry County to bounce back in the coming months.

Gunn recommend to those with reoccurring flood history to talk with a FEMA agent about the buyout program, which could provide a percentage of the money for property.

Eaves also stresses the importance of investing in flood insurance.

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