Hurricane Irene hit New Jersey hard, and Somerset County and Warren were not spared. Here on Warren Patch and elsewhere, many commented on the impact of road closures, utility outages and general heartache. On the real estate front, listed properties that were impacted suffered a setback and some deals in process faltered.
Weeks have now passed, and we’ve recovered or are coming close—but there is an enduring impact that I wanted to share.
I work with a lot of buyers and there is a series of common questions that come up: when did the current owner buy?; what improvements have been done?; what’s the township assessed value?; what's my estimate of market value?; how is the Warren market doing overall?…and on it goes, pretty predictably from deal to deal.
But in the post-Irene market, all of those questions have been trumped by “was the home impacted by Irene?” The fact of the matter is that if the Buyer doesn’t ask, I find myself asking.
What I’ve learned from my own experience and those of my clients is that what may appear at face value to be a fairly minor issue should be taken seriously when it comes to water.
Ugh, when water strikes, it travels and needs to be addressed, and addressed properly.
Witnessing carpets ripped up and seeing the path of the water stains on the floor boards of properites has made a real impression on me as a homeowner, and a real estate agent. My bet is that 90 percent of the time people respond to water issues by just running the dehumidifier on overdrive and using cleaning supplies and paint to mask the issue.
But it's what you can't see that will trip you up down the road when it comes time to sell and an inspector examines your home.
Irene will stay on our collective mind for a while, and then we’ll all move on to other worries. But the threat of new storms to come will loom and the follow up question to “was the home affected by Irene?” will soon be “…and what did you do about it?”
I, for one, want to have the right answer to that one!
Jeanne Feenick --- reporting, from the trenches.