The events of the 2016 flood not only brought drastic change to the housing market in Livingston Parish, it also introduced a new word that you may have heard come up in conversation, flood-modeled. This term refers to homes that were gutted after the flood and remodeled. These homes have been selling at a surprisingly brisk pace, attracting buyers with shiny new everything and the latest decor and finishes. For a while, flood-modeled houses were attracting price per square foot premiums approaching the level of a newly built home. However more and more buyers are finding out some of these flood-modeled homes are not as good as they look when a good home inspector looks just beyond the surface of the cosmetic improvements.
Of course some homes truly are better than they were before the flood and worth the premium they command for professional restoration. The key word in that phrase though, is professional. It becomes quickly apparent who paid reputable contractors to complete the work and who thought they could save a few bucks by going Pinterest project DIY. Wavy floors, bad molding decisions, and things that don’t quite line up abound in these homes, and if the things you can see aren’t quite right, just imagine the things you can’t see.
I’ve been through a few inspection processes with some of these homes and I’ve seen everything from appliances that the sellers said were replaced, that were in fact, not replaced, to section rebuilds so bad, the only solution was to tear the whole thing down and start over.
Horror stories like the ones above, as well as a crop of new construction houses in our area built to current code and standards that don’t require flood insurance, is making the flood-modeled house a harder sell to the homebuyers of Livingston Parish. As a result, home sellers may have to temper their sold price expectations for a flood-modeled house.