Monday, August 28, 2017

Don't mess with Texas

When I was studying for my Florida real estate license in 1979, one of the things I learned was that Texas was one of the worst states for strong building codes, protection for the homeowner and the banks could pretty much foreclose on your home in a blink of the eye. I asked my instructor about all the ads that ran in our local newspaper for 5 acres of land starting at $500 in Texas and New Mexico. My instructor laughed and said, sure, you could buy that cheap land but it had no infrastructure, no water to drill, nada, and it was in the middle of nowhere. Texas had no penalties for false advertising at that time. Florida did, bigtime.

The State of Florida had a horrible reputation for selling unusable swamp land stemming back to the 1920s. Land sales were not doing well because of that. The national media often made note and fun of Florida swamp land during those days. Florida changed all that by having, not only strict guidelines for building and development but very strict regulation of realtors. And the rest is history.

Originally, South Florida was swampland. So was Houston, Texas.

Florida designed South Florida with an ingenius series of canals and drainage ditches to absorb heavy rain, and the natural abundance of plant growth also helped drain the water. Florida even imported plant species that could hold the ground together, some to their regret, but the point is they knew what to do.  Ya know, science stuff.

Not Houston, they slapped up concrete structures, ripped up natural forests, allowed building in dangerously low lying areas, even over landfills. Houston has always had flooding and has mostly ignored the scientific data provided to them, to help prevent massive flooding.

So along comes Harvey and the Houston mayor tells people not to evacuate. I could understand that BUT what the mayor failed to do was to offer transportation to a shelter to those living in low lying areas. Why the hell not? They have the buses. They knew this was going to be a huge storm that would be lingering for days.

This isn't rocket science people.

Also, I am not impressed at how Texas has protected its oil refineries which the rest of us depends on.

Not only will gas increase, guess what, Houston real estate is going to skyrocket. So those whose homes survived the flood with no damage, the value of your home will increase 50%-75% if not more.

My home survived a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan in Florida (strong building codes, my roof was designed to withstand 175mph winds). It was worth about 150K before the storm. I sold it for 239K after the storm. Most homes were bought by local people who lost their homes.

No one is going to mess with Texas. It has messed itself up.

And another thing: our president said journalists don't love America. In your face Trump! Ed Lavendera has always been my hero as he guided me through many hurricanes. When I saw this video, it brought tears to my eyes. Honestly folks, I blubbered.

For those seeking immediate relief from this mess:

I will return tomorrow with a normal edition.


No comments:

Post a Comment