The Austin Housing Market sat frozen with much of Central Texas last week, as the city sat with no power, no water, and no clear end in sight. If you’ve never heard my accent before, you may not be aware that I am originally from the Northeast coast. Growing up on the border of New York and New Jersey, I am used to snow. I am used to several feet of snow, having to wait for a plow to come through my street and then through my driveway just to be able to go to work. Yes, we drive in the snow on the east coast, it happens too frequently not to. There is a difference between driving in snow and ice though, and certainly a difference in having a 4WD vehicle. You don’t drive in ice no matter where you live. When roads are consistently salted and plowed, you can do it – once you are used to it. The funny thing though about snow, is that it typically feels warmer out after it snows. Snow kind of insulates you, making it nice or at least tolerable to go build that snowman or lie on the ground and build that ice angel. Normally, you go back inside and then get warm again. That’s not what we had in Texas this past week. Instead of the snow insulating, it got colder. Instead of our homes insulating us, they got colder. The temperature went from hanging out inside your refrigerator to hanging out inside the freezer – rather quickly.
Austin’s Snowpocalypse Freezes Everything Including the Housing Market
We lost power and with it, we lost control. Typically, if you don’t like the weather in Texas, especially this time of year – you just have to wait a minute. We aren’t used to waiting days here and not knowing when it will end. Most people don’t have generators or even a snow shovel. Add no running water to the mix, and you felt like you were living life out on the Oregon Trail. Pipes were bursting for some, furniture was being burned by those lucky enough to have a fireplace, and roofs were leaking because ice dams were forming in gutters. One of my clients went 155 hours with no power. When you can see your breath inside, the joy of having any snow in Texas is kind of sucked out of you.
The Austin housing market is thawing out as homeowners are assessing damage
What does this mean for Austin real estate? It is really based on the individual circumstances of the home in question. Some of Central Texas never lost power or water. Others have water leaks from roofs or damage from pipes bursting. There is a casualty loss paragraph in the contract to provide options for repairs or buyer termination. If there is a lender involved, the lender may require a re-inspection or a repair. I had a roof one time with a leak where the buyer was assigned insurance proceeds. It just depends on the extent of the damage and then what individual options are available. Otherwise, it is very much back to business as usual at a slightly slower pace. Builders lost about 10 days, closings are delayed and now due to damage, there may be even less inventory for a month or so.
If your current home has been impacted by the winter storm; I can provide you with resources for home repairs. There are also companies that do weather damage-specific inspections.