Following floods: Some Meyerland homeowners try auction route

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter, Brandon Walker - Reporter

HOUSTON - A handful of Meyerland homeowners are hoping to fetch higher prices for their flood-damaged homes by selling the properties at an auction. The auction is being run by Paul Lynn and Associates.

"They've been going through the insurance issues and all of the issues that are related to the flooding, and now they're looking at it from the standpoint of saying, 'What are needs we have if we're not going in?'" Lynn said.

Lynn said the homeowners going this route are worried the sale of their flood-damaged home will get tied up in lowball offers and an auction can provide a more realistic picture of what buyers are willing to pay.

Final bids still have to be approved by the current owner.

Eleven properties were on the chopping block. Not all of them were affected by flooding, but many, including Marc and Tyan Nathan's home in Meyerland, were.

"Was your house flooded out by Harvey?" asked KPRC2's Brandon Walker. "Yes, and Memorial Day and Tax Day," Marc Nathan replied.

The Nathans' home sold for $235,000, far less than its current value.

"The bid that was the final bid didn't quite meet our expectations," Marc Nathan said.

The Nathans said they will not accept the winning bid.

"It's not heartbreaking. It's just one step forward toward us moving to what our next plan will be," Marc Nathan said.

Concerns over property values in flood-affected areas remain a lingering concern for homeowners.

The Meyerland home of Rosanna Hodgkiss, which flooded during Hurricane Harvey, is nearly repaired.

"We got floors ripped out, got the Sheetrock down. It's been subcontractors and contractors and taking a long time," Hodgkiss said.

Hodgkiss has no plans to move from the home she's enjoyed for nearly four decades, but she understands why some would want to leave the area. Still, she was surprised to see signs posted in front of a handful of homes showing the properties were going up for sale at auction.

"I would think that's kind of a last-ditch effort and I'm not understanding why they would do that," Hodgkiss said.

She admits that she saw her home value dip after Harvey.

"The prices are not what they were pre-Harvey,” Hodgkiss said.

“How much would you say they are down for you?” asked KPRC’s Robert Arnold.

“I would say about $50,000," Hodgkiss said.

Hodgkiss was not present at the auction, but her perspective is one that area realtors who were in attendance support.

"The prices are very low. Don't know how many sellers are going to accept the prices that were finalized," said Brena Moglovkin, a realtor with properties in Meyerland and other neighborhoods.

The auction was held at the Hilton Galleria Area hotel off the Southwest Freeway. Suggested opening bids ranged from $150,000 to $400,000.

Paul Lynn, of Paul Lynn and Associates, said another auction will take place in September.

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