Thre’s an old saying that says, “When there’s blood on the streets, buy property.” I’m not sure if the old adage holds true for the city of Flint, Michigan right now. If a report from a local NBC affiliate WEYI holds true, apparently the scare of lead-poisoned water hasn’t affected the housing market.
FLINT — Grant Hamady has been selling houses in Flint for over 40 years.
He says the Flint water crisis hasn’t had the affect on the housing market that some folks may think.
“This past week we sold two homes in this college and culture neighborhood,”Hamady said.
The city saw problems with the water system after switching from the Detroit water source to the more corrosive Flint River, corroding the pipes with lead.
But Hamady says that hasn’t stopped people from buying and selling.
“Some lenders are asking for a water test…that’s been very recent,” Hamady said. “But so far it hasn’t seemed to affect the sale of houses.”
Hamady says the market did take a hit in 2008, but now is a great time to invest.
He admits buyers do inquire about whether potential homes have water filtration systems installed, but that hasn’t been stopping sales.
“Either they can negotiate with the seller to install a water filtration system, or in many cases there’s one already there,” Hamady said.
While the crisis pushes on in the city, Hamady says for now, the housing market is safe.
“Real estate has always either held it’s value or went up on a yearly basis,” Hamady said. “I think that cycle is starting up again.”
“Other than the general caution that would come along with buying a home in Flint, legally, as long as a person knows what they’re buying into it shouldn’t be a problem,” said David Tarrien, assistant professor at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School.
The seller’s disclosure recommended by Theodoroff would cover whether a homeowner knew if they had a lead service line or not, Tarrien said.
“That puts people on notice,” he said. “It lets buyers know this is something outside of (the seller’s) control.”