Do Droughts Affect Property Value?

Extreme weather unfortunately is becoming more and more common across the globe. From floods to fires, the resulting natural disasters can destroy homes, businesses and other buildings in minutes. Floods in particular strike fear into the heart of many property owners, with homes in a flood zone often sitting on the market longer and selling for less than their non-flood zone counterparts.

But what about the opposite scenario? Do droughts affect property values?

In Texas, that is a legitimate concern. Texas often experiences drought conditions, especially in the summer. But the good news is generally speaking, droughts do not affect property values.

As a real estate agent, you want to help ease your clients’ concerns about the impact of droughts on their property values. Here are a few tips you can share with your clients to help them ensure their house stays in tip-top shape during a drought:

  • Keep the foundation healthy
  • Maintain the landscaping
  • Consider alternatives

Keep the Foundation Healthy

It may sound funny to think about watering a foundation, but in drought conditions, that can be a key part of keeping the structural integrity of a home intact. Droughts can cause foundations to crack, sink and shift, especially when homes are built on expansive soils, which are common in Texas. Considering foundation repair can be one of the costliest repairs a homeowner can make, this is one scenario property owners want to avoid if at all possible.

Many experts recommend watering your foundation via a soaker hose. Planting shrubs and covering soil adjacent to the foundation with mulch or gravel to limit evaporation also helps.

Maintain the Landscaping

Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression—and that applies to a house as well. Keeping the landscaping healthy and attractive can make a big impact on the overall value of a home.

Water restrictions often are in effect during a drought, making it a little trickier to keep lawns lush and green. It’s important to develop a watering schedule that conserves water while keeping your yard appealing and inviting. From watering early in the morning or later in the evening to upgrading your sprinklers to increase their efficiency, there are a number of ways to maintain a healthy lawn even during a drought.

Consider Alternatives

It pays to be green—except when it doesn’t. Landscaping doesn’t have to be green to be beautiful. Investing in drought-resistant landscaping or xeriscaping will minimize water use while creating an attractive environment. Choosing native plants that thrive in hot and dry conditions is both practical and economical in the long term.

Weather is cyclical, so don’t be surprised when clients start asking you how to maintain their property value during those times when it seems like the rain’s never going to stop. Make sure you keep your knowledge up-to-date through online real estate courses so you are always prepared to keep their minds at ease.

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Krista Doyle
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