Real estate investors look to cash in on Harvey-ravaged Houston


Some real estate executives in Texas are hoping to get rich quick with homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Longtime investor Ray Sasser detailed the strategy at a real estate conference in Houston this month: Buy up to 50 flooded homes for a fraction of what they’re worth, fix them and flip them for a hefty profit, Reuters reported.

He said he first tried the strategy after Tropical Storm Allison flooded the city in 2001 — purchasing homes for almost half of their pre-storm value, spending about 15 percent on repairs, and selling many of them at full value a year later.

The quick success of the plan was actually surprising to him, according to the outlet.

“This can’t be true,” Sasser said.

While Harvey-hit homes in the Houston area may be a riskier investment than houses damaged by Allison, investors are nevertheless rushing in to snatch up the flooded homes.

A Houston market manager for brokerage and online listings firm Redfin said agents are getting about four times the number of calls they usually get from investors.

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