What happens to Flint's property values

Posted at 9:05 AM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 09:05:59-05

There could be unexpected consequences to President Obama's state of emergency declaration for Genessee County.

Some real estate lenders are becoming more reluctant to finance home purchases outside of Flint.

Icon mortgage in Mundy Township has been linking home buyers with lenders for twelve years, but after Genesee County was declared to be in a state of emergency and FEMA began relief efforts connected to Flint's water emergency, problems started cropping up.

Woody Holt, owner of Icon Mortage says, "A couple of our investors have raised an eyebrow, saying, 'hey listen. Maybe we can get FEMA to amend their statement.'"

The emergency declaration covers all of Genesee county - it doesn't specify Flint.

Holt also said, "We're hearing rumors that maybe investors would just simply like to have a water test on all properties in Genesee county before we close, for the safety of the consumer."

He doesn't believe any real estate transactions in the county have actually been affected by the state of emergency - at least not yet.

He thinks people in the mortgage industry need to contact FEMA and let the agency know how localized the flint water crisis is.

"We're trying to get the governmental authorities and agencies to step in and say, 'hey listen, this problem is isolated to a geographic region. This isn't affecting all of genesee county,'" Holt said.

After years of soft sales Holt said the Genesee county real estate market does not need anything that would slow things down.