Earthquakes Can't Shake Edmond Home Sales

Thursday, April 10th 2014, 7:25 pm
By: News 9

Thousands of people in the central Oklahoma say they felt dozens of earthquakes that rattled homes overnight and throughout the day. The recent quakes ranged in magnitude from 2.5 to 4.1 according to the USGS. 

Many of them were centered near Edmond, Guthrie and Pawnee and Stillwater, leaving realtors and homebuyers alike checking for damage.

"As a realtor, I'm always looking for cracks, regardless of whether we've had an earthquake or not," said Keller Williams of Edmond Realtor, Kirsten McIntyre. "In Oklahoma, homes just move. So you're always, as a realtor, just looking to see if there's anything that we need to check out if we were to put an offer in on a house."

It was just Thursday morning that Kim Jones' family, in search of a new home for her son, said multiple earthquakes had rattled their Edmond home near Western and Danforth.

"I heard this rumble coming. It sounded like a train coming. Then it sounded like thunder. Then all of a sudden the house just started rattling," Jones said. "Things on my fireplace mantle started rattling. I was afraid things were going to start crashing down in the house, nothing to the magnitude that I felt this morning."

It was enough to make Jones pay close attention to any signs of damage in homes near to the earthquake epicenter.

"They happen everywhere, though it's definitely a concern, and I will be looking for that."

4/10/2014 Related Story: Multiple Earthquakes Reported Across Oklahoma

But realtors say the recent quakes aren't a factor at all in the housing market.

"These earthquakes, people may be thinking about it, but it's not really affecting sales whatsoever," McIntyre said. "People are snatching houses off the market left and right so fast these days."

Still Edmond residents say they can't shake the feeling.

"It's been shaking the house. In fact, this was the first one that knocked a picture off the wall," said longtime Edmond resident, Larry Cunningham.

The quakes left Melissa Gibson with cracks in her walls.

"It's crazy, I just got up to let my dog out, and boy, it started shaking, and it was really palpable, hearing stuff on the walls, and not even two minutes later, the aftershock came," Gibson said.

"So I don't know what's going on in little Edmond, I know the oil and gas folks don't like us saying it, but you just can't punish understructure like that and expect it to just take it forever, it's going to crack and fold."

So to calm homebuyers' fears, realtors suggest more than getting earthquake insurance, hire an extra set of eyes from a skilled structural engineer.

"You're spending a lot of money on a home. A structural engineer is about $450-500. In the big picture, that's not a lot of money," McIntyre said. "If you have extra concerns and you want to make sure that the home you're buying is just fine, spend that extra money, so that you have that peace of mind."

Structural engineers say even with all the recent earthquakes, the damage is oftentimes too minor to replace your foundation.