It is your worst nightmare. Smoke is billowing from the windows of your home, the firetrucks have arrived and are pouring thousands of gallons of water into your home to quell the fire. If the flames do not ruin your home, the water will damage everything else. It is a catastrophe on a mammoth scale for most people. For those people who have adequate fire insurance, most insurance companies will rebuild your home again and pay for all of the associated costs and expenses. If your insurance does not provide adequate coverage, selling your home or what is left to it to a home buying company might be a solution for consumers facing huge bills to rebuild their homes.
Maintain Up To Date Records
Most insurance companies require that claimants provide documentation of everything that has been lost in a fire. A list of items, with purchase date, value when purchased and the replacement cost if you have replacement cost insurance needs to be provided. Many will not cover you unless you actually replace something that has been damaged.
Keeping a list of everything that you have in your home is impractical and for most people impossible. An alternative is to take photos or a video of everything in your home and keep these images off site somewhere so they can be referred to if needed.
Major Fire Damage Repairs
Your home needs to be rebuilt if it is totally gutted, otherwise it will need to be repaired and all evidence of the fire removed along with the water damage and of course the smell of smoke that seems to penetrate everything. Fortunately, technology exists to remove the smell of smoke to make your home smell great again. All of this work takes time and for most people it means living in a hotel or moving to another home on a temporary basis until your home is finally ready.
Insurance coverage may or may not cover all of your expenses. It is important to review what will be covered and how much you must pay for out of pocket expenses. If your looking at a large bill many consumers will find it difficult to assemble the funds to pay for these out of pocket expenses. Many need to make arrangements for either loans or even new mortgages to help them pay for everything.
Can You Sell the Home As Is?
The answer is yes. There are companies who specialize in purchasing homes that need to be rehabbed for many reasons including fire damage. They will rebuild the home and update it to meet current market conditions and make it move in ready for consumers looking for this style of home. They offer cash and will close a sale quickly, often within two or three weeks.
The big advantage is that you receive cash for your fire damaged home, which can be used to repay any remaining debt that you may have on your home and use the remainder for a down payment on another home. Consumers should always confirm with their home insurance company before taking this step to confirm what coverage they may lose by taking this particular action.
Note that the offer you receive will be discounted heavily. After all the investor must then spend their own money to rehab the house and bring it back to a market ready house for sale. It is a trade off between being able to move on immediately and how much money you might receive from the insurance company.
While selling to an investor allows a quick sale, the more traditional approach is to try to sell the home via a real estate agent. Note that the agent will be paid a commission and it may take several months before a buyer comes along who is interested in a discounted sale price and willing to spend a lot of money rehabbing a home that has experienced fire and water damage.
In either situation, the seller does not perform any repairs and does not spend any money on fixing any of the damages caused by the fire and the associated water damage. Evaluate the cash flow from all of the scenarios. Depending on your situation, a quick cash sale to a professional home buying company may be the answer that works out best for your family.