A house fire is definitely one of the most traumatic events you can think of. Even if, luckily, you and your family were not injured, you probably suffered from a huge material loss, as your place to live and all your belongings were fire-damaged.
This ruthless element can destroy all of your heirlooms and devastate places and objects that were bringing so many good memories. Trying to live in a fire-damaged property may not be the best idea for two reasons – it will constantly remind you about the traumatic event, and it will be costly to make it suitable to live in again.
There are many other people in the same situation. As the National Fire Protection Association says, between 350,000 and 400,000 cases of a house fire occur all across the United States yearly, causing damage costing around $8 billion. For most people, it proves best to sell such real estate and find a new place to live in.
What Should I Do First?
The first step that should be taken after a house fire is reaching the insurance company. Tell them that you need to talk to a specialist who can explain all the benefits you are entitled to in such a situation and provide assistance in deciding how to proceed. Interestingly, your agent can even arrange some temporary lodging and food support if necessary.
Apart from that, it is worth contacting a restoration company, not only to take care of all the ash and soot but also, most importantly, the water damage. Huge amounts of it were probably used to put out the fire, and as helpful as it was, it can devastate your real estate to a large extent, too. For this reason, water damage should be addressed as soon as possible, so ask your insurance agent to help you to arrange someone quickly.
When Should I Take Care of It?
It is understandable that you may be shocked after a house fire, and taking care of it is obviously a difficult and exhausting task. Some people let the building stay for a few months or even a year before making any moves to sell the house with fire damage. However, it is actually a terrible attitude that can bring more harm than good. Someone may break in and devastate this real estate even more. Somebody can also start living there, and with the lack of electricity and gas, they may put up a fire that can leave you with a much more damaged house.
Apart from that, take into consideration unfavorable weather conditions. Wind, rain, snow, or hail can harm the building a lot, lowering its market value. With time, rot and mold will appear. Animals may also take shelter there, scratching, biting, and chewing everything inside and outside, including the wires or wooden elements.
The more you wait to sell your house after a fire, the more damaged it may become, and you will get less money. Hence, there is no point in postponing it – you should contact your insurance company at once and take all the necessary steps to start the selling process and get rid of the destroyed real estate, benefiting from it as much as possible.
What Information Should I Get from the Insurance Company?
When you have to deal with selling a fire-damaged property, your insurance agent will be a great help. They will assess all the payments, timelines, and the severity of fire damage. As they have a lot of experience and knowledge in this field, you will not miss any procedure or deadline with their support.
Ask them about the timelines, costs, and project requirements to rebuild a fire-damaged home and find out if it is a good idea to do any repairs before selling the real estate. If you do not have any place to stay, you can also consult them about the temporary housing solutions. With all the knowledge concerning the pros and cons of rebuilding a house with fire damage, it will be easier for you to make the right decision based on a specialistic insight.
What Does Rebuilding a House With Fire Damage Looks Like?
People are always hesitant if they should rebuild a fire-damaged house or sell it as-is, considering everything that they would need to deal with during renovation. Keep on reading to find out more about it.
High Rebuilding Costs
Keep in mind that cleaning up a house with fire damage can be expensive because it requires a lot of work and professional equipment. Being exposed to soot for a long time can lead to respiratory issues and other medical conditions, so the team has to be properly protected.
Due to prolonged smoke damage, there can be a lot of stains on ceilings and walls, as well as an unpleasant smell in crawl spaces. What is more, the roof, attic, ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems may be profoundly harmed as well.
As was mentioned before, you might also have to deal with water damage. The cleaning team will have to remove all the mold that appears due to the building being watered heavily in the process of fighting the fire.
On average, the price of rebuilding a house damaged by just a small fire is between $3,000 to $5,000, but if there are any additional repairs, like kitchen cabinets or roof replacements, it can even reach $50,000 or more.
Getting the Support from an Insurance Company
You need to check what kind of policy you have to find out if you’re entitled to either replacement value or cash value insurance.
The first option means that the policy covers the price of replacing particular belongings with others of comparable quality and materials. It is advanced-level insurance that not everyone can go for because it requires paying higher premiums. When it comes to cash value, it means that you will get the equivalent of your belongings at their depreciated value at the time of losing them.
Such policies often include not only the fire-damaged house as such but also the surrounding structures, such as fences, garages, or sheds, and even some landscapes. What is more, check if your insurance covers additional expenses of living away from your home, such as hotel fees or restaurant bills.
You can ask your insurance agent to suggest a restoration company or just look for them by yourself on the internet. However, be prepared for delays that are usually inevitable. Although a company can estimate the approximate date of the rebuilding process’s end, it often takes more time than predicted, so selling your house after a fire is very likely to be postponed.
Such renovation takes a lot of time because smoke damage can radiate through your entire home, and it is difficult to get rid of the fire smell and all the other effects. In many cases, the majority of the building must be redone, with just the exception of the studs and the foundation.
Can My House Appear on the City’s Watch List?
If there were a fire in the city, its authorities would likely know about it and add it to the watch list. It means that their inspectors will be sent to check out your home and make sure it is not dilapidated or dangerous. If they classify it as unsafe, you will have to repair it. If you do not do it, they will take care of that, but you will be charged thousands of dollars for it, and it will be filed as a lien against your real estate. What is more, if the building is unsafe for a long time, the city may decide to tear it down completely. And yes, you are guessing well – you will be charged for that as well.
Apart from that, bear in mind that the city inspectors will have to check if your home complies with all the regulations. If it turns out it does not, selling a house with fire damage to a new buyer may turn out to be very difficult for you. For this reason, you should always remember to hire the right specialists, follow the city’s regulations, and pull the appropriate permits.
What Is the Most Convenient Way of Selling Your House After a Fire?
As you can see, selling a house after a fire can cause much hustle and demand a lot of time and effort. Even if your property address is very favorable, an average buyer will most likely see the needed renovation works as problematic. Moreover, take into account that before selling the house, you have to inform the buyer that there was a fire, even if the whole building has been remodeled since then. Such information often discourages people from the purchase, as they do not want to have a home that was once burnt.
No worries, though! We have a perfect solution for you. We buy houses as-is, even those that have been damaged by fire or other elements, making it extremely easy for you to handle this problem. We will prepare a cash offer for you so that you can get your money immediately and do not have to worry about the burnt building anymore – we do not require any renovations or cleaning. When it comes to all the belongings inside, it is up to you – you can take or leave them, we do not mind either.
We are a team of experienced professionals who will make the process of selling a house damaged by fire convenient, effortless, and stress-free. If you need any more information about selling your house after a fire as-is or you want to know what cash offer we can prepare for you, send us a message or call us now. With our help, you will get your money in no time, and you will be able to invest in your new home. That’s the end of your fire-damaged house problem!
To receive a FREE, NO OBLIGATION cash offer on your home, call (888) 387-5750 or click the button below!