How to sell your house after a hurricane, flood or natural disaster

Tips to help you repair and prepare your home for the market after a hurricane, flood or other types of storms.  Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island

 

It’s never fun when there is a hurricane or other type of storm that damages your home.  Storms, water, flooding and wind damage can create a lot of destruction and this can be emotional due to losses, as well as large repair costs.  And, in the meantime, you may need to find somewhere else to stay.

 

How to sell your house after a hurricane or flood

 

When we got hit by Superstorm Sandy, there was so much damage on Long Island.  Many homes were destroyed or partially toppled.  Many homes had severe roof and flood damage.  Trees were everywhere – on homes, cars, roads.  Many homes were without power for 2 weeks.  We had a major gas shortage, and, with all the wind damage and flooding, it was hard to drive anywhere.  It wasn’t fun.  Even now, 5 years later, there are still homeowners trying to recover from the losses.

 

Even when there is an isolated storm or mechanical damage (e.g. water heater bursting), it’s a serious and often big deal to the homeowner.  We are here to help guide you through the process.

 

Outline for this Hurricane Guide: (you can click on the links below to go directly to that section)

  1.  How to repair and sell a house after a hurricane or floodImmediate steps to take after a hurricane
  2. Tips for filing with your insurance company
  3. Tips for filing with FEMA
  4. Protect your home from additional damage – immediate mitigation steps
  5. Before you do other repairs, find out if your home is located in a Special Flood Hazard area
  6. Get repair estimates from contractors
  7.  If there a big discrepancy on cost, contact your insurance company
  8.  If there are still discrepancies or disputes with insurance, contact a public adjuster
  9. Make the necessary repairs
  10. Additional steps to take after the storm if your house was on the market
  11. What to do when you need to sell your house super fast
  12. Who to call if the numbers just don’t make sense, and you don’t have the funding

 

 

1.   Steps to take after the hurricane (or storm)

Every storm is different and everyone’s needs are different based on the damage done.  So bear that in mind as you read this section. There may be several items that don’t apply to your situation.  Likewise, you may have additional issues that are covered here.  But, we hope this provides a good guideline for you.

  • Be safe and proceed with caution when returning and assessing the damage

    • First, wait until the local authorities say it is safe to return home.  In some cases, this may be the next day.  In extenuating circumstances such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Harvey or Katrina, it may be a couple of weeks…and it could vary based on which street you live on.
    • Be aware of the areas where flooding occurred and then receded.  Watch out for debris in these areas and be aware flood waters often erode roads as well as walkways.  Be sure to wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
    • Do NOT attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.  These areas could pose some serious damage to you and your car, especially if they give way and/or are deeper than they appear.
    • Avoid standing water (both inside and outside).  It could be electrically charged from downed power lines or electrical outlets.  There also could be germs, debris, oil, gasoline, sewage in there (or snakes and who knows what).
    • Use flash lights, and avoid all lanterns, torches, matches or candles if the power’s out.  These items can be very unsafe if there is oil or flammable gases around, and lighting them could result in a fire or explosion.  This is much more likely to be a problem in garages or basements where we often (unknowingly) store combustible items.  So flash lights only.
    • Avoid downed power lines.  Report them to the power company or 911.  Have a professional electrician tend to these.  Don’t take any chances.
    • Take pictures of all of the damage (more about that in the next section)
    • Identify all damage to the house and other structures (e.g. garage, shed, pool, deck).  Make a list of everything you want to share with the insurance adjuster.

 

  • Make sure everything is safe for you and your family

    • repairing your home after a hurricaneBe sure to mitigate the immediate danger of water and/or mold which can create much more serious damage with each passing day.  You are probably best off calling the professionals to handle this.   Remove carpet and carpet cushion that have gotten wet.  More in section 4 about this.  Note:  Mold can begin to develop within 48 hrs, so take care of this quickly!
    • Remove any drywall or paneling that has been under water.  These areas can easily get moldy from any water that is or was on the floor.  Remember capillary action?  Just as water can “climb up” towels, it can do the same on our walls, and this can be very dangerous. The standard process is to remove 18 inches above the highest point that the water reached.  (Later, you will get this replaced – see Section 4 for removal and  Section 9 for repair/replacement).
    • Watch out for dangerous debris, especially in areas with water.  Examples of these include broken glass, sharp pieces of metal, dead animals, snakes, etc.  Try to avoid walking through debris, but if you must, use a stick to check for hidden damages (and of course wear high waterproof boots to protect your legs)
    • If you have a septic tank, have it checked and serviced as quickly as possible.  A damaged sewage system is a major health hazard (and expensive to repair).
    • If you have well water, have it checked quickly to make sure it’s not contaminated with bacteria, chemicals or sewage.  In the meantime, use bottled water.
    • Clean and disinfect EVERYTHING that got wet (even if it’s dry now).  Flood water can contain mud as well as things we can’t see such as bacteria, sewage, and chemicals.  Be sure to wear protective equipment such as rubber gloves, face masks/breathing masks and safety glasses.  (These can be purchase easily on Amazon or in local stores).
    • Throw away any food that may not have maintained the proper temperature in the refrigerator or freezer.  (Bonus tip: If you are reading this before the storm, fill a plastic cup with water and freeze it.  Place a quarter in it.  After the storm, check to see if the quarter is still on top of the ice…then you know you didn’t lose power.  If it sunk it the water, you lost power and should empty everything).  It’s better to be safe rather than sorry here.  Don’t put your health in danger. That’s the last thing you need now.

 

 

2.  Tips for filing with your insurance company

file with your insurance company after a flood or hurricaneUnfortunately, most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance DOESN’T cover flooding.  They usually cover wind damage and mechanical issues, but not ground water flooding.  For that, you generally need supplemental coverage from the National Flood insurance program or a private insurance company.  These policies tend to be rather expensive, so most people don’t have them.  If you live in a flood zone, you may have this, but if you don’t, chances are you aren’t covered.  I believe less than 20% of Americans have flood insurance.  Unfortunately, many learn this one the hard way and need to pay for things out of pocket.

 

Just to clarify, mechanical issues that cause water damage (such as over flowing toilets, exploding water heaters, broken laundry machines and dishwashers) are generally covered by insurance.  And, if your roof is damaged, and you get water intrusion from that, you are usually covered as well.  Also, if you have a sump pump in the basement (or if it’s on the ground level) and you lost power (so that the sump pump is temporarily not functioning), your insurance will often cover that.

 

It’s always best to call your insurance agency right away.  Not only do you want to report the claim, but also you want to know whether you’re covered and what you’re covered for.  You’ll also want to understand your deductible.  Call as soon as possible.  The sooner you call, the sooner you’ll get your issues resolved and the sooner you’ll get your money.

 

In some circumstances, FEMA may be able to help.  FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency and they offer grants to victims if your area has been declared a national disaster.  The challenge with FEMA is that the amount granted is usually much lower than what’s needed to fully recover (and they tend to be rather slow).

 

So, below I’ve outlined some recommendations for filing with your insurance company and FEMA.  The goal here is to help you attain the maximum amount you’re entitled to and help you get it faster.  Additionally, I hope these tips will help you save time and make things easier.  It’s a very difficult and stressful to go through this, so I hope this helps a bit.

 

  • Report the claim to your insurance company as soon as possible

Insurance adjuster to calculate damages after a hurricane or flooded home - Long Island NYThe sooner you report that claim, the sooner you will get things resolved.  This is especially true after a hurricane or major flood because everyone and their brother will be filing a claim. The longer you wait, the longer the backlog will be.  Insurance companies get overwhelmed after big storms due to the “flood” of calls they get.

 

Be sure to get a claim number and WRITE it down.  You may even want to store it on your cell phone so that you always have it with you.  You will need this number each time you call your insurance company and having it on hand will make your life easier.

 

Ask the company about when (and how) the insurance adjuster will contact you.  The time frame may vary from 1-2 weeks to 3-4 months, pending on the backlog and severity of the incident.  Sometimes, it could be as long as 5 to 6 months.  So, let me re-emphasize, call AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

 

The insurance adjuster is often the one who will come to your house to assess the damage and will take care of your claim to make sure that you get properly reimbursed for your damages.  (Note: after storms, they may physically have another person do the inspection for the claim).

 

You want to make your adjuster your friend.  They are there to help you.  And, you want them to give you the maximum compensation.  Remember that you get more with honey than you do with vinegar, so be nice and easy to work with.  You don’t want the adjuster to dread calling you.

 

At the same time, recognize that the adjuster works for the insurance company and not for you.  Part of their job also to save money for their insurance company, so be aware of that.  Below, I will give you some tips to help with this balance and handle things objectively.

 

 

  • Document your losses (with pictures and videos)

take pictures of your losses for your hurricane claim with insuranceInclude a list of damaged personal items (many don’t realize they can be compensated for this).  If possible include the date of purchase and approximate value of personal items (and if you have receipts, that’s even better).

 

  • Keep samples of your materials (before they’re thrown away)

If you have flooring or paneling or other items that are being removed, be sure to keep small samples (and take pictures).  Insurance companies will use the materials and run them through the I-tel system to calculate replacement costs for your items.  Having a sample on hand will help you ensure that you get the same level and quality of what you had and will give you documentation if you want to challenge the results and/or use them for material selection for later.

I can’t even begin to tell you how often the adjuster/inspector (who is a generalist) misses when it comes to some of the specifics on  building materials such as flooring, wainscoting, moldings, etc.  You want to make sure you are able to get your full value.

Generally, most insurance companies will give you full replacement value and replace “like for like” (meaning that while you may not be able to get the same exact item (as it may be discontinued), you should be compensated for the same value of the product.  From there, you can choose to upgrade (and pay the difference) or downgrade (and often apply the savings elsewhere).  More about this in Section 6.

 

  • Keep records of what you spend (and keep receipts)

keep receipts for reimbursement from insurance company for your hurricane claimBe sure to keep receipts for everything related to repair and/or anything due to the damage.  This would include receipts for anyone who did clean up, hotels and meals if you need to stay somewhere else (be sure to get approval from your insurance company…sometimes there per diem limit).  Also, bear in mind that if you or your family takes care of some clean items, document your time, as most insurance companies will compensate you for this.

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  • Keep a claims diary

I would start a notebook that contains all the contact info for each of the people you’re dealing with at the insurance company.  Make notes on the date and issues discussed.  Later, you’ll also want to add info for the contractors you meet with.  It helps to have everything in one place.

Also, keep copies of whatever you send to your insurance company.

 

  • Always ask your insurance company about the next steps and timing

If possible sign up for text or email alerts if possible.  Make notes on your calendar for when you want to follow up with them.

 

3.  Tips for filing with FEMA

tips for filing with FEMA after a hurricaneFEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) is meant to help disaster victims pay for necessities and start to get back on their feet.  This may include grants to help pay for emergency repairs, temporary housing, underinsured personal property, essential house hold items, moving and storage, vehicle, medical and other disaster related expenses that aren’t covered by your insurance.

 

Note:  you should file with BOTH your insurance company and FEMA.  This way, you will get the maximum allowance.  And, don’t wait until you insurance claim is settled with your insurance company to register for FEMA assistance as you may miss deadlines.  And, the longer you wait, the longer it will be to get funding (and eventually funding may run out).  Always file with your insurance company first (see Section 2).

 

Limitations on FEMA Assistance

The challenge with FEMA is that the amount granted is usually much lower than what’s needed to fully recover and it’s a very slow process (due to red tape).  Often it can take many months for compensation.

 

file with FEMA after you've had a hurricane or natural disaster - Long IslandWhether you believe you qualify or not, FEMA registration can be a prerequisite to other relief.  And, you have nothing to lose for filing.  Generally, filing on the phone is easier than filing online, and if there is a local recovery center in your community, consider filing in person.  They often have many other resources available to help you.  They often have reps from SBA, Red Cross, and Salvation Army, volunteer attorneys, and accountants, and others  Sometimes, they also have supplies to help you.

 

Answer all questions honestly and completely.  You can be prosecuted for fraud if you don’t.

If you want to apply for FEMA relief, you can do so here.

Read all letters and documents that you receive from FEMA.  After you register, you’ll get a letter telling you your status and/or outcome.  Note:  often these letters include requests for more information, and you’ll want to get back to them quickly so they can process your claim faster.  Remember, they are dealing with thousands of people, and usually it’s on a first come first serve basis, so it’s in your better interest to respond quickly.

 

Please note that there are limits on FEMA relief.  The maximum amount is $33,300 and based on an NPR article the average grant is closer to $3,000 to $4,000.  FEMA often pays for hotel/rent, food, and some other supplies may be in addition to this.  Things can vary based on the storm, allocation from the government and your qualifications.

 

Please note that not everyone who applies for FEMA assistance qualifies.  And, in some circumstances, they also offer Small Business Administration Loans that you can apply for, so you may want to inquire about this.  You will need to pay these loans back (+ interest of course).

 

There may be many reasons that your application is denied including lack of credit history, you did not file tax returns, you do not have the ability to repay, you live in a designated flood zone and did not have the required insurance coverage and other reasons.

 

FEMA does not cover the following:

– Small businesses (but there are small business loans available)

– Secondary homes

 

FEMA vs Home Insurance

FEMA and flood insurance for a hurricane - Long IslandFor most people, the FEMA grant funds are not usually sufficient to cover all of your needs.  They are meant to be supplemental to your insurance.  There are also loans available, but these do need to be repaid with interest.  FEMA can also help you find other resources for your recovery.

 

And, don’t forget to update FEMA once you receive your settlement from your insurance company.  FEMA is meant to supply supplemental benefits.  And, Federal assistance may have to be repaid if it is duplicated by insurance.

 

Also, note that the IRS has advice on disasters.  You may be able to deduct losses that were uninsured and not reimbursed from your taxes.  Sometimes, after federal disasters, you may be able to take the deduction from the previous year’s taxes (via an amended return) and you may get a refund to put towards your recovery.  FEMA is a grant program so funds do not need to be repaid nor declared as income.

 

 

4.  Protect your house from further damage – take care of all immediate dangers or issues that could cause more damage (primarily water and/or mold)

protect and mitigate your Long Island home after a hurricane or water damageThis step is often called mitigation.  You want to make sure all water is removed immediately. The longer the water sits there, the more damage you’ll have (and higher your expenses will be…and the longer it will take to make your house habitable again).

 

Sitting water can be very damaging.  It could cause structural issues as well as mold.  Mold can develop in 48 hrs, so make sure you remove all water and all moisture.    Often, this is best handled for by professional mitigation and restoration companies.  They have the proper equipment to remove water (and dry out your home quickly) as well as handle many dangerous and unpleasant jobs.  You also want to remove any sheet rock where water has been present (remove 18 inches above the highest mark that the water reached.)

 

If you are covered by insurance, your insurance will cover these expenses (and they may even recommend a company to help you).  But, be sure to report this to your insurance quickly and confirm that you are covered with this, as these emergency services can be quite costly (and you don’t want to be stuck with this large bill).   At the same time, don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish here and attempt to do this yourself (or use a non-specialist such as a handyman or general contractor).  They generally do not have the proper equipment and can’t remove the water and moisture as fast, to this will cost you later if it isn’t done right.

 

 

5.  Before you do other repairs, find out if your home is located in a Special Flood Hazard area

how to sell house after hurricane - check to see if in flood plain or special flood hazard areaIf your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), this may add additional costs to repair or rebuild your home to bring it into building code compliance.  After major disasters, sometimes the lines are redrawn.  This certainly happened after Super storm Sandy and as a result, many homes were required to be elevated.

 

This can be rather expensive and it’s never fun.  You often either need to pay large amounts for jacking up a house or else your house may not be insurable (which means that if something happens to your house in the future you won’t be covered and the value of your home will severely decrease as others won’t want to buy it).  Or, you may be faced with extremely high flood insurance which is both costly and also can reduce the value of your home as potential new buyers won’t want to pay this either.

 

elevating a house after a hurricane, new building codes in flood prone areasAlso, you’ll need to make sure that you’re compliant with current building codes.  These codes require houses to be built to certain minimum standards.  In areas prone to hurricanes, for example, buildings must be able to withstand high winds.  Some of these changes may entail different windows, building materials, and design plans and most likely your insurance company won’t pay for these extra costs.

 

Tread here with caution.  Before you do any more repairs (aside from the obvious immediate safety issues (see Section 4), find out your options.  I’ve known too many people that have had to spend over $100,000 in repairs to learn this lesson the hard way.  Don’t let it happen to you.  Find out the situation first, and then decide next steps.

 

 

6.  Get repair estimates from contractors

get contractor estimates for your insurance claimYou’ll want to get written estimates from licensed contractors.  If the damage is expensive, you’ll probably want to get 3 estimates (and sometimes insurance companies will require that you get 3 estimates).  Please note that it’s important to get licensed contractors for this type of work.  Not only is this important for safety and quality of workmanship, but also your insurance company will require this for them to reimburse you for the costs.

 

Make sure the estimates specify the materials used and the specific scope of work.  Often insurance companies will require line item prices.  If you get these, it will speed up the approval process from your insurance carrier.

 

Also, have your contractors review the estimate your insurance company provided to make sure that it’s fair and complete.  More often than not, insurance companies are missing items in their estimates.  It’s possible that they are doing this to save money; it’s also very possible that the adjuster (who is usually a generalist rather a specialist) missed items that they didn’t realize are necessary.

 

So have each of your contractors review the documents.  Usually, they will be able to find you additional funding from the insurance company.  You may find this article helpful:  Flooded floors?  Many don’t realize what insurance will cover.

 

Choose your contractors carefully.  Follow up with their references, check your local licensing agencies to make sure their license is current and in good standing.  Check out their reviews online on places such as Yelp and Angie’s List.

 

Be sure to have a written and signed contract before providing any deposit.  Make sure the contract is clear on the payment schedule.  As you write checks, keep copies of the checks and get receipts from the contractors.

 

See section 7 if there are discrepancies from the real costs from the contractors and the amounts granted by your insurance company.

 

 

7.  If there are big discrepancies on cost, contact your insurance company…and check the numbers

insurance coverage and calcuating claims after a hurricaneThere often will be a difference between the settlement offer from your insurance company provides and the actual costs to restore your home.  There may be many reasons for this including adjusters trying to save money for their company, or the adjuster may not know all the steps needed for the repair, or they may not know the correct cost for the items.

 

Or, there could be regional costs differences (insurance companies generally use national figures, but if you are in a higher cost of living area, labor costs may be higher).  Or the adjuster may not have correctly assessed the value of the materials in your home (especially if you have more expensive items).  Or, there may be additional costs that come up as you or a contractor discovers additional areas that need to be repaired.  Some of these are unknown until walls and floors are ripped up.  Or, the cost of labor and materials may have increased due to the storm (and lack of supply).

 

This is normal…in fact, it’s VERY common.  So, be sure to submit the estimates that your contractors provided.  Usually, the insurance company will reimburse you for this.  But, you’ll want to get this approved BEFORE the work is done.

 

A few items to make sure are included in the insurance settlement

Here are a few watch outs…items that may be overlooked in the insurance claim.  Often, your insurance adjuster will not volunteer this information, so it will be your job to check your claim to make sure it’s included (or added if it’s missing.

Overhead and Profit – What is it?

selling a house after a hurricane or flood on Long IslandMost insurance companies provide a line item or items for overhead and profit.  It’s usually 10% and 10% (or 20% altogether).  This is to cover the overhead and profit for the contractor (who may be overseeing many subcontractors).  This is normal and you (and/or your contractor) should be compensated for this.  If it’s missing, ask your adjuster about this.

Sales Tax

This is often overlooked in the process.  You will need to pay your contractors and suppliers sales tax…so the insurance company needs to pay you for this.  Make sure it’s included.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen this missing.

Temporary living expenses

If your house is inhabitable, most insurance policies will cover costs for temporary living.  (Same happens if you need to be out of the house for a week or two for sanding and refinishing or other shorter term projects).  Please check with your insurance company as most have a limit on the number of days/months as well as per diem amount.  Usually, meals and extra transportation costs are covered as well. But, check with them to see what’s covered.  And, if it isn’t, you may be able to get some compensation from FEMA if your area was declared a FEMA territory (see Section 3).

 

Getting paid by the insurance company

Every insurance company works differently and there are differences in policies.  But, usually (if you are covered) the insurance company will compensate you for Replacement Value (RCV)…i.e. the current cost to restore you to where you were before the damage was done.   Others may only compensate for Actual Cash Value (ACV) which means they deduct a portion for depreciation.

If you are lucky enough to be compensated for full replacement value, the insurance company usually they will only give you a portion (usually around 70%) of the cost up front (after they have received estimates from your licensed contractor(s).  They usually won’t release the remaining 30% until AFTER the work was completed and they have proof. that the work was done (e.g. via invoices/checks and/or pictures).  They do this to avoid people taking the insurance money and not actually doing the work.  In addition, if you still have a mortgage on your house, the check will often need to be co-signed by your bank which holds the mortgage to your house as they have a stake in the condition and value of your home.  The bank will generally pay as the work is done, and this can often cause additional delays.

 

Some items that may not be covered by the insurance company

trees and shrubery may not be covered by insuranceTrees and shrubbery: Most insurance companies will pay up to $500 for the removal of trees or shrubs that have fallen on your home.  But, they won’t pay to remove trees that have fallen causing a mess in your yard.  And, sometimes, this can be quite costly.

 

Upgrades that you made and didn’t notify your insurance company about.  If you added an addition or did a kitchen remodel or added a bathroom (as an example), and you didn’t notify your insurance carrier about this, they often will not cover you for this.  Generally, this should be done while home improvements are made and a certificate of occupancy is issued.  But, some people either don’t do this or forget to.

 

Getting paid by the insurance company

getting paid by the insurance company after a hurricane on Long IslandOnce you get the point where you and your insurance company agree on the claim amount, they will you issue you and/or your mortgage company a check. This may take 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.  (Of course it may have taken weeks (or months to get to this point), but once you do, you should get the money relatively quickly.  If there are still areas under dispute or that are unknown at this point, usually, the insurance company will at least give you a partial payment so you can get started with the work.

 

See Section 7 and Section 8 if there are still discrepancies.

 

And, most insurance companies allow you up to 1 year to file for insurance as well as addenda or things that may get added if there are additional problems/expenses, provided that they are related to claim and the damage that it created.  (They will not cover upgrades nor anything not related to the damage nor mistakes that you or your contractors make).

 

 

8.  If there are still discrepancies or disputes with your insurance company, contact a public insurance adjuster

public insurance adjuster to help after a hurricane or flood - Long IslandThe insurance company provides an insurance adjuster free of charge.  But, remember, the adjuster works for the insurance company; they don’t work for you.  (And, part of their job is to save the insurance company money).  The bigger the claim, the more likely you’re going to run into more resistance from the company.

 

If you are still having issues coming to agreements with your insurance company, you may want to hire a public adjuster.  The public adjuster works for you, and their job is to get you the maximum compensation for your claim.  But, they do charge for this service (I believe the maximum they are allowed to charge in New York is 12.5% of the claim).  They are experts in this area – both in knowing what needs to happen to repair your house and in dealing with the insurance company.  Often, they will find you additional funding that will justify their costs.  You can find one at the National Associate of Independent Insurance Adjusters.

 

If you do decide to use a public adjuster, first check references and qualifications by contacting the Better Business Bureau and your state insurance department.

 

 

9.  Make the necessary repairs

repairing your house after a hurricane flood so you can sell it.Important Note: You can use whichever contractor you prefer.  Do NOT be pressured to use the one that your insurance and/or mitigation company recommends.  This is not legal.  It is very likely that some of these companies are getting kickbacks or discounts from their preferred vendors.

  • Pick the contractor(s) that you feel most comfortable with – the one(s) you feel will do the best job (and get the job done quickly and efficiently).
  • Also, be aware that many restoration or mitigation companies typically charge a premium on their service (vs. standard contractors or specialists).  Usually, they take a 40% margin.  Remember the 20% of Overhead and Profit that I mentioned in Section 7?  That covers additional expenses, but many of these mitigation companies are pocketing an EXTRA 20% on top of that.  What does that mean to you?  Usually, it means that you either pay more…or pay the same but get lower value materials.  Most customers aren’t aware of this.
  • Keep receipts for your payments.

 

 

10.  Additional steps to take after the storm if your house was on the market – Before and after the storm

If your house was on the market or under contract before the storm hit, expect delays as well as complications.  Your next steps will be partially dependent on where you on the process, the damage (if any to your home), and any implications to the market value of your home and insurance rates for your area.

  • Assess and take care of the immediate damage

    • Same as above, but time may be of the essence for you.
  • Discuss the situation with your real estate agent

    • repairing and selling a home after a hurricane - Long Island NYYou’ll want to get your real estate agent’s advice on next steps as well as implications on your timeline as well as the value of your house.  If you didn’t have any damage and/or the damage is minor, you’re in luck and you may just need to pay for the repairs and get a new appraisal.
    • Importantly, you’ll want to discuss the implications of the storm to the market value of your home.  Sometimes, after a serious hurricane, home prices can rapidly decrease, especially if you are in a flood zone or near the coast.  This can be driven by lower demand for homes in your area as well as increased insurance costs that few people want to pay.  And, of course, if you are now designated as a Special Flood Hazard area (see Section 5), there may be additional requirements for renovations and/or to obtain flood insurance (e.g. elevating your house).
      • Of course elevating your home and building to new standards can be rather expensive.  Bear in mind that if you choose not to do this that house is probably no longer insurable.  The issue here is that a) you could have another flood (or some other issue to your house) and won’t have coverage  And, b) you will have a lot of trouble selling the house as buyers won’t be able to get a mortgage on the house without insurance.
  • Order a new appraisal and/or inspection

    • Usually, after a major hurricane or natural disaster, the banks will require a new appraisal and/or inspection.  Sometimes, it’s a full appraisal, sometimes it’s just a quick visual inspection.  If you didn’t suffer any real damage to the house, you are in luck.  But, you want to quickly clear any debris such as tree branches, etc so that the appraiser and/or inspector has clear access and visual view of the house.

 

 

11.  What to do when you need to sell your house super fast and you just can’t wait for the insurance money

How to sell your Long Island House after a hurricane or flood damageThere are many times when people need to sell their house quickly (e.g. after inheriting a home, after a divorce, if you relocated and bought a new home (for a job transfer), or you’re behind on the mortgage or you just need the cash from the house).  And, of course, when hurricanes and other disasters happen, it may increase the need to sell quickly…as well as delay the process.

 

If you live on Long Island and find yourself in this situation, we at Long Island Cash Home Buyer LLC can help.  We will buy your house “as is” and buy the house for CASH.  This way you won’t need to wait for your insurance company or FEMA to pay for the repairs, nor come out of pocket for additional costs.  We can usually close in as little as 2 to 4 weeks.  And, then from there, you can put this headache behind you and move on with the rest of your life.

 

 

12.  Who to call if the numbers just don’t make sense and you want to get out of this Catch 22?

How to sell your house after a hurricane - Long IslandWhat happens if you can’t afford to make the repairs?  Or what happens if the value of your home won’t justify the expenses needed to fix it?  Or what happens if you don’t have insurance?  These sorts of problems frequently occur after a hurricane, flood or other natural disasters.

 

This can easily happen if the repair costs are astronomical or if you need to pay high prices to elevate your home to meet new building standards (or take on other new requirements).  It can also happen if housing prices rapidly decline because the whole area has been decimated.  It can also happen when flood insurance prices go through the roof.

 

When this happens, demand for homes rapidly declines as very few people want to live in a flood prone and damaged area.  And, you also have many people that want to sell their homes.  The supply and demand curve can flip on a dime after a hurricane, and it can take 5 to 10 years to recover.

 

Sometimes, after a hurricane, people feel trapped.  All options sound bad and are terribly expensive.  If you don’t have the funding to repair or replace your home, you may want to consider selling your house to a cash investor.  They can take the house off of your hands and then they will repair and resell it.  If you live on Long Island, you can call me,  Richard Witt, owner of Long Island Cash House Buyer LLC.  I can be reached at 516-330-6940.  We help homeowners who find themselves in these sort of situations.

 

What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now...

We buy houses in ANY CONDITION in NY. There are no commissions or fees and no obligation whatsoever. Start below by giving us a bit of information about your property or call (516)262-5420...
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Do you need to sell your Long Island house quickly?

selling your Long Island home - holding an eatate sale your parent's houseSince 1998, we have been a trusted source for the latest information in regards to selling your home fast for cash on Long Island. We will have an honest conversation with you about the benefits and disadvantages of a quick cash sale of your property. If it is not right for you then it will not be right for us. It must be a win-win situation.

  • We have purchased hundreds of homes with cash since 1998
  • We have over $5,000,000.00 in funding available to purchase Long Island homes.
  • You will always get cash at the closing.
  • We always keep our word and will always tell you the truth.
  • We will purchase your home as-is, in its present condition, no matter how much work is required.
  • You can avoid all the costs and frustrations of fixing your property for sale.

 

We are the buyers. We are interested in buying your home- not in listing it as a Real Estate Broker.

 

Our process is substantially faster and much less stressful than listing with a real estate broker. When you list the home with a broker you can count on 6-12 months and possibly longer before you get to the closing table. While it is likely you will end up with more money with a traditional real estate listing, our process is completely hassle free and fast!

 

Benefits of Selling Your Long Island Home For Cash

Cleaning out your parent's house Long Island, NYWe are not moving into the house. Therefore there is no need to coordinate closings or lease expirations. There are no buyer showings or Open Houses ever. There is no renegotiating after a Home Inspector goes through your property. There is no waiting for a mortgage approval that may or may not materialize. You can even leave the contents of the house if that suits you best.

 

If you want a fast, trouble-free sale, contact us and we will make every effort to make it a win-win situation for both parties.

 

Every circumstance is unique, and we are open and innovative in our approach to solving any and all Real Estate problems.

 

Richard Witt Long Island Cash Home BuyerLet us help you.

 

Contact us Today!
Richard Witt
(516) 330-6940

 

What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now...

We buy houses in ANY CONDITION in NY. There are no commissions or fees and no obligation whatsoever. Start below by giving us a bit of information about your property or call (516)262-5420...
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

 

How to sell your house after a hurricane or flood

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What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now...

We buy houses in ANY CONDITION in NY. There are no commissions or fees and no obligation whatsoever. Start below by giving us a bit of information about your property or call (516)262-5420...
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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