Hurricane Harvey A Painful Reminder Of Risks Of Owning Real Estate
The mass of destruction delivered by hurricane Harvey is a fresh and painful reminder of the risks of holding real estate, and taking too long to sell. What can we do to lower those risks and protect ourselves? What if we get hit?
The Impact of Extreme Weather
Extreme weather and natural disasters like Harvey, typhoons, tornadoes, and even earthquakes and wildfires can deal harsh blows to property owners. The personal toll and loss cannot be taken lightly, and is far more disastrous than the loss of homes. Yet, when you lose your home and business it can feel like the end of the world.
Many small businesses won’t survive the aftermath. Even big companies will keep employees at home. Sometimes for weeks and months. Most individuals and families don’t have the finances to cover these gaps. This can feel more devastating for those who were in the process of trying to sell their homes and may have dragged their feet on selling and accepting offers.
So, how do you protect yourself from this happening again? What do you do if your home was affected?
The Insurance Problem
Homeowners insurance is typically a good idea to have. If you have a home mortgage then insurance is mandatory. You may even have homeowners’, flood, and windstorm insurance. Of course, even after all of those premiums, it is the insurance company’s prerogative to pay out as little as possible. They’ll drag their feet, make up excuses and point to fine print, and offer you less. Chances are that it will take a lot longer to get a lot less money for your home than you imagined. You may even need a strong attorney to fight your own insurance company for what you deserve.
Some savvy homeowners keep a home equity line of credit open on their Texas properties. This way they can seize control of any equity when a threat it coming. Or may be able to use it to fund repairs and basic living expenses while waiting on that insurance check. The downside of financing is that even if your home is destroyed, you still technically owe all of the balance on any financing and liens. You could be paying for a house that no long exists. You’ll need an experienced short sale expert to help you negotiate and get out from that debt.
Selling a House As-Is
The good news is that whether you took some minor roof or water damage, your home was flattened, or it is just the community which is washed out, selling a house as-is is possible. There are investor buyers who will take it. You just need to reach out and get a quote and start the process. They may even be able to give you tips on dealing with insurance and short sales with your lenders so that you may get out of debt, and potentially could still walk away with a check.
Just be sure to act fast before damage gets worse, and others flood these buyers with their properties.