Can I sell My House That Was Damaged by Hurricane Ida?
Louisiana got destroyed again. Last year it was Hurricane Laura tearing through Lake Charles, this year it was Ida and New Orleans. Both storms impacted Baton Rouge as well, but fortunately not as badly. Between the storms and flooding, many people are entering fall with repairs to do on their homes. People are asking, “Can I sell my house that was damaged by hurricane Ida?”. This can be a little bit complicated depending on the situation, but we will dive into a few of the situations here. In any case, the first step is to file an insurance claim immediately and document all the damage with photos.
Three Situations You May Be In After Hurricane Ida
Situation #1 – Property Already Listed When the Hurricane Hit and Suffered Damage
This is probably the worst situation. If you already had your property listed you can be a bit stuck, and this is most likely why you are wondering, “Can I sell my house that was damaged by Hurricane Ida.” In most cases, you will have to file an insurance claim and hope that the process goes quickly. It can be hard to find contractors after a storm because there are so many properties that need work, especially roofing and siding. However, if you are patient, you can get it done, and once it is fixed, you should be able to sell fairly quickly since we are still in a hot market.
It gets a little more complicated if someone already has your home under contract. Then, you are obligated to give them possession in equal or better condition from when you signed the purchase agreement. Closing probably would have to be delayed until you can get it back to that condition.
Situation #2 – Damaged and Thinking About Listing
This is a much better position to be in vs situation #1 because you have many more options. One option is to file the insurance claim, get your check, and repair the property. Then, you will have a renovated property that you can list and if your house was dated, these repairs could add a lot of value.
A second option if you own the house outright and depending on your insurance policy is to make some repairs to make the house safe, sell the house to an investor at a discount, and keep the rest of the money. Investors typically like renovating houses, and usually will be able to do it cheaper than the average homeowner because they do it often and have contractors they work with regularly. As long as you haven’t overstated your claim (which is insurance fraud and very bad), you may be able to take your claim money and get rid of the house (but always talk to your accountant and attorney first).
If you still have a mortgage on the home, you probably will have to make all the repairs then list it. Your lender will not want your home to be worth less than you owe them, so they will do what they can to protect their investment.
Situation #3 – No Damage/Minimal Damage
This is the best situation. You don’t have to worry about insurance claims, maybe just get a roofer to fix a couple shingles or a piece of siding. This is the situation we are in with our rentals, so we feel very fortunate. You can either list your house, or sell it to an investor in this situation too. Generally, if the house has been renovated in the last 10 years, it is better to list. If the kitchen and bathrooms are dated however, selling to an investor is often a good idea. We love purchasing houses that have good bones but need updated kitchens and baths.
The real estate market usually slows down after a natural disaster, as title companies, construction, and mortgage companies get backed up, especially after losing power for extended periods of time like this past week. Usually it is a good idea to slow down, and wait a few weeks before listing. Definitely wait until you have made your repairs, unless you want to sell to an investor. Investors like us at BuyHousesBR LLC will buy your house as is so you don’t have to worry about doing anything, and they will close faster than a traditional buyer. If you are thinking about selling your house after the hurricane, give us a call and we will be happy to make you an offer or tell you your options.