We’re getting a lot of questions from homeowners who don’t know where to turn. Some want to sell but their home has sustained wind or flood damage. Today we like to provide a valuable Hurricane Ian real estate information update to answer some questions.
Insurers are reticent to issue new insurance without an affidavit that the home is free of hurricane related damage. What if the home has wind or flooding damage? Can the home be sold and financed?
Owner Wants to Sell
You may be able to buy a property with damage. Citizens Property Insurance will write coverage on damaged properties as temporary insurance and will simply exclude the damaged items. FHA has a loan called the FHA 203K that will allow a buyer to make repairs after they purchase. In this case we may be able to get a buyer a loan for a damaged home and do the repairs after closing all the while having insurance to satisfy the lender.
Owner Wants to Stay
What if an owner owns a home and it is wiped out or heavily damaged by the flood for more than the $250,000 flood coverage and they have a current mortgage on the property? FHA has another loan program called the FHA 203H that is only available in special disaster situations. It is a 100% LTV loan meaning no equity in the home is needed. The homeowner can finance on top of the current mortgage so they can rebuild or rehab their home without having to sell.
FEMA has setup two disaster centers that will help answer insurance type questions as well as tell you what is available through the state and federal government. Cape Coral and Fort Myers are allowing people to setup trailers on their property while their home is being worked on. They may have trailer assistance available for you as well as a plethora of other options.
Your mortgage company may call you with some payment relief options that can help. Be careful though as forbearance options shouldn’t harm your credit score but it will affect your ability to finance another home for 2-3 years. You would think when the government offers a relief program it wouldn’t harm you in other ways, so be careful. If you have a FNMA or Freddie Mac insured loan the forbearance is 18 months and is added to the end of the loan. Interest does accrue. Private lenders might require the interest be paid in bulk at some point, and that might be too much for some borrowers.
Assignment of Claim
We have been successful in transferring the right under a claim to new buyers who are buying a damaged home. This is different that assignment of benefits whereby a contractor takes over the claim for your home. This is especially useful in cash transactions as many mortgage companies will not finance a new purchase with an existing claim outstanding.
Be Leary of Out of Town Contractors
Out of town contractors come here looking to make a fast buck. Some are reputable and are lifesavers, while others simply collect as many deposits as they can and skip town. Dealing with a reputable local company when you can is wise because they have a local reputation at stake, and often times you know where to find them.
FEMA 50% Rule
Many cities will require damaged homes to adhere to new building codes. Naples is just one example. If the cost of improvements or the cost to repair the damage exceeds 50% of the market value of the building, it must be brought up to current floodplain management. See Naples Requirements. Look for Lee County and other cities to enact similar requirements.
Be aware of scammers, both online and at your door or on the phone. Not everybody is who they claim to be. Be careful clicking on links. Scammers today are more clever than ever.
Property to Sell
If you have a property to sell, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. We are local and we have trusted resources. The Ellis Team cares about our clients and will do what’s right by you. We are not in it to make a fast buck. You can reach us at 239-310-6500 We’re here to help. If you have questions, we might know where to find the answer for you.
Praise God to all that survived, and prayers for the ones that did not!