Most homeowners tend to believe that a catastrophe such as a house fire could never happen to them. However, every day in the United States, hundreds of families lose their homes due to fires. In the unfortunate event that your home becomes victim of a house fire, you should make sure you’re well prepared. Specifically, you’ll want to know what to do after your home has fire damage.
Safety First: Stay Out
Immediately after the fire, your home will likely be unsafe for entering. Even if the fire wasn’t major, there’s still a chance that the supporting structures of your home were compromised. For your safety, be sure to stay out of your home until you’re told otherwise by the local fire department. More than likely, they will also have the utilities shut off to your home, so these need to stay off as well.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible, contact your homeowners insurance agent so you can begin the claims process. Your agent should be able to advise you of some specific steps that will need to be taken to protect your home from future damage. This could include having any windows or doors boarded up, having excess water pumped out of your home, and the like.
Ask About Securing an Advance
More than likely, you’re going to need some assistance when it comes to finding temporary housing. Because you’ll probably also still be making mortgage payments on your damaged home, now would be a good time to ask your insurance agent about securing an advance to cover the necessities until your claim can be completely processed.
Specifically, an advance can be used to cover toiletries, hotel costs, clothing, and other immediate expenses that you need to get by following the house fire.
Replace Personal Identification
Another important step to take following your house fire is determining which forms of identification and other important documents were damaged in the fire and what need to be replaced as a result. For example, if you weren’t able to grab your purse or wallet before exiting, then you probably need to replace your driver’s license and credit cards. However, you’ll also want to think about your Social Security card, birth certificates, insurance documents, and the like. The sooner you can get these replaced, the sooner you can get your life back to normal.
Have Your Home Inspected
As part of your claims processing, your insurance agent will likely require you to have a professional inspection done at your home; this should take place only once the fire department has given you the “okay” to re-enter the home.
Upon completion of the inspection, you should have a better idea of what repairs will need to be made to your home to make it fit for occupancy once again. Your insurance company should cover these repairs, but many homeowners are unpleasantly surprised to find that their coverage isn’t quite extensive enough to cover everything.
How to Sell a Fire Damaged House Fast
If this is the case, you might consider selling your home as-is to an investor, who will pay to have it fixed up and re-sold down the road. This can be a great option for those who want to “start over” with a blank slate and not have to deal with the hassle of repairing the damaged home.
If selling your fire-damaged home to an investor sounds like something you might be interested in, please contact us today to speak with a professional. We buy houses in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk in any condition and we’d be happy to assist you. Dealing with a fire damaged home can be challenging so let us help you through this difficult time in your life by making you an offer on your home.