If your house has been severely damaged by fire finding a new long-term home is likely to become priority number one.
To help you find the ideal place to live here are some tips to follow as you begin your search for a replacement home.
Home Buyer’s Checklist
This checklist identifies the important factors you should consider when selecting a home.
In addition to your house being affordable, you will also want to be sure that it and the neighborhood it is located in meet the needs of your family.
For instance, if you have children, you may want to know if there is a quality school nearby or if there are other children in the neighborhood. Or if you work, the distance and travel time to and from your place of employment or the availability of public transportation may be of concern to you.
You may already know the type and size of home that you would like to purchase, but there are many other features that you will want to consider before deciding to buy a particular house.
Take this checklist along when you go shopping for your house. It will help you evaluate the neighborhoods and the availability and condition of various features of up to three homes in a side-by-side comparison.
Home #1 Home #2 Home #3
Real estate taxes
Streets well maintained
Neighbors’ yards maintained
All utilities installed
Neighborhood covenants or restrictions
Near train tracks/airport
Area zoned residential
Proposed special assessments
Age of the house
Number of stories
Wood and brick frame
Overall exterior condition
Hot water heat
Central air conditioning
Energy conservation features
Age of heating system
Age of hot water heater
Capacity of hot water heater
Age of electrical wiring
Water bill estimate
Heating bill estimate
Electric bill estimate
Separate dining room
Window coverings – # of rooms
Carpeting – # of rooms
Kitchen eating area
Connected to sewer system
Security (dead bolt locks, smoke detectors)
Building code compliance (remodels & additions)
Ability to expand or enlarge house
Other considerations when buying a home
One thing to take into consideration is private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is a type of insurance that helps protect mortgage companies against losses due to foreclosure. This protection is provided by private mortgage insurance companies and allows mortgage companies to accept lower down payments than would normally be allowed.
PMI also enables mortgage companies to grant loans that would otherwise be considered too risky to be purchased by third party investors like the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC).
The ability to sell loans to these investors is critical to maintaining mortgage market liquidity, which in turn, allows mortgage companies to continue originating new loans.
Americans Earning Less, Saving Less
Why is PMI needed? Relative to the growth in home prices over the last quarter century, Americans are earning less and, as a result, saving less. This means many families today are being forced to wait longer than their parents and grandparents before buying their first home.
One way to reduce this wait is through PMI – and many families are taking advantage of it. Recent government statistics show that one of every two homebuyers obtained a low down payment loan; and many of them used private mortgage insurance (PMI) to realize their homeownership dream.
The Importance of Recognizing When to Get Rid of PMI
Most lenders require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) if the borrower has less than 20% equity in a home. One of the more difficult things for most homeowners is determining when their home equity has risen above the 20 percent point. Failure to recognize this significant event will leave you paying a higher mortgage payment than you need to be paying.
In fact, with appreciation in your home value, you might already have more than 20% equity and not know it! The best way to determine the value of your home is through an appraisal. While the Homeowners Protection Act requires that lenders drop PMI payments when the loan to value ratio conditions have been met, most require an appraisal to support the homeowner’s assertions of the value increase.
Getting an appraisal and dropping your PMI payments will significantly reduce your monthly mortgage payments – and save you thousands of dollars a year!
The Next Step
Before you get a new home you likely need to sell your fire-damaged house. One of the best and most convenient ways to do that is to sell your fire-damaged house to We Buy Fire Damaged Houses.
We buy houses in as is condition, which means you can avoid frustrating and costly repairs. Homeowners who sell to us also enjoy benefits like these:
Clients who sell their fire-damaged houses to us often receive the following benefits:
Health Benefits –
A fire damaged home often has toxic materials in it that can cause sickness.
Time Benefits –
Restoring a house is time-consuming and can take many months. Selling a fire damaged house can be easier than living in a construction zone or being displaced for a long period of time. Plus remember, we are often able to close within seven days!
Financial Benefits –
Selling your house after a fire is typically much cheaper than the expensive repairs and cleaning costs associated with home restoration. Hiring a general contractor is costly and comes with mandatory inspections and construction permits, not to mention possible fines and delays.
To see if your house qualifies for a free, no obligation quote, fill out the short form below.
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