At the time of writing this post, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston about 2 weeks ago. The worst of the flooding is finally receding and allowing people to get into their homes.
Hopefully you have completed the necessary steps required immediately after flooding. If you haven’t then you can refer to the post on selling your flooded home.
Many people have now been able to catch their breath after the whirlwind of scrambling to gut their house, get their
personal belongings all while juggling their life back to normal.
So the question remains
What to do if your Houston home flooded during Hurricane Harvey?
If you had flood insurance then you should have called out your insurance company and had an adjuster come out to assess the damage.
The insurance company has to start investigating your claim within 15 days after receiving written notice. However, they may require additional information. After you send the information, the insurance company has 15 business days to accept or reject your claim. If the insurance company says it will pay your claim, it must pay within five
business days. In case the insurance company rejects your claim, it must provide the reason for rejection in writing.
No Flood Insurance?
For those without flood insurance, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing disaster loan assistance. Renters and homeowners alike may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances
damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary
residence to its pre-disaster condition.
The SBA disaster loan assistance does have some credit requirements in order to qualify for the loan which comprises of credit history, repayment ability and collateral pledged. More information can be found in the SBA disaster loan assistance FAQ.
Denied Insurance or SBA Loan?
While this is unlikely, it can happen. So what do you do next? If you have the funds, you will have to pay for repairs out of pocket. This may not be an ideal situation, but could be a good enough reason to tap into your emergency savings.
Selling Your Flooded Home
Last option is to sell the house. How you sell the home depends on what your situation is. If you have a mortgage, and the repairs exceed your (Pre-Harvey) equity, then you will need to consider doing a short sale.
If you own the house free and clear or your equity is greater than the repairs, then you can sell the home as-is to an investor. Read this post for more information on selling your home as-is.