Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Real Estate Nightmare: Local Flooding!

In light of recent weather events in our area, many of us woke up this past weekend to an awful scenario- It seems nobody escaped the wrath of the rainfall, and I was no exception to the rule.  The last few days have been quite hectic, but in the essence of sharing and honestly, distraction, now is as good a time as any to address water issues in a home!  Some homes undoubtedly have a higher occurrence rate, but in some situations, such as this weekend- There is no way to predict or prepare for the heavy rainfalls and flash flooding.  Even the most waterproofed basement in existence, in the most elevated area, was a potential victim of the storm.  Unfortunately on top of the rainfall, city systems were unable to function properly and contributed to the problems with backups all over the area.

After sizing up the circumstances and damage at my own home, I had little time to do anything but kick into immediate high gear- my basement flooded and the water wasn’t going to clean itself up- However I needed to instantly turn my attention to all of my clients and homes on the market!  I began making the rounds, reaching out to all of my current clients selling homes, especially properties that currently are vacant.  Driving around town to check on homes- and take necessary corrective measures- made for an exhausting day. 

As an agent, especially if a client has already relocated at a distance- the homes on the market are essentially your responsibility.  Keeping them secured and also in situations like this, clean- is an important part of my job!  In addition, changing scheduled open houses and showings to coordinate with cleanup schedules needs completed.

When searching for a home, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for the red flags that accompany frequent water damage occurrences.  Basements will tend to have an odor if there has been water or mold present, and signs will typically appear on walls and flooring if it is occurring repeatedly, and not tended to.  Tile that comes up easily in a basement, or water marks on walls are signs of water damage that hasn’t  been properly handled.  This tells a potential buyer that the water can get in, and more importantly that it wasn’t properly cleaned up! 

Another tool comes in a surprising form- your insurance company!  When looking at homes, it is not a bad idea to call your insurance company and give them an address after you submit a bid on a home.  The insurance company can compile a quote, but they also can see past claims- All of them!  This includes any call to the insurance industry about the property- even if the caller decided to handle it themselves, and not file a claim- the call is still on record. 

For everyone affected by the recent water devastations in our area, hang in there- It is never a pleasant scenario, but unfortunately it can happen to any of us. Good luck in your cleanup efforts!

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