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Old 07-06-2012, 05:31 PM
 
943 posts, read 1,499,220 times
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There is a photo online of a home that is about $80K less than it ought to be.
It has fire damage. I haven't seen any interior photo's. Is it ridiculous to even
consider buying a fire damaged home... or does it all really depend upon the extent
of the damage. I have never had any knowledge or experience on these matters.
I have sent an inquiry to the Realtor (moments ago).. It's likely I may not get a reply
until next week. That'll give me ample time to gather questions from your prompts.
Any thought or advice?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,235 posts, read 9,990,552 times
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Somebody obviously already thinks there are $80K worth of reasons for not paying full price ... and probably $130K with what would logically be 'further reduced offers on a fire-damaged house.'

Even if everything looks good, who knows what type of hidden damage or structural weakness might show-up in the future (eg; electrical, A/C ductwork, foundation cracks, ...?). Everyone pretty much understands that "fire sale prices" means that the buyer is assuming an 'as is' risk, in exchange for a highly discounted price.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:52 PM
 
2,613 posts, read 4,101,590 times
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My uneducated guess is that unless you can make a bunch of repairs yourself, you should run away from this.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
13,740 posts, read 31,550,338 times
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We have an investor who specializes in fire damaged homes. They do take special consideration. First of all, the home inspection will only so show much. You need to have as structural engineer come out. Fire damaged homes will have structural issues. How bad just depends on how bad the fire is.

Special things to consider. The house had intense heat which melts things...like copper pipes and pvc. You may have a lot of plumbing to replace. Vinyl windows and doors melt or get warped. The house likely has water/flood damage from the fire hoses. Watching for mold will be important. Electrical issues. Plan on replacing all your switches and outlets.

Soot, smoke damage. There are companies that specialize in this and I would hire them. I have been inside fire damage homes that were treated by the pros and you can't tell at all. It runs 5-7k out here for this process.

They are for seasoned remodelers homeowners or investors, IMO. If you can go with the flow and accept that you will have things that you can't see during inspections and just plan for the worst, you will be fine but these homes are not for the average homeowner, IMO.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Northeast USA
59 posts, read 208,134 times
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Maybe hire an appraiser who specializes in this type of thing? Then make a bid.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:52 PM
 
6,359 posts, read 7,321,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CourageMom View Post
There is a photo online of a home that is about $80K less than it ought to be.
Do you mean $80,000 less than it would be without the fire damage? If so, maybe it should be priced even less, depending on the extent of the damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CourageMom View Post
I have never had any knowledge or experience on these matters.
That statement alone should be reason enough to walk away. If you don't walk, make sure to be very thorough in getting a professional evaluation of the house along with repair estimates from reputable sources. As others have pointed out, there is potentially a lot of damage which may remain hidden.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
3,199 posts, read 10,959,643 times
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What everyone said, plus all the Seller's Disclosures you will be bound to disclose when you sell. Proving that everything possibly damaged was perfectly repaired by licensed contractors could be a burden. I'd say find something that fits your knowledge level and comfort level, and buy that.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:22 PM
 
943 posts, read 1,499,220 times
Reputation: 967
Default Pretty house (hidden costs, maybe beyond repair)

I appreciate all of the input.
I don't live close enough to make an appointment to see this home.
I know the neighborhood it is in, and its by the shore in CT. The asking price is $135,000
Homes in the neighborhood range from $225K and up..most are in the $300's
I live several hundred miles away ~ but needed the Zen slap you all gave me.
We have fixed and flipped seven homes, but were able to live in them while we
repaired them. I do think this is over way our head & our pocketbook if the worst
case scenario was to take down all interior walls and re-wire, re-pipe..etc...
Might as well just go buy one the the houses down the street from this one.

BIG THANKS FOR ALL THE ADVICE.... GUESS WE JUST NEEDED A GOOD TALKING TO.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 18,528,984 times
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Having been engaged in the firefighting business in my young life, I think the answer lies in the individual property. In the process of making sure one has extinguished the fire completely, a lot of the interior walls will be opened up and any contractor worth their salt would be able to see the extent of what needs to be replaced. There are companies like ServicePro that specialize in fire restoration. Just because the place has experienced a fire, shouldn't take it off the table as a potential purchase.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:46 PM
 
943 posts, read 1,499,220 times
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THat Realtor never called back.. but you make a good point.\I would love to live in that house.
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