Buying or selling a home is stressful — throw in hurricane damage and the process can become a nightmare. Who is responsible to repair damage? Michael Levitin is the Chair of the Houston Association of Realtors.
“It just all depends on who owns the property. A new buyer buys a home and closes on it and now there’s new damage to the property, obviously it’s their responsibility and their current insurance. If they’re in the property under a temporary agreement they are basically a tenant it would fall back on the owner or the seller.”
Levitin says contracts contain an “act of God” clause which gives the buyer a chance to go back and inspect the property again. If that inspection discovers damage.
“Just as if they were buying the home the first time, they have the option to get out of the sale.”
The contract language will determine if any earnest money is lost or returned.
Home sales are slow because of Ike, but Levitin says that should change with in a month or so. In fact, those looking for deals are already looking for opportunities.
“Several of our members that are in the Galveston area have mentioned that investors are coming in trying to buy distressed property.”
Levitin says because of Ike some property managers are offering short-term leases for those in need of housing who would prefer a home to an apartment.