On average, 358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year. In 2020, Oregon experienced 4,000 damaged homes due to wildfires alone!

No matter the cause, house fires can happen to any home in any neighborhood. And after the flames have been extinguished and damage assessed, many homeowners decide to sell the property and start over somewhere fresh.

If you need to sell a fire-damaged home in Portland, there are a few things you should know to do it right and get the most money possible.


Who will buy a fire-damaged home?

Like with any home sale, there are two basic types of buyers:

  1. Traditional buyers — Families and individuals who want to own and live in the home long-term.
  2. Real estate investors — Individuals and companies who want to buy and resell or rent out the home for a profit.

How you proceed with your home sale depends on whether or not you have a preference on who buys your home. Here’s what you need to know.


Traditional buyers

For this type of buyer, you’ll need to spend the time and money to make the home habitable, which includes repairing the damage and ensuring its safety. This is because a bank will not approve a loan on a home that needs extensive repair.

In rare cases, you may be able to find a traditional buyer who is interested in rehabbing the property. In this case, the buyer will need to be able to pay cash for the home or get approved for a rehab/renovation loan from their bank.


Real estate investors

For this type of buyer, you can sell the home as-is without any repairs or remodeling. Many sellers prefer this option when the house has extensive damage, they don’t have the time or money to make the repairs, or if they don’t want to deal with the emotional stress of repairing the home.

Keep in mind that with either type of buyer, you must disclose the fire damage through a property condition disclosure statement.


Should you repair fire damage before you sell your home?

Owners of a fire-damaged home face a tough decision before selling — spend the time and money repairing and restoring your fire-damaged home or sell it as-is? Before deciding, take some time to fully consider what’s involved in repairing the home.

Repairing a fire-damaged home can take months, if not years. There are extensive steps to follow to ensure the home is in safe conditions and suitable for sale. This is not a DIY project — the work needs to be completed by a licensed professional.

Depending on the level of fire damage, this may include:

  • Cleaning the water or chemicals used to extinguish the fire. When not properly cleaned and repaired, it can lead to mold infestation and toxic residue build-up.
  • Soot clean up. Soot can cause serious damage to walls.
  • Smoke odor. Removing the smoke odor alone can involve completely gutting the home and take months to complete.


Does homeowner insurance include fire damage repair?

Depending on the extent of the damage and the type of policy you have, most of your fire damage costs may be covered by either cash value or replacement value insurance.

  1. Cash value — You’ll be reimbursed for your possessions at their depreciated value at the time of loss.
  2. Replacement value — This covers the costs to replace the item at comparable material and quality.

Your homeowner’s insurance may also help you pay for the costs of living away from your home while it’s being repaired.

All said you can expect a long, drawn-out repair process as you work to coordinate with repair professionals and your insurance company.


Can you get an insurance settlement when selling a fire-damaged home as-is?

Yes. Homeowners who choose to sell their home as-is to a cash buyer will often pay off their loan balance with their insurance settlements and then sell their fire-damaged home. Most insurance companies will pay out settlements based on construction costs, the contents of the fire-damaged home, and inconvenience caused to you and your family.

Here at Columbia Redevelopment, we work with many homeowners who combine their insurance settlements with our cash offers to finance a brand new home.


Selling a fire-damaged home to a Portland real estate investor

What’s right for you and your family may not be right for someone else. After going through the trauma of a house fire, you may be ready to jump into the process of repairing your home. Or, you might want to get rid of the property as fast as possible so you can put the incident behind you.

If you fall into the latter category and are interested in selling your fire-damaged home to a real estate investor, know that the right investor can make all the difference. Here at Columbia Redevelopment, we offer an easy, stress-free process that benefits you:

  • Sell as-is, no repairs needed
  • No inspections needed
  • Cash offer within 24 hours of visiting your home
  • $10,000 earnest money deposited into your account
  • The transaction can close in as little as 2-3 days
  • No real estate agent fees or commissions.
  • Local closings through Fidelity National Title Co. of Oregon.

As a local, family-owned company, we want to make the process as easy for you as possible. Contact us today to learn more about selling your fire-damaged home. We want to answer your questions and help you and your family move on and get peace of mind after experiencing this devastating event. We’re here to help.