Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Were You Impacted by the Heavy Winds on Long Island?

Posted on Mon, May 10, 2010 @ 11:18 AM

 

Strong winds hit the New York area this weekend, causing property damage to some homes and businesses throughout parts of Long Island.

Falling trees and limbs cause hundreds of millions of dollars of damage each year, as well as personal injuries and deaths. Windstorms and ice storms are leading causes of such damage and injuries.

Tree-related damage is usually apparent. Limbs crashing through a roof or onto automobiles or power lines are hard to miss. Sometimes the damage is so severe that entire homes are destroyed. This is especially likely to happen when large trees are torn out of the ground and topple onto a house, crashing through the structure or knocking it off its foundation.

Some trees are also notorious for aggressively sending out roots that can damage the foundation of a house, buckle sidewalks or plug up septic systems, forcing homeowners to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.

The kinds of trees in a yard, their proximity to a house and the care they receive all affect safety and the potential for damage or personal injury.

Some potential problems are easy to spot. These include:

-Cracks in the trunk or major limbs.
-Hollow and decayed trees.
-Trees that look one-sided or lean significantly.
-Branches hanging over the house near the roof.
-Limbs in contact with power lines.
-Mushrooms growing from the bark, indicating a decayed or weakened stem.
-V-shaped forks rather than U-shaped ones. V-shaped are more likely to split.
-Crossing branches that rub or interfere with one other.

Tree care professionals, including arborists, can also examine trees for more subtle signs of trouble and take care of any problems, such as the need to cut down a tree or prune limbs that might be too big, too high, or too dangerous for a homeowner to take down. Arborists can also help save trees and limbs.

Homeowners, though, represent the first line of defense. Regularly examine trees and check for damage or other trouble signs and take corrective action if necessary, either on your own or with the help of an expert.

Proper pruning
Good pruning can prevent many problems. Prompt removal of diseased, damaged or dead plant parts helps limit the spread of harmful insects and disease, as well as reduce the possibility of future storm damage. Pruning can also have other benefits. For instance, pruning a dense canopy reduces its mass while permitting better air circulation and sunlight penetration. Pruning also helps provide proper shape and improves the health and vigor of the plant.  Do not over prune, a practice called hat racking, as this will significantly weaken a tree.


Experts offer these pruning tips:

  • Check local tree regulations prior to pruning or tree removal.
  • Avoid pruning branches flush to the trunk. Doing so removes not only the limb but some of the trunk wood, opening the plant to possible decay or insect damage.
  • Begin by making a cut partway through the bottom of any limb to be trimmed, a few inches from the trunk. Then cut through the limb just above the first cut. This ensures that when the limb falls, it will not tear off a long strip of bark on the way down.
  • Finish by cutting off the few inches sticking out from the trunk. Be sure to leave the "branch collar," the swollen area of trunk tissue that forms around the base of a branch. Leaving the branch collar protects the main trunk from damage.


After a Storm
The type of care you give after a storm should depend on a tree's age, the extent and type of damage. 

To care for storm damaged trees:

  • Plan ahead before deciding what to do with fallen trees. 
  • In general, it is best to reset only smaller trees, since large trees will be weakened and may fall again.
  • Decide what to do with tree stumps. 
  • If you are going to leave them, cut them off flush with the ground. 
  • If you plan to remove them, leave four feet of stump standing. 
  • Removal will be cheaper and easier if stumps can be pulled out instead of dug out.
  • Cut off broken or torn limbs to avoid unnecessary bark stripping.
  • When straightened, uprooted trees will require bracing for a long time. 
  • Before you reset a tree, cut, smooth and paint all jagged and irregular root breaks. 
  • Water the tree well and fertilize. 
  • Do not remove guy wires or braces for two years.
  • After repairing trees, continue to care for them.  Check soil moisture regularly.  
  • Prune a damaged tree just enough to balance the loss of roots. 
  • Cut out broken, diseased and malformed branches to give the tree a desirable shape.

If you have property damage to your home or business and need assistance, please contact Advanced Restoration's staff at (800) 693-6263. Advanced Restoration Corporation serves Nassau and Suffolk County, and the New York Metro area.  

Tags: wind damage, nassau county restoration, disaster kleenup, advanced restoration corporation, emergency service, disaster restoration, home repair, catastrophe

What To Do After a Loss

Posted on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 @ 08:32 AM

Heavy rains and winds pummeled the New York Metro area this past weekend, causing major damage to many homes and businesses. If you experienced property damage, you need to know what to do after a loss. 

If you suffer a loss, the first thing to do is to notify your insurance company or its agent. You can do this by telephone, although it is a good idea to follow up with written notification. Remember, if you give the notice to your broker, rather than directly to the insurance company, you still have a responsibility to make sure that the insurance company receives notice of your claim.

It is also important to notify your insurance company promptly after any incident takes place that might result in a claim at some later date, even though no claim was made at the time the event occurred.

For example, if your dog bites a neighbor or a guest falls on your property, it should be reported to the insurance company even though you don't know whether any claim is actually going to be made against you. Your failure to notify the company promptly might allow it to deny coverage in the event a claim if filed against you at a later date.

It is also important to protect your property against further damages. For example, if the windows are broken, have them boarded up to protect against further vandalism or burglary. The cost of this type of protection is covered by, and would be reimbursed by your insurance company.

However, no permanent repairs should be made until your company or its representative has inspected the property. The company has the right to inspect the property in its damaged state, and can refuse to pay you for any damage that is repaired before inspection.

An adjuster will be sent from your insurance company to examine the damage and give you an estimate of the cost of repairs or replacement. You should also get an estimate from your own contractor to compare with the insurance company's estimate. Your contractor will probably charge a fee for this service but might credit that fee to your bill if you hire that contractor to repair and/or replace your property.

If you need assistance, your agent, broker or insurance company sales representative should help you fill out the claim form and help gather the materials you need to substantiate your loss.

In the event you are unfortunate enough to experience a major loss such as a fire or severe windstorm which has badly damaged or destroyed your home, and you are not in a position to negotiate a settlement with your company, you may want to consult an attorney or call a licensed public adjuster to act on your behalf with your insurance company.

Public adjusters are licensed by the Insurance Department. They represent you and not the insurance company. They will help you in taking inventory of your loss, securing your home from vandalism, contacting your insurance company, advising you on the extent of your coverage and help you secure the services needed to repair or rebuild you home. They will negotiate on your behalf with the adjuster from the insurance company.

A public adjuster may not charge a fee more than 12.5% of the recovery amount and must get a signed compensation agreement from you in which the amount of compensation is clearly stated. Such agreement may be cancelled up to midnight of the third business day after the date on which you have signed the compensation agreement. In addition, public adjusters may not solicit your business between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Another alternative to consider when an agreement cannot be reached between you and your insurance company is the appraisal process. Every homeowner, tenant, cooperative apartment and condominium policy issued in New York contains a provision whereby you and your company select a competent and disinterested appraiser. The two appraisers, in turn, select an umpire. Each appraiser must evaluate the loss and determine the value of each item. Any disagreements between the appraisers regarding the value of any items are submitted to, and settled by the umpire. The costs of this process are paid by the policyholder and the insurance company.

Source:  NY State Insurance Department

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Catastrophe Experts Call for Quick Action on Catastrophe Protection

Posted on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 @ 04:12 PM

Former FEMA Director: The status quo is not acceptable

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- James Lee Witt, the former Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the current co-chair of ProtectingAmerica.org today urged a subcommittee to the House Financial Services Committee to move quickly to enact legislation that would help American families and communities be better prepared for and protected from the devastation caused by massive natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

"A catastrophic event, whether an earthquake striking one of our great American cities, or a massive hurricane making landfall near any of the metropolitan areas from New York to Houston, would cause such enormous damage that our economy would be stunned, private resources quickly depleted, and an immediate federal bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars could potentially be required," Mr. Witt stated.  

"The American public has lost its appetite for bailouts.  Clearly the nation, our families and our communities would be better served by a program that uses private insurer dollars to pre-fund coverage for the eventuality of the next massive hurricane or devastating earthquake," Witt said. "There is no place in the country that is immune from catastrophic natural events, and the stakes are higher than ever.  Major cities along the coasts, and throughout the West and Midwest, are threatened by devastating earthquakes or hurricanes.  The human, physical and economic toll that such events would take would be unfathomable," he said.

"To put it simply, the status quo is not acceptable.  There is an urgent need for a comprehensive and integrated program that strengthens America's financial infrastructure, improves mitigation and readiness to prepare and protect our families and communities before and during catastrophe, and creates a privately-funded backstop that assures that resources will be available to rebuild, repair and recover as quickly as possible," Witt said.

Witt testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity and Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises in support of HR 2555, the Homeowners' Defense Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) and more than 70 cosponsors from across the nation.

The bill would provide more protection at lower cost for consumers and provide additional capacity and stability to the market.

The bill would also mandate and help finance enhanced mitigation and prevention through better land use planning, establishment and enforcement of stronger building codes and better education training and equipment for first responders.  

An earlier version of the Homeowners' Defense Act passed the House of Representatives in the last session of Congress by a bipartisan margin of 258-155.

ProtectingAmerica.org is a non-profit organization with over 300 members including the American Red Cross, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and other emergency responders, emergency management officials, police organizations, Allstate and State Farm Insurance, and large and small businesses.  The organization has more than 20,000 individual members.

ProtectingAmerica.org is co-chaired by James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Admiral James M. Loy, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.  

A Nation Exposed

  • Risk experts and modelers suggest that 57 percent of the American public resides in areas that are prone to earthquakes, hurricanes or other disasters.  
  • Twenty states, including Hawaii and every state that borders the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, face the threat of hurricanes every year.
  • The largest earthquake to ever rock the continental U.S. emanated from New Madrid, Missouri in 1811 and affected an area that stretched from Mississippi to Michigan, from Pennsylvania to Nebraska.
  • Eight out of the 11 most costly U.S. natural catastrophes have occurred since 2001.
  • Since 1900, 11 hurricanes have made direct hits on New England; six of them on the New York coastline.  The "Long Island Express," a massive hurricane that in 1938 made landfall in Long Island and raced through Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, killed 700 people and left 63,000 people homeless.  If the same storm struck today, damages would exceed $100 billion according to risk modelers.

About ProtectingAmerica.org

ProtectingAmerica.org is a non-profit organization consisting of emergency management officials, first responders, disaster relief experts, insurers and others.  Its members include the American Red Cross and more than 300 other organizations and businesses.

At the core of ProtectingAmerica.org's mission is the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated national catastrophe management solution that will better prepare and protect American families, communities, consumers and the American economy from catastrophe.   

ProtectingAmerica.org is working to increase public awareness and enhance consumer education; advocate for better coordination with local, state and federal mitigation and recovery efforts, and strengthen emergency response and financial mechanisms to rebuild after a major catastrophe.

The organization supports comprehensive federal legislation that would establish a privately financed national catastrophe fund that would serve as a backstop to state catastrophe funds.  The funds' private deposits and the majority of its earnings could only be used to cover replacement and rebuilding costs following major catastrophic events.  A portion of the funds' earnings would be dedicated to increase public and consumer education, strengthen first responders, and enhance building codes and their enforcement.

 

SOURCE ProtectingAmerica.org

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Ice Dams and Your Home

Posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 @ 10:19 AM

Whenever there is snow, you are likely to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.

 

ice dams


 

 

As winter advances through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings and homes experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow.  These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of soaked insulation, stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock, damp, smelly, rotting wall cavities and stained, blistered and peeling paint.

Preventing Ice Dams
To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly.  InsulationIncreased insulation in an attic will help to prevent ice dams. First, insulate the areas between the roof rafters. It is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels, which are available at home centers.  If there's a hatchway into the attic, build a cover for it out of rigid poly-styrene insulation.

If the gable and ridge vents do not generate sufficient air movement to dissipate the heat, you will need a motorized vent at one end of the attic to exhaust the heat, and an adequately sized vent on the opposite end of the attic to draw in cold air from the outside.

Ice Dam Inspection
Check your home carefully when ice dams form. Investigate even when there doesn't appear to be a leak. Look at the underside of the roof sheathing and roof trim to make sure they haven't gotten wet. Check the insulation for dampness. And when leaks inside your home develop, be prepared. Water penetration often follows pathways difficult follow.  Don't just patch the roof leak. Make sure that the roof sheathing hasn't rotted or that other less obvious problems in your ceiling or walls haven't developed. Detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage and more importantly, solve the problem.

Frozen Pipes?

frozen pipes

 

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Do You Know Anyone Looking to Buy or Sell a House?

Posted on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:53 AM

Tell them about this most important educational opportunity!
Thursday, January 21st at 7PM...

house

Buying or selling a home can be an intimidating process. Before you make one of the largest financial transactions of your lifetime, attend our free seminar. You will empower yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to make wise decisions - before you begin to shop for a home or place one on the market. The program runs 1½ - 2 hours including questions and answers related to everything you would want to know about buying or selling a house.

Just some of the topics we will discuss:

What you can afford on your present income

Credit scores and optimizing your credit score

The mortgage process

Closing costs

Down payment assistance programs

The tax advantages of owning a home

What a realtor does

Getting the most out of your Realtor

Benefits of working with a Realtor as your Buyer Representative

How to find a home that meets your needs

What title insurance is all about

The important ways a good Real Estate attorney can help you

Critical information to be learned from a thorough home inspection

...and much more!

 For location and more information, please Click Here

 

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HUD Inspector General Probes Mortgage Companies With Significant Claim Rates

Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 @ 12:12 PM

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David H. Stevens announced today an initiative focusing on mortgage companies with significant claim rates against the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program.

HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) subpoenas were served to the corporate offices of 15 mortgage companies across the country demanding documents and data related to failed loans which resulted in claims paid out by the FHA mortgage insurance fund.

Inspector General Donohue said, "The goal of this initiative is to determine why there is such a high rate of defaults and claims with these companies and whether there is wrongdoing involved. We aren't making any accusations at this time, we have no evidence of wrongdoing, but we will aggressively pursue indicators of fraud. We are members of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and today's activities reflect our commitment to seeking information on red flags that may arise from data analysis.

" This initiative was prompted, in part, by the FHA Commissioner, David Stevens, who was alarmed by the incidence of claims against the FHA insurance fund by a number of poor performing companies and reached out to the HUD OIG for assistance.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, "We are taking risk management extremely seriously. In addition to the policy changes we are implementing and additional changes we plan to announce later this month, we need to hold FHA lenders accountable for the high rates of defaults and claims against FHA. The Inspector General's initiative will help us determine whether there is fraud and better manage risk in the long run.

" The HUD OIG identified these direct endorsement companies from an analysis of loan data focusing on companies with a significant number of claims, a certain loan underwriting volume, a high ratio of defaults and claims compared to the national average, and claims that occurred earlier in the life of the mortgage. These are key indicators of problems at the origination or underwriting stages. The HUD OIG wants to see why these loans failed.

Some actions available to the HUD OIG are audits, investigations, and inspections and evaluations. In addition, we rely on the support of the Department of Justice (DoJ), and of State and local law enforcement. The DoJ is available to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions against wrongdoers. HUD is available to proceed with administrative sanctions such as suspensions, limited denial of participation, debarment, and civil monetary penalties.

The probe will be conducted by the HUD OIG's Audit and Investigation staff jointly. They will assess why these companies have high default rates, especially at this unprecedented time when the FHA mortgage insurance program represents such a significant percentage of mortgages currently in force in our country.

This probe is a new type of approach in which HUD OIG is focused on corporate offices rather than individual branch offices. This is a starting point for more detailed reviews if abuses are uncovered, and the HUD OIG anticipates that more probes may follow.

"The FHA market share has skyrocketed," Inspector General Donohue further said. "Our job is oversight. We work for the American taxpayer. Each loan on this list will be thoroughly examined and we will track down the reasons why it failed. Once we determine the causes, we will look to see whether there is a need for further review or remedial action. We want to send a message to the industry that as the mortgage landscape has shifted we are watching very carefully and that we are poised to take action against bad performers."

    The following companies were served OIG subpoenas today:

    First Tennessee Bank N.A., Memphis, TN
    Alethes LLC, Lakeway, TX
    Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., Edison, NJ
    Pine State Mortgage Corporation, Atlanta, GA
    Birmingham Bancorp Mortgage Corporation, West Bloomfield, MI
    Alacrity Financial Services, LLC, Southlake, TX
    Assurity Financial Services, LLC, Englewood, CO
    D and R Mortgage Corporation, Farmington, MI
    Webster Bank, Cheshire, CT
    Mac-Clair Mortgage Corporation, Flint, MI
    Americare Investment Group, Inc., Arlington, TX
    1st Advantage Mortgage, Lombard, IL
    American Sterling Bank, Independence, MO
    Sterling National Mortgage Company Inc., Great Neck, NY
    Dell Franklin Financial LLC, Columbia, MD

###

For more information, visit the HUD Website.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General is statutorily authorized to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations. The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance on loans by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.

Tags: 203(k) loan, property damage, foreclosures, hud loan, advanced restoration, restoration, suffolk county restoration, restoration company, disrepair, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab, mortgage companies

Wind Damage to Your Home: Wind Advisory in New York

Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Heavy winds are pounding Long Island today and the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for parts of New York. 

During a severe storm or a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.

Some helpful tips regarding wind damage and preparing for storms are listed below: 

The Roof
During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground. The first thing you should do is determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an A on the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The end wall of a home with a gabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane or wind storm, and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof.

Exterior Doors and Windows
The exterior walls, doors, and windows are the protective shell of your home. If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.

Double Entry Doors
Most double doors have an active and an inactive or fixed door . Check to see how the fixed door is secured at the top and bottom. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. Check with your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for your door.

Double-wide Garage Doors
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose a problem during storms because they are so large that they wobble as the high winds blow and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow out doors, windows, walls, and even the roof.

Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. If so, a stronger track should be installed.

Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

The recommendations discussed here are not intended to replace local building code requirements or to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; or a building professional.

Advanced Restoration is a property damage restoration company that is trained and ready to respond to any disaster situation, including wind damage to your home or business. We are a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers and have been serving Long Island and the NY Metro area for 20 years. 

Do you have a property damage situation you need help with? 
Call us today at (800) 693-6263!

 

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FHA 203K Rehab Loan Q&A Summary

Posted on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 @ 11:13 AM
If you are thinking about purchasing a foreclosure in disrepair (needs rehabilitation), you should look into applying for an FHA 203k loan. The 203k program is HUD's primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities.
Listed below are some general questions & answers regarding 203k loans to help you better understand the 203k concept:


Is the Section 203(k) program restricted to single-family dwellings? No. The program can be used for one-to-four unit dwellings. Maximum mortgage limitations are the same as for properties under Section 203(b).
Can Section 203(k) be used to improve a condominium unit? Yes, however, condominium rehabilitation is subject to the following conditions:
A. Owner/occupant and qualified nonprofit borrowers only;
B. Rehabilitation is limited only to the interior of the unit. Mortgage proceeds are not to be used for the rehabilitation of exteriors or other areas which are the responsibility of the condominium association, except for the installation of firewalls in the attic for the unit;
C. Only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time;
D. The maximum mortgage amount cannot exceed 100 percent of the after-improved value. After rehabilitation is complete, the individual buildings within the condominium must not contain more than four units. By law, Section 203(k) can only be used to rehabilitate units in one-to-four unit structures. However, this does not mean that the condominium project, as a whole, can only have four units or that all individual structures must be detached.

Example: A project might consist of six buildings each containing four units, for a total of 24 units in the project and, thus, be eligible for Section 203(k). Likewise, a project could contain a row of more than four attached townhouses and be eligible for Section 203(k) because HUD considers each townhouse as one structure, provided each unit is separated by a 1 1/2 hour firewall (from foundation up to the roof). Similar to a project with a condominium unit with a mortgage insured under Section 234(c) of the National Housing Act, the condominium project must be approved by HUD prior to the closing of any individual mortgages on the condominium units.


Can a six (or more) unit building be done using the 203(k) program? No. However, the building could be renovated and reduced to a four unit building.

Can nonresidential (storefront) property be eligible for a 203(k) insured loan? Yes. Mixed-use residential property is acceptable provided the property has no greater than 25% (for a one story building); 33% (for a three story building); and 49% (for a two story building) of its floor area used for commercial (storefront) purposes. The rehab funds can only be used for the residential functions of the dwelling and areas used to access the residential part of the property.
Can HUD-owned properties be purchased using the 203(k) loan? Yes. However, the property must be advertised that it is eligible for financing with a 203(k) loan. If the HUD-owned property is purchased with other funds, a 203(k) loan can be made after the property is in the buyers name. In this case, cash back will be allowed to the borrower for a period of six months from purchasing the HUD-owned property.
Can an investor use the 203(k) program?
No. In October, 1996, the Department placed a moratorium on investor participation in the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Program.

Can a local government agency or a nonprofit organization use the 203(k) program?
Yes. The same qualification requirements will be used as for an owner-occupant of the property.

What is the definition of a First-Time Homebuyer?
A single person or an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home (as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant by the entirety) during the three years immediately preceding the date of application for the 203(k) loan. Any individual who is legally separated or divorced cannot be excluded from consideration, because the three-year waiting period does not apply, provided the individual no longer has an interest in the home.

Tags: 203(k) loan, homeowner, property damage, fire restoration, restoration companies, fha, advanced restoration, emergency service, homeowner tips, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab

Time to Light Your Fireplace

Posted on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 @ 09:28 AM


The holidays are just around the corner, and that means families will be entertaining around their fireplaces.fireplace, fire tips,fire damage

Fire safety is a primary ingredient to enjoying the holiday season.  Some firepalce tips include: 

Installation & Use

  • Check the fireplace to make sure it complies with the local building codes.
  • Use protective devices like glass doors or a screen which stops sparks.
  • Install a removable cap on the chimney.
  • Avoid using flammable liquids or garbage to start a fire.
  • Clean out all flammable materials near the fireplace.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood and approved fire tools.
Cleaning
  • Make sure the previous ashes are cleaned out before starting a fire.
  • Use non-combustible containers to remove ashes and remove immediately from the home.
  • Fireplaces require annual inspections and cleaning by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Regular maintenance is needed to remove obstructions and creosote.
Safety

  • Only close the damper when the fire has completely gone out.
  • Never leave a fire burning unattended.

Tags: disaster, property damage, restoration companies, fire recall, fire prevention, smoke damage, christmas tree fire, holiday fire prevention, advanced restoration, restoration, water extraction, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, home repair, fire protection, smoke restoration

Why Renovate With a 203K Streamlined Loan?

Posted on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 @ 02:19 PM

Because You Can!

I'll keep this very brief...


You are purchasing a home that needs minor repairs (repairs under $35,000 qualify for a streamlined loan). Incorporating the rehab into your mortgage payment allows you to have just one payment. Some highlights include:

  • Loan amounts up to 110% of the home's appraised value; renovation amounts up to $35,000.
  • No work write-up, no inspection required if repairs are less than $15,000 and no HUD consultant required.
  • There is no longer a minimum of $5,000 in repairs for a 203K Streamline.
  • On a 203K Streamline, up to 50% of the rehab amount can be requested immediately following the closing. After closing the work can start.
  • For a 203K Streamline, there is a maximum of 2 draws per contractor.
  • Loan can be used for many improvements, including repair/replacement of: roofs, plumbing, electrical, flooring, minor remodeling, windows, doors, etc.
  • Available for mortgage refinance transactions including those where the property is owned free and clear.

203K Streamlined Loans are available through HUD approved lenders. For more information on how Advanced Restoration can be your 203k contractor, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.

Tags: foreclosure, 203(k) loan, mortgage, fha, advanced restoration, disrepair, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, 203k, hud, 203k streamline, rehab

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