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CoconutPete 06-22-2012 01:43 PM

What is a "normal" timeframe after a house burns?
Remember that crazy snowstorm we had in September? Well the house, 5 houses down form me has an electric stove. The poor people were cooking when the power went out and they ended up leaving the stove on when they went to stay elsewhere. When the power came back on, the stove kicked on - nobody was home and it ended up burning the house .... not "down" but the entire center of the roof is gone and all the windows are boarded up. From the other street you can tell that most of the back of the house is gone also.

The reason I'm curious is ...... there was lots of activity the first few days - first they were disconnecting the utilities, then guys in polo's w/ logos were walking around with note pads and measuring tapes for a few days - and then nothing.

In a few days it will be 8 months since the incident. There was a dumpster for a while which filled slowly - I can only imagine as the poor people were sifting through their belongings, trying to salvage a few things. It disappeared after a few weeks.

We are refinancing so we just had the appraiser out - one of the questions he had was how long ago it burned. That's what reignited my curiosity. 8 months seems like a long time.

If your home burns and it is declared a total loss does the ins. company cut you a check like with your car and offer to buy the land? Or are you stuck w/ the land and need to order your own demolition?

Doc Holliday 06-22-2012 02:21 PM

I was once a roomate in a house that burned down. I obviously moved and didn't move back in (although invited to do so), but I think it took maybe 6-7 months for the house to be rebuilt. I'd driven by it in that time frame and it was finished, people living there.

I'd have to assume it depends on your insurance and how quickly you file and make a claim and how much you harrass folk to get things done.

rusty baker 06-22-2012 04:32 PM

Don't know about fires, but there are many people still waiting on insurance money from the Joplin tornado. It was May 22, 2011.

joecaption 06-22-2012 05:01 PM

There can be tons of reasons for no action.
Customer not willing to settle for the amount offered.
Waiting for the fire marshall to sign off.
There's been a settlement but there not sure what there going to do with the money.
Mistakes were made on what the insurance companys calls scope of work. (which happens all the time) Just means they left stuff off the list that needs to be fixed.
There was second or even third morgages and there's no money once every ones been paid off.
I live in an area where we have had hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes.
Some people have an agent show up the next day, take a look around and cut a check right then in there within an hour.
Man next door with no roof and the 30 X 50 garage that was totaly gone never saw anyone for almost 30 days, then they called in engineers, electritions, local code dept. Almost a year later all the poor guy has had done is a new roof, nothing inside has been fixed, and still no garage. There was not even a mention of it on the scope, even though it was clearly incuded on the policy.

CoconutPete 06-23-2012 09:28 AM

Things just got stranger... There is a "for sale by owner" sign there now...

chrisn 06-23-2012 05:04 PM


Originally Posted by CoconutPete (Post 949552)
Things just got stranger... There is a "for sale by owner" sign there now...

tuff sale,I would think:eek:

CoconutPete 06-23-2012 09:55 PM

I know ... I'm tempted to call and ask him what he wants for it .... prime location but obviously a little work to be done. I'd imagine that with a house from 1927 you may have to take some precautions when demoing.

Fix'n it 06-24-2012 10:02 AM

maybe they didn't have any insurance.

rusty baker 06-24-2012 12:35 PM


Originally Posted by CoconutPete (Post 950011)
I know ... I'm tempted to call and ask him what he wants for it .... prime location but obviously a little work to be done. I'd imagine that with a house from 1927 you may have to take some precautions when demoing.

Be careful of hidden problems. Maybe there is some reason your city won't let them rebuild.
There is a 3 br house about a mile from me sitting on 3.8 acres for $32, 500. It has been for sale more than a year. We know there is something major wrong but can't find out what it is. Could be zoning, codes, land problems, title problems etc. When a deal is too good to be true, watch out.

CoconutPete 06-25-2012 02:58 PM

Ah ... never thought of that, maybe I can just ask at city hall as a concerned neighbor. It's just bugging the hell out of me. Houses in this neighborhood generally sell in 1-2 weeks even in the past few years ....... and then you have this burned out crispy shell sitting there ..........

Thunder Chicken 06-25-2012 03:57 PM

I had a similar situation on my street last fall. A house next to my neighbor (our lots are 80' wide, so pretty close) burned badly. House was condemned, emergency crew came in to tack some plywood over the hole in the roof and the windows, and that was about it.

The day of the fire, the lady was out in the street talking to the TV news bemoaning the fact that she didn't have any insurance (her mortgage was paid off so she wasn't required to carry any :huh:). She said the night before she smelled something like "burning plastic" in the back room, but didn't think anything of it as her boyfriend had recently refurbished the back part of the house, including the electrical, so what could go wrong? She said this right on TV.

The boyfriend was a DIY hack who was attempting stuff way over his skill level, and he overloaded a circuit and burned the house down. She has no income and is the proud owner of a burned out condemned hulk. I'm pretty sure the boyfriend is (literally) in the doghouse for this. They got a permit and I hear some hammering every now and again, but it doesn't look good. Can't sell except for a total loss, can't tear down or repair fast as they are probably dead-broke as they had to pay to have the structure reinforced so it wouldn't collapse on the neighbor (2 story house on a 40' wide lot). They have the attention of the board so they can't wing anything (thank goodness).

CoconutPete 06-26-2012 12:54 PM

Thunder, that sounds pretty similar. This is in the center of town so our lots are very narrow also, If I was one of the neighbors and had to stare directly at it every day I'd be even more upset. I'm not sure how weak the structure is, but if a good storm was to take a wall down it would land in the neighbors driveway....

CoconutPete 06-29-2012 10:13 AM

For sale sign is gone. Maybe somebody really bought the thing ....... either that or he got sick of all the neighbors calling him and asking when he was going to do something about it!

I spoke to the town public relations officer today (I guess they really do have one of those) who will hopefully get back to me with some info about why it just sits there.

bubbler 07-04-2012 04:05 PM

With homeowners you can have coverage for the depreciated value of the structure, or the replacement cost.

Replacement cost is the way to go because they will give the amount needed to replace the structure, even if it exceeds the present value.

Depreciated value can leave you in a serious bind from what I understand because you may not be made whole.

CoconutPete 07-05-2012 01:55 PM

Public relations person got back to me ...... kind of a funny phone call. She had a bunch of "information" which really amounted to ... nothing. One of the vital pieces of information was that the structure was released back to the home owner by the fire department after the investigation was closed .. WOW - REALLY? Anyway .. the refreshing part about it was that after she gave me everything she more or less said "wow, I just called and gave you nothing but filler material eh". She promised to dig deeper, so I'm still waiting.

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