Author Topic: Aftereffects of House Flooding, Need Help Evaluating Options  (Read 1057 times)

chemistk

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Aftereffects of House Flooding, Need Help Evaluating Options
« on: August 24, 2016, 01:33:33 PM »
The Background:

My wife and I were on vacation for 11 days and at some point, early in those 11 days, one of our toilets sprung a significant leak. We walked in, weary from a 8.5 hour car ride, to find water raining from the ceilings and most of our stuff on the main floor of the house and basement destroyed. It was not a high point. The silver lining is that we are renters, and we were not responsible for the damage, so all we needed to take care of was our things.

The Dilemma:

Water was running for so long that all of our furniture on the main floor and basement, all of our son's toys, and all of our storage was destroyed. Our most important possessions were either in an area of the house that was undamaged, or with us in the car already. We have since processed everything with insurance and are being reimbursed the full value of these items as well as a month's stay in a hotel near my wife's parents.

However, we just were notified by the builder that the rebuild will take, at minimum, 90 days (!!!). They tore the main floor and basement down to the studs, removed the subfloor, and tore out half the electrical. This leaves us in a pickle. Our property management group cannot reimburse us for extra time in the hotel, but they are waiving our rent during the time of the repair and will be taking care of utilities during the repair. They have offered to exercise a clause in our lease which allows us to terminate the lease at no charge, with the security deposit returned in full.

My Question

Like I said before: pickle.

Do we stay? We love the location, our son has become very used to the area and we were starting to create a network of friends and a routine in the area. On top of that, if we stick it out, we will be living in a whole new house at no charge with no uptick in rent. Staying also means we get to keep some very nice utility rates and we don't have to move our stuff (the restoration service moved our things out and will be moving them back at no charge to us) or go through any of the other headaches of moving (we just moved in 4 months ago). Our area is also pretty dead as far as rentals go right now. It's slow season according to our property management group. 

Do we go? Our rent was on the high side of what we originally wanted, but after a raise I received this year, it stayed at ~22% of our gross income. it is also a bit of a drive for my wife and I, but it was one are comfortable with. It's a lose-lose if we venture too far outside of where we are now. Move closer to work? Wife drives further to school and to family and friends. Move closer to family and friends? I have a much longer commute. From where we are now, we drive about the same amount a month. Our driving would shift proportionally until my wife is done with school. Selfishly, I would love to be able to bike to work but it would take a toll on my wife even though she also wants me to be able to bike to work.

I am open to any and all advice! Thanks!

GizmoTX

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Re: Aftereffects of House Flooding, Need Help Evaluating Options
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 01:47:37 PM »
You need a place to live in for at least 90 days, which IMO is wildly optimistic.
Since the rent has been waived, if you "stay", you are opting to move back in whenever they get the work finished. I personally would do this if you are not expected to move back prematurely & if there is reasonable temporary "extended stay" housing available month to month. You could & should delay getting much replacement furniture until you move back into the rebuilt house.

With This Herring

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Re: Aftereffects of House Flooding, Need Help Evaluating Options
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 06:16:59 PM »
Just a thought:
If it is slow season, can the property management group stick you in an empty unit while the rebuild is in process?  Perhaps at the same rent or slightly reduced?  If not that, you might look for week to week or month to month rentals.

Dicey

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Re: Aftereffects of House Flooding, Need Help Evaluating Options
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 09:51:02 PM »
How old is your son? Four months is not that long to become "dug in" to a place. Kids are more resilient than you think.

No way is that unit going to be put to rights in 90 days. If they rush and don't dry everything out properly/replace all damaged material, you could easily end up with mold problems.

I say life just handed you a big, fat Mulligan. Take the money and run. Get as much settlement money out of them as you can. Then go buy all new stuff. On CraigsList, of course. Bank the difference.