If you’ve recently inherited a home, or had to move quickly due to a new job, you might find yourself the proud owner of a vacant or unoccupied home.
There are a myriad of problems associated with vacant or unoccupied houses. Insurance coverage is harder to get and more expensive when available at all, and selling a vacant home can be next to impossible.
We’ve put together a few tips and tricks for how to deal with an unoccupied or vacant home in the Dallas area.
Vacant vs. Unoccupied
First, it’s important to discuss the difference between vacant and unoccupied homes.
- An unoccupied home has everything but the resident. It must have enough furniture and appliances to be livable, and the utilities remain connected. It should be able to be occupied immediately.
- A vacant home is completely or mostly empty. No one lives there, there is little to no furniture, and the utilities are more than likely disconnected.
First, if you’re going to leave your home unoccupied for an extended period of time (30-60 days or more), make sure you contact your insurance provider and ask about any specific requirements.
Next,a homeowner usually has 60 days to notify their insurance company that a property is vacant, but this number can vary. Check with your insurer for the specifics.
Failure to notify the insurance company can lead to claims being rejected and policies being dropped. This leaves the homeowner responsible for any damages and liable for any accidents that occur on the property.
Make sure your unoccupied or vacant home is covered or you sell your home fast, before your inherited or recently vacated property becomes a headache.
Empty Home, Empty Wallet
Insurance for vacant homes can be significantly more expensive than typical home insurance. A policy can cost you 1.5 to 3 times as much money and come with many more restrictions. Make sure you do your homework before purchasing insurance on a vacant home!
Additionally, many insurance companies don’t even offer coverage on a vacant home. The risk is simply too great.
Don’t forget, you’ll still need to pay taxes on a vacant or unoccupied home. Your tax liability doesn’t end with your residency. This can add thousands of dollars to the total yearly cost of owning a home that you don’t even live in.
It can be cheaper and easier to sell your home fast, before you need to spend thousands on insurance and taxes.
Don’t be in the Dark
Selling a vacant home fast can be even trickier when the utilities are disconnected. Home inspectors can’t check gas, electricity, A/C and heating, or even the functionality of appliances.
It’s hard to imagine a buyer who’ll be interested in buying a home quickly that hasn’t had these areas inspected, and it’s even more difficult to imagine a title or insurance company who would take a risk on a home that hasn’t been properly inspected.
It’s possible to get the utilities turned on temporarily in a vacant house you’re trying to sell, but utility companies are sure to make the process difficult. There is also the added trouble of having to disconnect the utilities after the sale.
After deposits, connection fees, bills, disconnect fees (and whatever other fees utility companies decide to throw at you), the process can be time consuming, expensive, and exhausting.
You Have Options
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), there’s no way to live in two places at once, so leaving your house unoccupied may become unavoidable. However, there are steps you can take to make sure your unoccupied home doesn’t become vacant.
Some home staging companies have home managers who will live in your property until it is sold, making it possible to avoid vacancy. A home manager will ensure that your home is cared for, keeping your home is ready for viewings or open houses so that it can sell fast.
Of course these services aren’t free (or even cheap), so it becomes one more expense for the owner. It may be better to sell your home quickly rather than incur these costs.
A quick sale can oftentimes be the best way to eliminate the expense of an unoccupied or vacant home. Local Cash Buyers pays cash for your home, and we buy homes fast. We will make you an offer within 24 hours, and we can usually close in as little as 7 days. Contact us or call us today for a no obligation quote!