Using FEMA to Rebuild a Hurricane Damaged House in Houston: 4 Things You Need to Know

Did Hurricane Harvey leave your home flooded?

If so, we’re very sorry to hear that – being located in Houston, we’ve seen the devastation and know how tough dealing with it can be.

The good news is, if you have flood insurance, you should be able to get a decent amount to restore your home.

But if you don’t have flood insurance, FEMA offers disaster grants – that you don’t have to pay back.

The caveat is, you will more than likely receive much less than is actually needed to recover your home. But it’s certainly a lot better than getting nothing.

Here are 4 things you need to know about using FEMA to rebuild a hurricane damaged house in Houston:

  1. The Best Way to Register

FEMA is being bombarded with calls, so getting through may be tricky. According to their site, it’s best to register online at If you have a smartphone, you can download the FEMA app at

  1. Inspection Delays

Since the amount of damage in Houston is huge, you need to be prepared that it may take a lot longer than a couple weeks (the typical time it took before Hurricane Harvey) to schedule an onsite inspection.

  1. Making Major Improvements

Any home undergoing major improvements must be brought into compliance with the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), which could require major renovations, and even relocation. It’s important to be aware of the regulations.

If a house is in a flood plain and rehab costs are more than 50 percent of the value of the home (pre-flood), the ordinance requires that the home be elevated, and/or the basement be filled, in order to meet the elevation standard so the house doesn’t flood again. This is required for the city to issue construction permits during the rehab.

Raising a property can be extremely expensive, but the owner must be willing to pay if they wish to keep their house.

You can read more here: (on pages 8 – 11)

  1. There is an Alternative

If you don’t want to go through all the rigamarole of getting an inspector and a permit, and then rebuilding, or have a severely damaged home in a flood plain and don’t have enough money to elevate it, or just don’t have enough money to supplement what you get may get from FEMA, there is an alternative…

You can sell your home to a real estate investor as-is for cash. After assessing and factoring in the damage, they will give you a fair offer.

They’ll close when you want to close, which can be as quick as seven days, they’ll handle all the repairs and cleanup for you, and may even be able to offer assistance with moving costs, making the devastating aftermath of the hurricane a little easier for you to deal with.

Have questions about how selling your home to a real estate investor for cash works? Click here or fill out the form below.

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