The loss of life and property of unimaginable proportions struck so many communities in our area in recent weeks due to wildfires. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy.

As families and communities begin to rebuild and restore their lives, Guarantee Mortgage wants to offer its encouragement and support. We truly hope to lend a helping hand to our friends in the North Bay communities affected by the fires.

We’ve put together some information that may provide guidance and hope during this difficult time.

If your home was fully or partially destroyed, you probably already contacted your insurance company or agent. Here’s a friendly reminder to touch base with the company again and get in contact with your mortgage servicer as well. Also, continue to make your monthly mortgage payments. These steps are vitally important as you move forward.

With that in mind, you may be wondering what a typical process for handling insurance claims is. Please understand that it may vary by servicer. However, here is a checklist of what you could expect during this process:

  • Give the insurance adjustor’s report to your servicer.
  • Provide a repairs or construction estimate.
  • A licensed, experienced and qualified contractor should be used by the borrower.
  • Insurance claim checks should be paid to the mortgage company and borrowers.
  • Property inspections may be required by the servicer during the process.
  • A final inspection should be expected.
  • In order to release the final disbursement and finalize the claim, a final lien waiver will be required.

It’s too early to tell what kind of immediate impact the fires will have on home prices and sales in the North Bay. Some residents who plan to rebuild, a process which could take several years, rather buy than pay rent in a tight rental environment, according to real estate professionals interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle.

To those who have been affected by the devastation, we truly feel for you and are here to point you to the recovery resources you may need. Please remember that disaster victims can borrow up to 100 percent of the purchase price of a home through the Federal Housing Administration. A FHA 203(h) mortgage is designed for those who lost their primary residence they owned or rented in a major disaster.

If you have any questions about the steps you need to take in terms of your home as you begin the rebuilding process, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are happy to help in any way we can by pointing you in the right direction.