Home next door has fire damage, was sold for less then half price and now the new owner is fixing it for $5000!

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2009

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UPDATED: Jul 6, 2009Fact Checked

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Home next door has fire damage, was sold for less then half price and now the new owner is fixing it for $5000!

The home next to me was worth about $45000 to $50000 before it buried. The original owner took the $40000 pay out for their insurance to rebuild the home and some property damage. They sold the house for $15000 and ran with out fixing the house. Now the new owner is a landlord that rents houses and the town is allowing the new owner to fix it for $5000. SO my question is…. Does Virginia have any protection property home owners that have a reduced valued house rebuild in the neighborhood!! OR is a law on the books about a house that is damage to a percentage that must be torn down.

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


Susan Ford Burns / Susan Ford Burns, Law Offices of

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I am not licensed in Virginia, but it is unlikely that any state has laws that prohibit rebuildling a house inexpensively.  The value of the rebuilt house is what it is worth when completed, not what it cost to purchase and fix.  If fixed correctly pursuant to the local and state building codes there is no reason to reduce the value of the house.

The only thing that might require a damaged house to be torn down, rather than repaired are the building codes.  For example, if the fire damaged the foundation to the point it could not be fixed, then the city would probably require that the house be torn down in order to replace the foundation.  If the foundation could be fixed to code without tearing down the building, then the property owner would have the right to do so.

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