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Buyers should beware of buying tornado-damaged homes

A lot of property owners look to sell their storm damaged homes.

Jeremy Nelson and his son work to restore a tornado damaged home in Joplin.

He says what some property owners see as trash will soon be his treasure.

“Our biggest thing is trying to get houses back and up and running for people. I’ve had rentals in the past and there’s a huge demand.” says Nelson.

Nelson has already purchased six distressed homes and hopes that number will grow.

Joplin city officials say there are some important things to consider for anyone wanting to follow nelson’s footsteps.

“A new owner would be responsible for removing that debris so they’re taking on the burden of basically removing debris or demo-ing the house. So they need to be aware of that before they buy property.” says Lynn Onstot, Joplin City Spokesperson.

Federal assistance for debris removal is only available to the legal property owner of record at the time damage occurred.

Residents have until July 22nd to get FEMA’s help with debris removal.

Joplin city officials have advice for anyone looking to buy or sell a storm damaged home. They say that if debris still needs to be removed from the property. It’s best to contact an attorney or real estate professional before proceeding.

“It’s foundational things. I always have an engineer come in and look at it prior to me purchasing it just to make sure that it’s structurally sound.” says Nelson.

Along with checking the condition of a damaged home he’s looking to buy, Nelson is also aware of the added cost of debris removal.

“If someone wants to sell their house at a great cost and we know what it’s going to take to fix it up and clean it up you know it’s going to add a few thousand dollars for you know a dumpster haul off but again it won’t deter me.” says Nelson.

And Nelson says he’s grateful to help bring life back to neighborhoods which once thrived.


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