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Buying a new home can be difficult at any stage in life. After a major disaster, the stress of temporary housing and time pressures can make the process overwhelming. Be cautious as you start to rebuild and give the decision the time it deserves.

Consider the type of home you want, the amount of space you need, and the size mortgage you can afford. Check with your local builders association for a list of builders in your area. Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine if any concerns have been raised about your builder. Look for builders who construct ENERGY STAR qualified homes as these homes will consume less energy and cost less to operate.

Aside from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, consider the type of materials and equipment that will be used. See below for more information on materials that improve disaster resistance. Use PATH's Durability Doctor to find the durable materials that will help you maintain your home at the lowest cost.

Ask your builder about the steps he/she will take to improve the home's durability and energy efficiency. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What type of moisture mitigation strategies are in place? How will you waterproof the basement? How do you seal the joint between the basement floor and foundation walls?
  • How will you protect from termite damage and other pests?
  • Do you normally caulk and weatherstrip all windows, exterior doors and other house penetrations?
  • Are the appliances, windows, lighting and HVAC system ENERGY STAR qualified?
  • How do you ensure a healthy indoor environment?

Read PATH's tips for buying an existing home.

HUD resources for homebuyers. HUD information on manufactured homes.

Content updated on 5/21/2007

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