For newcomers and locals alike, South Florida offers a treasure trove of gorgeous beaches, beautiful homes and spectacular shopping and dinning opportunities. This time of year, however, the threat of serious property damage from relentless tropical storms and hurricanes are a harsh reality â€” and enough to make some homeowners question their purchase.
But dealing with unfavorable weather in South Florida shouldnâ€™t be a factor that prevents a buyer from purchasing real estate in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in the state. In fact, there are plenty of precautions homebuyers can take to protect themselves against the onslaught of brewing trouble in the tropics.
Â While Florida building codes go a long way to protect homeowners by requiring reinforced roofs, strong garage doors, impact-resistance glass or window shutters in remodeled homes, itâ€™s important to keep insurance in mind throughout the entire purchasing process.
New homeowners should get replacement coverage to cover property damage and make sure their policy defines exactly what will be covered in the event of a hurricane or serious storm. Most standard home insurance policies cover the damages that hurricane-force wind and lightning causes under the wind and hail portion of the policy. Purchasing flood insurance is also a good idea since the damages from a flood are not covered in a standard homeownerâ€™s insurance policy.
Be sure to carefully examine the home-inspection report before closing and use it as a maintenance checklist. Go through the list and inspect all areas of the home, including bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen, roof, electrical system and plumbing. A lot of small problems can easily be dismissed and overlooked when purchasing a home because buyers become so focused on closing the deal. Being proactive is key.
A knowledgeable Realtor should be able to assist you in finding proper resources, such as a licensed home inspector, that will guide you through the process. Most importantly, donâ€™t be afraid to ask the inspection company questions, such as how long it has been in business and how well your home should hold up in the event of a hurricane or flood.
In terms of homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding markets, itâ€™s likely prices will drop in the next several weeks as the state feels the effects of another active hurricane season. Buyers should continue to check with their agents to see what deals are available as many frustrated sellers and anxious lenders are looking to get rid of their bank-owned homes and excess inventory of condos.
In South Florida, hurricane season not only means stocking up on supplies and being prepared, but it also means getting your finances in order in the event a great deal on a new home arises.