Whether you’re moving to a completely new city or you’re just moving down the street from your old home, if you’re shopping in a floor-prone and hurricane-prone area, then you need to be properly equipped with the right advice. Cities that take the brute force of hurricanes can not only be dangerous during the season, but they can also be expensive year-round. Flood insurance, protection from storm damage, and other coverage can come into play and quickly hike up the complete price of your home. Homes.com teamed up with a group of experts to answer your questions, and more, when it comes to house hunting in a hurricane-prone area. Florida Realtor, Michele Bellisari, Brian Black of Groundworks, and Jennifer Amick of S.L. Nusbaum Insurance Agency, Inc. are here to provide the expert advice you need.
Panel of Experts
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home in a Hurricane-prone Area
If you’re home searching in a new city that you’re unfamiliar with, you need to analyze and assess your risk of flooding and storm damage before settling on a specific location. Having a Realtor or agent from the area you’re looking to move to will help provide an added layer of protection as they know which neighborhoods are prone to flooding and which are safer to be in. Before you put in an offer on a home you love in a hurricane or flood-prone area, ask yourself these five questions:
- How much will my insurance cost? You need to know what you’re going to be paying for and what types of protection are offered that you’ll need. It’s also best to shop around comparing distances to certain flood zones or beaches. Homes within a certain mileage to a beach can have a higher insurance premium than ones just outside of that zone.
- Do I need to purchase flood insurance? Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding or flood damage. Having a flood insurance policy is the only way you can protect yourself from having to pay out of pocket for flood damage. If you’re home is in a flood zone, you may be required to purchase coverage unless you’re in the lowest-risk flood zone. Low-risk flood zones don’t require the homeowner with a federally-backed mortgage to purchase flood insurance.
- Am I prepared financially to purchase and install hurricane and flood protection equipment? Installing the proper equipment will help mitigate any potential damage you might face if a hurricane does hit. While it’s not a requirement, having this extra layer of protection will help put you and your family at ease when a storm does come and can take off any additional stress you might have afterwards when trying to get your home repaired and back up and running.
If you’re comfortable with the answers that come from asking yourself these questions, then you could move forward with purchasing a home in a flood or hurricane zone. If you ask yourself these questions and get answers that result in you feeling wary of buying, then perhaps it’s best to look elsewhere or expand your options. If expanding your options isn’t in the cards, then make sure you’re properly prepared in the event of an emergency and that you know the necessary protocols to keep you, your loved ones, and you home as protected as possible.