As a real estate agent, I have had several people comment recently that people just aren't buying homes right now.
After Hurricane Florence finally moved on, and then the remnants of Hurricane Michael blew through, many believe that the market will take a long time to recover.
This is, in fact, not the case.
Any market will have a recovery period after a natural event, but buyers normally know what they are getting into when looking to buy in a hurricane zone and the same factors that drew them to the area (sunny beach-filled days and relaxed atmosphere) remain after the storm.
The Wilmington area bounced back quickly according to an mls.com
search that shows since Florence hit on Sept. 14, nearly 500 homes went under contract in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties, and we fully expect the trend to continue.
Buying a home in a hurricane zone does require consideration of a few unique things and it is best to do your research and be prepared. An article in realtor.com
points out the following things to look into when buying a home in a hurricane zone.
All North Carolina homeowners require hurricane insurance (a windstorm and hail policy) if you are buying your home through a lender. If you are buying on your own, this type of insurance is always a good idea in a region that sees hurricanes and tropical storms on a regular basis.
Rates can run the gamut, so it is always a good idea to talk to an insurance agent before you start house hunting. The insurance agent can provide a general estimate. For more information, refer to the North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association
Beachfront and Flooding
We all want to live at the beach! But where you decide to buy is important, whether it is oceanfront or a few blocks from the beach. If the home is oceanfront at a high elevation, your total insurance costs could be less than a home three blocks inland but in a designated flood zone. It all depends on FEMA’s
designated flood hazard areas in the
National Flood Insurance Program: Flood Hazard Mapping.
These areas have a one in four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage and lenders require additional flood insurance coverage in conjunction with windstorm and hail.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in a flood zone to need flood insurance. See my last article: Flood Insurance, Even for Non-Flood Zones
Ensure your home is built to withstand hurricane-force winds. Different types of architecture and glass types do better in the wind and in flood zones, the home may be built on stilts. Designed to handle tough storms, these types of home may decrease insurance costs. Work with a realtor who is familiar with special construction and inspect traditional houses carefully.
Damage and Deductibles
Hurricane-related claims may be handled differently than basic wind and rain damage. Ensure you shop around to find the best deductible for you and that you are clear on where your financial responsibility lies when making a claim due to a named storm.
The main thing to remember is: don’t be discouraged from buying a home in a hurricane zone, just be smart and consider the risks and costs. Let your local KBT Realty
agent discuss the pros and cons of buying a home in the Wilmington area. After all, we both live and love it here!
According to the healthy market we are experiencing right now, it appears that most people can still see all the positive reasons to live in this fabulous region.
Becky Brown was born and raised in Wilmington girl, and has been a full time Realtor since 1995. Prior to real estate, she worked in the banking and insurance industries. She has a passion for local Fire, Police & EMS staff and volunteers and has worked with local providers to offer special incentives for first responders.Becky is an active volunteer, having served on committees for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association. She also served several terms on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross. In her free time, Becky enjoys traveling, boating, reading and cooking and entertaining for family and friends. She has a miniature long-haired Dachshund puppy named Axel and loves spending time getting to know him.