Many homebuyers are drawn to the distinctive culture possessed by beach towns. But what if the beach town where you are considering buying a home you like is also in a hurricane zone? Your home will definitely be at higher risk of getting seriously damaged. So how will you know if the property that’s located in a hurricane zone, is worth buying? Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself and your real estate agent.
Questions You and Your Real Estate Agent Should Answer Before Buying A Home
How much will you pay for insurance?
Whether a hurricane hits or not, you have to pay for insurance. Insurance rates run the gamut. According to the numbers provided by the Insurance Information Institute, Idaho once had the lowest premiums at $528 while Florida had the highest at about $2,084 per year. What does this mean? Before you begin searching for a house, talk to an insurance agent first. Although it may seem as if you are doing this backward, meeting with an insurance agent will give you an estimate of the insurance cost you need to cover every year.
Should I Buy A Property On The Beach Or A Few Blocks Away?
The location of the property that you wish to purchase will have a significant impact on your risk and premiums, even if you go with a house that is located just a couple of miles inland. It will all be based on the flood hazard locations defined by the National Flood Insurance Program’s Flood Insurance Rate Map. The spots that were considered as Special Flood Hazard Areas are places with the highest risk. They have a minimum of 1 out of 4 chance of flooding throughout a 30-year mortgage.
Keep in mind that you do not need to be close to the water to be considered in a flood hazard area, like the communities near the intracoastal waterway or Waccamaw river. So if you are house hunting together with your real estate agent in Myrtle Beach, you need to take into account where each property falls on the map and their flood zone designation.
What Kind Of House Should You Buy?
According to the experts from Full Potential Real Estate, the house type you wish to purchase will also make a big difference since there are a few homes that were made to specifically stand up against hurricanes. Some of these houses are dome-shaped, which lessens the wind damage, while a few are built on stilts to lower risks of flooding. These houses might also obtain a much better rating from your chosen insurance company.
Don’t forget to ask your realtor to show you all the houses that were designed to withstand wind and water or if you prefer a conventional home, be sure to hire a reputable home inspector who can help set realistic expectations regarding the home’s capability to withstand a hurricane before you make an offer.
You may have lower insurance costs if the house you wish to purchase was built to code and can stand up against any hurricane or storm. In case the house is not up to code, you need to work with a contractor who can make improvements on the property. However, don’t forget to calculate the costs before you make any commitment. In case the insurance savings are not bigger compared to the cost to remodel, then the house may not be worth it.
If Damages Do Happen, What Will Be My Deductible?
Regardless of where you live, your homeowner’s policy will cover hurricanes. However, these policies are different depending on your financial responsibility in case you need to file a claim that is hurricane-related. Although you might not be able to get yourself out of a hurricane deductible, you can still manage to cut costs by shopping around. Insurance companies offer different costs so be sure to obtain a minimum of three estimates before you finally choose a carrier.
Should I Also Have Flood Insurance?
You need more than a regular homeowner’s insurance if you live in a coastal region. Generally speaking, damages associated with high powered winds of tropical storms and hurricanes are covered by homeowners insurance . However, it does not include one major problem, flooding. You need to keep yourself protected by getting a flood policy. It will be issued by the National Flood Insurance Program. The policy will cover property damages if the heavy rains have caused flooding to your house. Ask the insurance agent to explain everything about your insurance in detail. Be sure to ask questions if there is anything that you do not understand. If you don’t want to have any regrets, be sure to get flood insurance.