Longboat Key, Florida | December 5th, 2017 – It is praiseworthy for the Herald-Tribune to have hosted in November the Hurricane Recovery Expo.
This first event of its kind in Sarasota was no doubt prompted by the near-miss our region had with Hurricane Irma in September. This expo called to attention not only the effects of such severe weather disturbances to the real estate sector but also re-emphasized what could be done to prepare for them and prevent or mitigate damage to property.
Insurance: The Finer Points
One of the resource persons in the expo’s panel discussion, Mary Dakkak of Sarasota’s Dakkak Allstate Insurance, offers a sound advice. As 2017 winds up, she says homeowners should check and update their insurance policies, adding that they should have not just replacement-cost insurance coverage. They must also have “law and ordinance coverage” for expenses incurred in repairs of hurricane damage which require bringing their houses up to current building codes.
Other insurance experts who spoke during the expo also suggested four-point inspections on residences, as the result may qualify their owners for discounted insurance premiums. Also smart to get are elevation certificates which establish the elevation of the lowest living-floor area of a house. An insurance premium may be reduced if it is certified that this floor is above the base flood elevation, the expo panelists on insurance say.
The Emergency Manager of Sarasota County, Ed McCrane, who was also an expo panelist, suggested purchase of flood insurance for all homeowners even though they’re not being required to have it by their mortgage lenders. McCrane noted that a preferred insurance rate can be negotiated if a flood insurance is not required by the mortgage lender. He also said that flood can hit anywhere in Florida which sticks out into three bodies of water, so it is wise for all local homeowners to have flood insurance.
What the Market Wants Now
PGT Custom Windows & Doors, a local manufacturer and the expo’s presenting sponsor, appears headed for a spike on demand for their products too. Real estate panelists in the Herald-Tribune event noted that more and more residential buyers will be looking for resale houses which have window protection.
This buying preference is expected to be more pronounced among buyers of luxury residences. Sellers of upscale residential properties should be aware that what their market segment now prefers are houses that meet or exceed building codes that among other things require high-impact glass in doors and windows, the expo’s real estate panelists say.
For resale properties which do not meet such specs as impact-resistant windows or built-in shutters, they advise their sellers to be ready for buyers who would be seeking some adjustment in the sales listings’ price quotes. The more expensive a house is, the likelier it is that sellers would have to ensure that their sales listing is hurricane-resistant. Otherwise, they would be in for a tough price negotiation.
The inputs of the Herald-Tribune Hurricane Recovery Expo, in sum, provide some valuable pointers whether you’re looking or taking a residential property on the market. Consult our Judy Kepecz-Hays team whether you’re selling or buying a residence. Besides insights from this recent expo, we have more resources to tap which could allow you to clinch the best deal possible on the market.