January 22, 2019
Hurricanes Cause an Increased Rate of Home Repair and Maintenance
When our communities are forced into a stare-down with the eye of a hurricane—such as 2018’s hurricanes Florence and Michael, and for that matter 2017’s Irma and Harvey—we know that a world of hurt is coming our way. Some areas, like our service area of Florida, are relatively quick to bounce back from the catastrophes that lay them low briefly. They are accustomed to the occurrence of strong storms—or as accustomed to them as a community can be—because of the relative frequency with which they meet with them. Yet even in a flexible, resilient market like Florida’s, issues can arise when a storm like Hurricane Irma, which inflicted $50 billion worth in damage, comes roaring in. Insurers are understandably reluctant to shell out for potentially fraudulent claims, while simultaneously handling a tremendous load of valid ones, which can cause the processing of claims to take quite a while. And, once those claims are processed, any contractors in the area will find themselves in the situation of being in a shortage market of labor and building materials.
Meanwhile, we still don’t know how these large storms affect property values over the long-term. What we do know is there are usually some short-term changes in a locale’s market. Where properties of greater age suffer a higher percentage of the storm’s inflicted damage, homeowners are forced into rental situations (at least until repairs make their property habitable again). This can actually result in a raising of the area’s property values, since rental properties are made more scarce, at least temporarily, and, with repairs or rebuilding, what was old becomes new again.
Whether a buyer is in the market for a home in Cranston, Rhode Island; Boca Raton, Florida; or Cambridge, Massachusetts, we at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. stand ready to provide thorough title searches, title curative services, and title insurance policies that back those services—the latter of which are designed to provide peace of mind in the face of potential hidden issues with title that somehow manage to creep out of the hurricane-ridden past. Feel free to contact us.