When it comes to buying a new home there are several things to consider, including how well you’re protected in the case that something goes wrong down the line. The damage left in the wake of Hurricane Irma is just one more reminder of what new homebuyers need to research when buying new construction in Florida.
Homebuilders have a responsibility to ensure that new construction homes are habitable. This extends to a certain quality of workmanship so that, for instance, a roof doesn’t leak and the home’s heating and ac units actually work. While Florida law maintains certain requirements for builder warranties, you’ll want to clarify with a builder how long a warranty lasts and what it includes, making a written warranty a good idea for buyers.
The FTC also recommends new homebuyers know exactly what a home warranty covers, how to make a claim if you need to do so and what the dispute process involves. Sometimes homebuyers will purchase an additional warranty to help supplement the builder’s coverage.
Flood zones in the area
It’s also important, especially with new construction, to find out about any potential flood zones in the area. FEMA says upwards of 20,000 communities all across the nation sit in flood zones. At the top of the list are beachfront properties, usually followed by other properties that sit close to water.
Certain zones then dictate construction recommendations, including those for elevating the lowest level of a home, as well as potentially plumbing, ventilation and electrical equipment. In some cases, flood insurance is mandatory for homeowners. Even in areas where it’s not mandatory to buy flood insurance, though, flooding is still sometimes possible so it’s best to do some research.
Hurricane-related building codes/standards
Living in Florida also means ensuring a stricter adherence to storm and hurricane-related building codes and standards. Following the destruction of Hurricane Andrew, the state began mandating certain building codes that required structures to be constructed to withstand certain hurricane-force winds. Some areas of the state are even more stringent than others.
The codes take into consideration things like reinforced concrete pillars, stronger roofs and fasteners and more hurricane impact resistant doors and windows. While the new standards do sometimes increase cost, they also are designed to help the new homes better withstand the sometimes ferocious force of Mother Nature.
Gloria Singer is the Broker of Boca Expert Realty, a boutique Boca Raton real estate company with a focus on professional service and an unparalleled customer experience. Our select agents are amongst the top performing professionals in the field. Visit www.BocaExpert.com for information on Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach real estate and to connect with an expert in the local market.