In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it’s reasonable to have second thoughts about purchasing a property along the coast. Yet, the many benefits of buying a home on the Alabama Gulf Coast far outweigh the risks you might face during a natural disaster. Thanks to hurricane preparedness tips and safety nets like homeowner’s insurance, you can enjoy your dream house on the coast without sweating bad weather. Here’s how to make the most out of your Gulf Coast home, rain or shine.
Protect Your Investment with Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is typically a requirement for beach property owners. If it’s not a requirement for your new home, consider investing in it anyway. Living on the Gulf Coast will always come with some risk of bad storms and potential flooding. Flood insurance will cover damages that most other homeowner’s insurance policies will not, such as water damage from hurricanes. Depending on your policy, damage from a hurricane may not cost you a dime out of pocket.
Consider Upgrading Structural Integrity
Look at when your desired home was built. Older homes may benefit from upgrades and renovations according to modern construction guidelines. Improving your home’s structural integrity can give you better peace of mind during a bad storm or even a hurricane. Hire a professional home inspector to tell you if the property meets the most up-to-date building codes. A few simple upgrades can make all the difference in hurricane-force winds.
Go Beyond the Minimum Building Requirements
Plenty of innovations exist to protect homes in the event of hurricanes. Consider installing extra safety features specifically designed to resist the elements of bad weather. Look into storm windows and storm doors, as well as covered gutters and storm drains. Your neighbors may already have systems in place to protect their properties. Look around and make sure your home matches others in your area in terms of storm preparedness.
Make Safety a Priority
Always be prepared to evacuate your home if a hurricane is coming your way. It is never a good idea to ignore evacuation warnings in your community. With a solid plan in place, you and your family can evacuate to higher or safer ground in plenty of time. If you boarded up your home and safeguarded it from the weather as much as possible, you could possibly return to minimal damage. Review the history of natural disasters in your desired area for an idea of what you might expect in the future before you buy. With personal safety a top priority, living on the coast doesn’t have to mean living in fear.