WE SHUTTER TO THINK!
BUYER BEWARE. Important information regarding hurricane shutters when buying a home.
In Florida and especially most recently with the fear of Dorian bearing down on Brevard County the topic of shutters is top of mind. So what is the definition of a hurricane shutter?
MAKE SURE YOU ARE SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE.
If you thought that shutters were made only of metal you are not alone. I asked several people and that's what is assumed. Lesson when purchasing a property never assume. Verify. In this instance a buyer thought the home they were buying had hurricane shutters because the listing agent had marked it as such. But when she drove by the home after Dorian to make sure all was well, she was very surprised to see that the house had plywood covering the windows. She of course was very displeased to see this and questioned us on it. The listing agent had listed the home as having shutters, and when we questioned the agent on it she said "it does have shutters they are plywood." It's hard to say who is right or wrong in this instance. According to wikipedia:
STUDY YOUR INSPECTION REPORTS.
During the inspection period the buyer did have a wind mitigation performed, which for obvious reasons the buyer must not have read it. For listed on it plain as day, states that the home has plywood protection for the openings. Another lesson as a buyer, you pay for the inspections, make sure you take the time to read the reports. I also questioned local insurance agent Sarah Brodax with USI Insurance Services LLC to see if this effected the buyers policy and she confirmed that if the plywood is stored onsite it is in fact a hurricane shutter and that there is no price difference in the policy.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
As agents we want to do our very best in making sure that we are giving our clients what they ask for and that we are covering all of the bases. But we don't always know what is most important to you especially if you don't tell us. The buyer had never expressed the importance of having metal panels. We talked about the importance of having dark cabinets, an indoor laundry room and a luxurious bathtub, all of those items I made sure were in the listings I presented. But hurricane panels we didn't discuss. And in our Space Coast MLS system when you enter in a new listing there is box to click that says "home has shutters" but there isn't a way to say what the shutter is made of. So this is a flaw in our multiple listing service, but it is something as a buyer that you should be aware of.
Christina Geiger is a sales associate for Treasure Coast Sotheby's International Realty in Melbourne Beach, Fl. She and her husband Rob Geiger, Broker Associate, are the Geiger Team, they artfully unite extraordinary homes with extraordinary lives. You can reach them at 321.831.9193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.