Home Buying in Sarasota>Question Details

Norine Zimmer, Home Buyer in Lakewood Ranch, FL

We've been warned not to consider buying any Florida property built prior to 2004 as code has changed. Please advise.

Asked by Norine Zimmer, Lakewood Ranch, FL Thu Jan 23, 2014

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Norine,

My home was built in 1920 so you won't hear me warning you not to buy anything older than 2004. My house has been standing for almost 100 years because it's built like a fortress. If your really concerned about the older codes and quality of the structure then perhaps having a structural inspection performed on the house you want to buy would help.

My best,

Teresa M. Fellows
ERA Waterside Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
Buy what ever makes you sleep well at night.
If you think the Ringling Mansion is unsound, definitely do not buy it.
If you think the Ford/Edison house is unsound. don't buy that either.
It is more likely a home built before 1940 contains greater building craftmanship than any home built with the tract building boom started. That INCLUDES homes built since 2004.
By the way, many, many, many homes were built well above the codes in existence at that time. One home for sale on Dolphin Street in Maderia Beach is on such example.
Seriously, buy what allows you to sleep at night. That is all that really matters.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
Codes change in every state but that doesn't prevent people from owning historic homes.

Newer homes may have lower insurance and utility costs, but that doesn't mean older homes don't sell well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014


Florida is one of the top 3 states in the USA for population growth in the past few years. I guess someone forgot to tell them not to move to Florida.

If you see a home that suits your needs and it was built prior to 2004....Buy it! Have your proper inspections and all of the necessary requirements met.

If you need further assistance..I will be delighted to help!

.....and "Enjoy" your time in Paradise.

Rhonda Masotta...Realtor®
Bright Realty of Florida
Call/Text: 941-504-4349
Email: rhondalifestyles@comcast .net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
You're right about codes changing, just as things in other areas continually change. I can tell you I'm a native Floridian and there are a lot of homes that are over 100 years old still standing, that have weathered many a storm. Obviously, the newer homes might be safer should we have a hurricane, but as some of my fellow Realtors have already stated, buy the home you love that suits the needs of your family, in an area you feel safe. They will always be improving and changing the way they build in Florida.

Cynthia Lucas
Sarasota Home Realty
2100 Constitution Blvd.
Sarasota, Fl.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
The main reason people suggest purchasing a home after 2002 is because of the hurricane/wind codes. There are a lot of homes that had the roof retrofitted with clips or the owners purchased hurricane windows or shutters.

Homeowner insurance – Insurance rates vary by age of home, size of home,
conditions of home, and location of home. Insurance is more expensive if you live
near any type of water – pond, lake, river, Gulf. Insurance is more expensive if
home was not built to current hurricane standards. You can get discounts the home
qualifies for by having a wind mitigation inspection done at the same time as your
home inspection. Discounts are available for building features that reduce damage
during high wind events. Overall discounts include things such as age of home, style
of roof, how close the home is to a body of water, how close to a fire hydrant, how
the roof is tied down, if the home has hurricane shutters or impact resistant
windows, frame or block home, etc. If the home is in a flood zone, the insurance
company will require a flood elevation certificate. That can be obtained by paying a
survey company to prepare it. To check Flood Zones go to http://www.floodsmart.gov and
type in the address of the property. It will give you the flood zone, rates, and
insurance companies.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
Buy the home you love. Make sure you have a good home inspection to verify the condition, have a wind mitigation or 4 point report done to get your insurance discounts and go for it. Have been in this business for many years and have NEVER heard that said. Don't worry about what "they say"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
My home was built in 1988 and withstood winds of over 140 MPH in Hurricane Charlie with only the loss of the pool cage. If I had cut the screens out, I might have even saved that.

It is true that codes have changed and newer homes are stronger and insurance rates are lower for newer. However, newer homes are far more expensive and you can find a lovely, well constructed home built in the 80's or 90's and save A LOT OF MONEY.


James Mulligan
Suncoasteam Realty
Phone: 941-235-7474
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
Codes change all the time. Personally, we live in a home built before 2004 and it's nothing we would be concerned about. What does someone think will happen to a home built more than 10 years ago? Our market has lots of older homes, can you imagine if people only lived in new homes? Maybe someone has spoken without thinking about how illogical that is? Is there something specific that they have said?

Please feel free to give us a call to discuss. I'm so curious now.

Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
My husband is a local builder and here are his comments in regards to your question -- Codes have changed numerous times in the past 15 years, increasing the hurricane protection. Anything built after 2000 is structurally sound.

Hope this helps!

Gina Ursini
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 23, 2014
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