Home Buying in Pensacola>Question Details

Mgd1770, Home Buyer in Pensacola, FL

Would you buy a home in the FL panhandle that was built while the FL Building Code "Panhandle Exemption" was in place?

Asked by Mgd1770, Pensacola, FL Mon May 24, 2010

We're moving to Pensacola in March 2011 and are doing some research on home prices, school districts, etc. It seems logical to exclude houses built during the exemption period as they're less hurricane resistant. Do sellers have to bring these houses up to current code before selling?

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As answered previously, no -- sellers are not required to bring their homes up to current code before selling. This is an excellent example of why a thorough Home Inspection protects you as a buyer. A competant home inspector will make you aware of potential problems in your home -- including roof and exterior opening weaknesses, if found. Writing a contract to purchase with a home inspection contingency then would allow you the option of asking the seller to pay for exterior shutters, for example, if they were needed per the home inspection. Or allow you to ask the seller for a reduction in your original offer price to allow you to hire a contractor and have them installed yourself after your purchase. Your insurance agent will additionally offer guidance as to modifications that could/should be made to strengthen the home to reduce your rates. A knowledgeable Real Estate Professional will make sure that you are guided properly through this process. Best Wishes to you in your search......it sounds as though you are on the right track to making a wise buying decision! ~ Barbara Murphy, Broker http://www.TartanPropertiesFL.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
In my "opinion" the new codes are a Good standard but do NOT tell the complete story on Hurricane resistance:

My current home is on the ICW and was built in 1990. During hurricane Ivan my wind machine measured 150 MPH prior to taking off somewhere. I have hurricane shutters, the home was Custom built and checked by a certified Professional engineer for 140 MPH when designed and built.

The net result was that the home did NOT move or shift. All doors closed as before, NO structural damage at all.

There are homes built in excess of the current hurricane standards with the possible exception of Glass impact resistance which can be assisted by shutters of many types.

Obviously the closer you are to Salt Water (say below hwy interstate 10) the more you must pay attention to flooding possibilities and wind damage.

EACH home should be evaluated on it's own.

Regards, Capt. Rich Wittig, Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
The best resource for insurance questions in the area is a local insurance company. I have 2 that I usually do business with-

Call my insurance guy Matt Salvator at (850) 932-3459 and ask him all of your questions regarding your insurance questions. or you can email him at MSalvatorins@bellsouth.net


I have another contact I also use in the insurance business. Florida Insurance Agency- Chris Robinson-
(850) 477-2511

I know they will be able to answer your questions! Also ask them about a wind mitigation inspection which has been very helpful since after Hurricane Ivan in reducing insurance rates on homes that meet necessary building upgrades!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 16, 2010
Actually, the first "wind codes" were adopted in the Florida panhandle in 1994. Those codes were not as stringent as what was then referred to as "the Miami-Dade code", (the local code in 1994 didn't require impact resistant glass or coverings, for instance). Houses built after 1994 do qualify for a significant reduction in the insurance rates, as do homes that are retrofitted. The 2001 Florida Building code brought the standards up to "Miami-Dade", but wasn't adopted by the panhandle counties until 2003. My comments and dates are all based on memory, so please research as you feel necessary.

There is no requirement to bring a structure up to current wind resistance codes as a condition of selling. Your best bet is to get a quote from an insurance agent on a specific property.

Hope this helps.
David Holcomb
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 26, 2010
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