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What should I know about real estate after the hurricane season?

Whether your home was damaged by the recent storms blowing through Florida or you are looking to buy a home that was in a hurricane-impacted area, there are several things potential home buyers need to know about homes that sustained storm and flood damage. Even homes that sustained minimal damage, or homes that were newly built or renovated after a major hurricane, can be affected by the demand for building materials.

The widespread home damage and aftermath that occurred after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons may provide a warning of what may come while residents rebuild from the recent devastating storms. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Florida was one of the states that was most impacted by a shortage of domestic drywall while homeowners were repairing their homes nearly 15 years ago. Reportedly, contractors had to outsource drywall and other building materials from China and other foreign manufacturers. Chinese drywall has been reported to cause numerous problems, ranging from plumbing and appliance damage to health problems.

Why did this happen? Chinese drywall contains hydrogen sulfide, a chemical that leaches into the air and causes metal to corrode. Residents with Chinese drywall in their homes also reported suffering from symptoms of asthma, nosebleeds, sore throats, coughing and irritated eyes.

It is yet unknown whether the recent storm season will result in another domestic drywall shortage; however, it may protect your financial interests, as well as your health, if you are informed of the potential risks when you buy a home in a hurricane-affected area. This topic is complex, so this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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