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Lessons From Irma: Storm Shutter Envy

Greetings Real Estate Investors!

Well we got through Hurricane Irma relatively unscathed. The amazing Miami-Dade building code means that our structures are among the strongest in the world and that strength is evident when such a strong storm comes through, which is not often. Unfortunately our friends in the Keys and on the west coast did not fare as well and we will be sending as much supplies and support as we can to help them rebuild. But the storm has definitely reminded us of the importance of preparation and perhaps the most important preparation of all which is securing our own properties as well as those of our tenants.The Plywood Rush
If you think Disney World lines are long in the summer then you haven’t seen the lines for plywood at Home Depot before a storm. They were literally hours long with people arriving first thing in the morning and not getting plywood until the late afternoon. This is the result of not having a major storm impact us in 10 years. People get to much “confianca” (that means confidence) and they decide not to prepare. And that means everyone is working until the last minute to protect their homes.

We saw this first hand as several of our clients had not heeded our advice to have a plan in place. We helped them as best we could but with supplies so limited many had work long hours to make sure their properties were secure. On the other hand…

Easy Does it Accordion Shutters
We always recommend to our clients that they install some kind of easy to setup hurricane protection for their windows. Of course the easiest are impact windows since once they are up there is literally nothing to be done. But they are very expensive, something around $1000 per window. So our best recommendation is always to install accordion shutters on all openings. The cost is much more manageable at around $300 per window and the can literally be secured in about 3 minutes per window.

Strength and Looks
The old knock on accordion shutters was that they were a bit unsightly. However, improvements in the construction and manufacture of these easy to close shutters has made it so that most homeowners and tenants will barely even notice them…until a storm comes and then they will be thanking their lucky stars that they can secure their home in less than an hour while those with plywood are literally spending hours and hours if not days getting everything secure.

So our recommendation is that if you don’t have protection already you should definitely invest in some accordion shutters to protect your property. Not only will it secure your investment but it is also a very attractive feature to advertise to tenants who just experienced what a hassle a hurricane can be.

If you would like further advice on how to prep your investment property for a big storm please call us at 305-517-3900.

 

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