The cone of uncertainty is a phrase we hear during times when a hurricane appears to be threatening the U.S. coastal regions within a few days.  What if you are purchasing a house in the cone of uncertainty during this time? What now?

Hurricane Irma Active Track

Photo courtesy of The Weather Channel

What if you are selling a house in the cone of uncertainty during this time? What now?  Let’s talk about these situations however, these matters could get complicated and for this reason I always recommend using a real estate attorney during your deals.

Buying a House

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s Insurance will be required if you are getting a mortgage and, although not required, is essential when making a cash purchase.  In the event of a storm an interesting thing happens: Once you are in the cone of uncertainty, insurance companies will no longer write policies.

Now, the standard contract used for residential real estate in Florida (called the FAR-BAR) makes provision for this and deals are actually “suspended” for a certain time frame.

“As Seen On…”

Here is an interesting facet of buying a house during the time of storm.  The contract says the buyer is entitled to receive the property in the same condition as seen on the date they made their offer.

What if the property is damaged by the storm or a hundred year old oak on the property is blown down?  These are issues for your real estate attorney to handle for you.

Hurricane Irma Active Track

Photo courtesy of Intellicast.com

Selling a House

The issue of securing homeowner’s insurance would not apply to sellers during a storm, but the issue of maintaining the property certainly would.

A damaged house could be catastrophic to the deal…or not.  Depending on the extent of the damage, and the insurance coverage, a competent real estate attorney could probably save the deal.

Of course, it is possible the house could be damaged beyond the ability to continue with the deal.  If this were to happen neither party would be happy.

And, while it might be possible to complete the transaction, the out-of-pocket costs to the seller could be painful.

And your sale could be suspended or frozen if the buyer cannot get homeowner’s insurance.

If you have been in one of these situations, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear your real world experience.

If you would like to have a conversation about meeting your real estate goals, you can contact me using the form below.  And visit my You Tube Channel where there are several hundred videos on Coastal Florida Real Estate and our great lifestyle.

Richard Sites, Realtor