We are officially in the thick of hurricane season — a worrisome time not just for residents of storm-prone areas but also investors who own property there. Here are some hurricane prep and reaction tips that can help if you own investment properties.
Hurricanes are unpredictable. Their projected paths, wind speeds and overall size can change at any time. So whether your investment property is a rental or a fix-and-flip, you need to be prepared.
Hurricane Prep and Reaction: Rental Properties
It is a landlord’s responsibility to ensure that a property is prepped and ready for a storm. Not only are you dealing with the house itself, but you’ll also have tenants to consider. If you have hurricane shutters for the house, make sure someone actually puts them up. If you live within driving distance of the property, you may want to stop by and check. If not, give your tenants a call or send them an email to remind them.
If you don’t have hurricane shutters, then you as the landlord need to go out and buy boards to protect the windows and doors. Unless specified in your lease, your tenant may not be responsible for purchasing these things.
Additionally, you may want to have a generator on the property. Make sure there is enough fuel available to operate it if the power goes out.
Once the hurricane has passed, how you manage your rental property is just as important as how you prepared.
You’ll want to assess any damage that may have occurred and make a detailed list for your insurance company. Determine what structural repairs — such as the roof or walls — will require you to hire a contractor.
Because you have tenants living in the property, you’ll want to address these issues immediately. Your tenants can’t live in a home with broken windows or trees blocking the driveway.
Hurricane Prep and Reaction: Fix-and-Flip Properties
If you are an investor who deals in fix-and-flip properties, take into account the time of year when you begin your renovations.
If you live in an area that is prone to high levels of hurricane activity, you may want to be proactive and install things like hurricane-resistant windows or hurricane shutters. This will only help protect your home in the long run in case a hurricane ever were to hit.
You should be ready with a plan of action if a storm is predicted to head your way. Make sure all your supplies — like ladders, paint cans, tools and anything else that can be destroyed or cause damage — are safely placed in the garage or inside the home.
If you are in the middle of structural projects like replacing the roof or adding on an extension, confer with your contracting team. Ask what steps or precautions they can suggest for how to protect these renovations from being destroyed in the storm.
Afterward, just as with a rental investment, you’ll want to survey your property and determine what damage was sustained. Not only is this to know what you and your contractor will have to fix, but it is also necessary for insurance companies.
Because this property was still in the renovation phase, your rehabbing may be on hold for a while, depending on how bad the damage was to both your property and area itself. If there was flooding, fallen trees and downed power lines, your contractors may not be able to return to work for some time.
Bottom Line: Better Safe Than Sorry
In conclusion, do not wait until it is too late. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it involves something into which you have placed a lot of time and money.
Whether it is a rental property or a fix-and-flip, take the time to ensure your investment is protected in case a hurricane were to hit.
Be just as proactive in your preparations as you are reactive if a hurricane happens.
About the Author
Erica Hackmyer is the content writer for LendingOne, a direct private real estate lender that offers short-term loans for non-owner-occupied residential properties, specifically regarding fix-and-flip, buy-and-hold and lines of credit to fund larger projects. With direct access to its own capital, exceptional customer service and a user-friendly online application, LendingOne has streamlined the overall lending process and made it faster and easier for investors to be approved and receive their financing in as little as 10 business days. For more information, visit www.lendingone.com or call 866-412-1574. You can also visit https://calendly.com/lendingone to set up an appointment to speak with a LendingOne loan specialist.