Why A Fortified Roof Pays

What does “FORTIFIED™” mean?  If you have been on the buying or selling side of real estate at any point in the past few years, you’ve probably heard of the word FORTIFIED.  But what does it really mean for you as a consumer?  As a local agent who emphasizes the “MORE” in Real Estate, Melanie Bunting-Seymour from 1702 Real Estate delves a little deeper so that you, too, will be more knowledge-able and hopefully able to use this info to make more decisions.

By Melanie Bunting-Seymour

On the Buyers side of things, it is important to know how to protect your investment. The first thing you should know is if you see a house with a FORTIFIED designation, then I can tell you it’s been built to a higher standard than homes built to regular building code.  The FORTIFIED Home™ standards have been tested and backed with more than 10 years of scientific research that proves they perform better against storms like hurricanes and low-level tornadoes.  This, in turn, means your home will sustain less damage and cost less to repair after a storm.

Here in Alabama, the FORTIFIED designation brings insurance discounts that are required for admitted carriers for anyone that has one of those nifty designations.  Sometimes they are deep discounts!  Having just the Bronze FORTIFIED Roof designation can move you from the “wind pool” (a state group incorporated after Hurricane Katrina to provide coverage when no other companies would write policies), to significantly better coverage, with standard carriers and discounts ranging from 20 to 25 percent.  Who doesn’t want to save money on their insurance?

On the Sellers side, a designation makes a home’s value go up by an average of 7 percent according to The Alabama Center for insurance and Information (more if the house is on the coast).  Plus, the designation is fully transferrable, as long as it gets renewed every five years.  So, if you sell a house with a designation is fully transferrable, as log as it gets renewed every five years.  So, if you sell a house with a designation, the new owners get to keep it – and the insurance discounts that come with it.

What if you love a home that doesn’t have a FORTIFIED designation?  Well, there are several resources you can use to get that FORTIFIED Roof.  First, in Alabama, there are tax incentives for rereoofing to FORTIFIED.  Also, homeowners can apply for the Strengthen Alabama Home Grant Program where you can get a $10,000 grant to reroof a home to FORTIFIED.  If you don’t want to wait for grant funding to reopen, then you can work with MyStrongHome to get your home reroofed. MyStrongHome will finance a loan and provide a contractor to reroof your home, but you get to pay back the financed loan with the money you save on insurance.  If you decide to pay out of pocked, a FORTIFIED Roof designation costs just somewhere between $1,000 – $4,000 more than your standard new roof, depending on current roof construction.

So, the next time you are buying or selling your home, remember to use this information to make informed decisions that can make your home stronger, safer, and save you money!

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