I once met a man at a marina who was searching for a beach house to complement his newly purchased 36′ sport fisher, usually people get the house before the boat, not Henry. We ended up finding his family a home on Tiki Island. Henry is from cattle and oil country, they appreciated the time I took showing them homes which would accommodate the boat and of course, the grandchildren. We found them a great home but it was undergoing some pretty extensive repairs to the main upper level framing and windows. This raised a major red flag because the top level of the home, which was more exposed to the elements was compromised and no efforts had been made to remedy the cause of the water intrusion downstairs. I helped them connect with a Windstorm Inspector and a qualified Contractor to assess the situation and he ended up receiving a healthy seller contribution at closing.

The island along with the bay began forming about 5000 when waters from receding glaciers flowed heavily down the valleys of the Trinity, San Jacinto and Brazos rivers. Ironically enough it was through high energy events, like hurricanes that scoured the historic bay and tossed sediments shoreward that began the formation of Galveston Island, the longshore currents have continuously fed its southwestern edge, but lately loosing the battle with erosion, west end is eroding at a higher rate than the east end partially due to channel dredging. It is the convergence of land and sea that has brought intrepid adventurers to Galveston for at least 500 years.

There are some out there that believe coastal insurance is cost prohibitive, but after Hurricane Harvey (8/2017) demonstrated to us clearly that there are inland flood risks, coastal living seems like a good option. Some common questions include:

  • What kinds of coverage do I need?
    • Anyone who has a mortgage will be required to carry Flood, Windstorm, and Home Owners. If you own the house, you own the risk and you may decide to pay for coverage or put that amount in an interest earning account and hope for the best.
  • What if I am buying with cash?
    • You do not have to carry insurance, you may consider putting your money in an interest earning account, but be ready to be on your own should a storm come and significant damage is incurred. If you do get insurance you may have a 30 day waiting period.
  • How much will it cost me?
    • That is a tricky question that may only be answered by an Insurance professional because not only does it depend on the location, but the house characteristics. But a common rule of thumb is approximately 3% of insured value.
  • How do I ensure my property remains protected?
    • Super easy – make sure you speak to a Windstorm professional BEFORE you do any major alterations to the property including, but not limited to: doors, windows, roof, decking, and any major alteration that requires an expert to evaluate the proper method to protect the integrity of the structure. Once completed you will receive (and pay for) a WPI-8 of varying classes. This is of paramount importance not only for insurance, but ‘sellability’ of the property in the future.
  • I am buying a house that does not have WPI-8 certifications, what are WPI-8 certifications?
    • WPI-8’s can come in several forms, one is new construction. Another is a a post-construction where an inspector is charged with the task of certifying work that has already been repaired, potentially damaging drywall or roof patches, this is the worst kind. Instead, before you start repairs and get an improvement WPI-8 inspector to evaluate the product (DPI rating on windows and doors and roof replacement), continue to monitor the progress of repair and evaluate the work in order to give you the WPI-8 certifications. If the home you want to purchase does not have current WPI-8’s Texas Windstorm will still write you a policy, but will include a cash endorsement, stating that they will only pay for a portion of the repairs and or replacements of certain components, mainly roofs – for example, if the home has an 18yr old roof (whether or not you have done repairs – if you did not get them certified, they don’t count) they will only agree to give you a portion of the value of the roof as a claim – so in this case, the roof only really has 2-3 years of life expectancy, they will only give you the amount reflected in those years of value