The collapse of apartments in Surfside, Florida, is alarming and raises concerns among Quebecers considering buying a pied-à-terre there.
“With what we’ve seen, it appears to be more dangerous than we thought,” says Alain Côté, a snowbird who bought a beachfront apartment two years ago in a 12-story building. “I may have to be more vigilant. The building I bought was evaluated after 40 years. On the other hand, I have not seen this examination myself.”
“There are concerns that have been raised,” explains Danny Flanders, who has been a real estate agent at RE/MAX Reaction Realty in Dania Beach, Florida for 30 years. More than 70% of its customers are Quebec residents. “You have to be careful, you have to have a good agent who does your research. The follow-up really has to be done with the association, to make sure that the 40-year evaluation is done and what has been done.”
You have to be careful because the bill can go up quickly.
“There are owners who bought by the sea, and they had to rebuild the balconies. It came down to costs between $35,000 and $40,000 per unit,” says Flanders. “With what’s happening in Surfside, I think it’s going to wake up a lot of associations, and there’s going to be a lot going on. There are also follow-ups at the state and city levels, which may cost some owners.”
Salty air and wind can also damage buildings more quickly, and insurance can be more expensive due to hurricane risks.
“The closer to the sea, the more vulnerable we will be to damage from winds and hurricanes,” explains Louis Sayer, insurance broker. “Insurance Companies Request Damage Reduction Regulations”.
According to Flanders, buying by sea is still a good investment. “There may be problems, but the beauty of being on the beach wins.”