Buyer Beware: Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Myrtle Beach

Buyer Beware: Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a dream destination for many, with its stunning coastline, vibrant community, and endless recreational opportunities. However, as with any coastal region, there are significant risks associated with homeownership here. One of the most pressing concerns for potential buyers is the looming threat of a major hurricane. Experts have warned that Myrtle Beach is overdue for such an event, making it crucial for buyers to understand the construction integrity of homes, especially those located close to the shore.

Understanding the Hurricane Risk

Myrtle Beach’s beautiful location on the Atlantic coast makes it susceptible to hurricanes. While the area has experienced storms in the past, the consensus among meteorologists is that a major hurricane is likely to strike in the not-too-distant future. This impending threat underscores the importance of thoroughly evaluating the structural integrity of any home you consider purchasing in the region.

Construction Integrity: A Must for Coastal Homes

Given the high risk of hurricanes, the construction quality of homes in Myrtle Beach cannot be overlooked. Here are key aspects to consider when assessing a property's resilience to severe weather:

1. Foundation Strength

The foundation is the bedrock of any home, and in coastal areas, it must be exceptionally strong to withstand flooding and high winds. Look for homes built on reinforced concrete pilings, which are more durable than traditional wood foundations. Concrete pilings are less susceptible to water damage and provide a stable base, reducing the risk of structural failure during a storm.

2. Roof Design

The design of the roof plays a crucial role in a home's ability to withstand hurricane-force winds. Hip roofs, which have four slopes, are generally more aerodynamic and perform better in high winds compared to gable roofs, which have only two slopes. When shopping for a home, prioritize those with hip roof designs for better storm resistance. Many builders cut corners and go with gable roofs because they are typically less expensive. 

3. Hurricane Straps and Ties

Hurricane straps and ties are essential components that enhance a home's structural integrity. These metal connectors secure the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation, creating a continuous load path that helps the structure resist high winds. Ensure that any potential home has these critical reinforcements.

4. Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are common entry points for hurricane damage. It’s important to check that they are impact-resistant and rated to withstand high winds. Look for windows and doors with a DP+55 rating, which can endure winds up to 170 mph, and ensure they meet Missile D certification, which tests their ability to resist impacts from flying debris.

5. Siding and Exterior Materials

The materials used on the exterior of a home can significantly affect its durability in a storm. Hardie Board siding, known for its resistance to windblown debris and fire, is a preferable choice over traditional wood or vinyl siding. This type of siding can withstand severe weather conditions and maintain its integrity over time.

6. Insulation and Waterproofing

Effective insulation and waterproofing are vital for maintaining a home’s interior environment during a storm. Closed-cell spray foam insulation not only strengthens the structure but also acts as a vapor barrier, preventing moisture from entering the home. This type of insulation is especially beneficial for coastal homes prone to high humidity and flooding.

7. Community and Neighborhood Amenities

Living in a coastal community often means dealing with shared infrastructure and amenities. It’s beneficial to choose neighborhoods that offer community amenities such as pools, docks, and boardwalks maintained by a homeowners association (HOA). This can reduce individual maintenance burdens and ensure that shared facilities are built and maintained to high standards.

Preparing for the Inevitable

While no home can be completely hurricane-proof, taking these factors into account can significantly increase your safety and peace of mind. Investing in a well-constructed home with the right features can minimize damage and make recovery faster and less costly.

Considering Building a Home?

If you're considering building a home, it’s worth reaching out to experienced builders like Bryan Maldonado, the builder behind the highly prized 283 Berry Tree Drive in Pawleys Island, SC. Bryan’s expertise in constructing homes that exceed standard building codes ensures that properties are well-equipped to handle the harsh coastal environment, including the threats of hurricanes and flooding.

Real Estate Agents and Construction Integrity

While real estate agents should be advising their clients on the importance of having "good bones" in a home, not all do. Some agents may prioritize quick sales and commissions over the long-term safety and satisfaction of their clients. As a buyer, it’s imperative to ask detailed questions about the construction quality of a home and seek proof of the structural features mentioned. Do not simply take verbal assurances; request documentation and evidence that demonstrate the home’s ability to withstand severe weather conditions.

Consulting Professionals

Before making a purchase, it’s advisable to hire a professional home inspector who specializes in coastal properties. They can provide a thorough assessment of the home’s construction quality and identify any potential vulnerabilities. Additionally, working with a knowledgeable real estate agent who understands the local market and the specific challenges of coastal living can be invaluable.

Buying a home in Myrtle Beach comes with the unique challenge of preparing for hurricanes. Ensuring the construction integrity of your potential home is not just a good practice; it’s a necessity. By paying close attention to foundation strength, roof design, structural reinforcements, impact-resistant windows and doors, durable exterior materials, and effective insulation, you can make a more informed decision and safeguard your investment.

Remember, while the allure of coastal living is undeniable, so are the risks. Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate a home’s hurricane resilience will help you enjoy the beauty and lifestyle of Myrtle Beach with greater confidence and security.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.