I am often asked "How do hurricanes affect buying or selling real estate in Jacksonville?". There are several ways in which a sale or purchase can be impacted, and unfortunately, none of them are in a positive way! I'll start with the most severe thing that can occur, the inability to bind insurance coverage. Many companies simply won't issue new policies when there is a named storm in the quadrant, or immediate area of the property. Their reasoning is simple- why issue a policy if there is a strong probability that you may be paying a claim within days or even hours of the policy being issued. They would rather wait and see if the property survives the storm intact. Sometimes, if you bind the coverage prior to the storm, you can proceed to closing, but often, that is not an option.
Another way hurricanes can impact a closing is through shutdowns of government services and other services. Nobody wants to put their employees at risk due to not allowing them to evacuate, and the government is of the same opinion. Often, government recording offices will be closed, as well as lenders, inspectors, repair people, appraisers, surveyors, and title companies. If the lender and/or title company are physically closed, you won't be closing!
And lastly, the players necessary to perform the closing may not be physically there to attend to their duties. Many folks, having seen firsthand the devastation that can occur, choose to evacuate until they feel that it is safe for their families. If the closing agent is in Atlanta due to an evacuation, you probably won't be closing on your property in Jacksonville. Simple logistics!
In short, real estate closings can be adversely affected in many ways due to hurricanes and tropical storms. Any one event or a combination of events can postpone a closing at any time throughout a storms duration. Our contracts even have provisions written into them to automatically extend important dates out through the duration of a storm. The best advice is to relax- you'll get into your new home soon enough!