Mobile Area Association of REALTORS®

Mobile ranks No. 1 in nation for FORTIFIED Homes

How REALTORS® can use this for their benefit

According to a recent report from Smart Home America, the City of Mobile leads the nation in FORTIFIED Homes for 2022.

With 6,230 FORTIFIED Homes, Mobile is the leading city, with Fairhope coming in second with 4,877.

So, what exactly is a FORTIFIED home and why does Mobile have the most? We talked with Smart Home America’s Communication Director Graham Green who said FORTIFIED homes have several advantages.

“Mobile is at risk of hurricanes, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and occasionally hail,” Green said. “Owning a FORTIFIED Home™ can reduce the likelihood of damage from these hazards, including up to a Category 3 hurricane.”

Because of this risk, Green said FORTIFIED can qualify homeowners for several benefits, including insurance discounts and state tax credits.

“A study by The Alabama Center for Insurance and Information found that a FORTIFIED Home increases home value by around 7%,” Green said. “Owning a FORTIFIED Home means a homeowner can adequately insure their property. Most insurance companies trust a FORTIFIED Home’s protection and reward owners.”

He said the reason Mobile has so many of these homes is because of building codes and policies put in place locally and at the state level.

“Legislation passed in 2009 increased insurance premium reductions for resilient, FORTIFIED construction,” Green said. “In addition, over 70% of our area’s building codes now include FORTIFIED construction provisions. The support of home builders, insurers, and REALTORS® helped propel the growth of FORTIFIED. Finally, the Strengthen Alabama Homes grant program has also been a driver of added FORTIFIED designations across the area since 2016.”  

Now, how can REALTORS® use this for their benefit? Green said REALTORS® have an essential role in educating customers about the benefits of owning a FORTIFIED Home.

“The most important step REALTORS® can take to ensure the home has been designated by a FORTIFIED Evaluator™,” Green said.  “This is a third-party inspector who documents the construction or re-roofing of a home. Once complete, the house is issued a designation certificate, certifying the home meets the FORTIFIED standards and qualifying the homeowner for insurance or tax benefits.”
The benefits of owning a FORTIFIED Home, according to Green, can be used to upsell these houses.

“A home with a FORTIFIED designation denotes increased strength and durability,” Green said. “It can also significantly reduce insurance premiums. These aspects increase financial flexibility. REALTORS® can use this information to upsell FORTIFIED houses. We recommend advising clients planning to sell their homes to add a FORTIFIED Roof™ to their to-do list.” 

The City of Mobile also ranked No. 1 in the 2020 Smart Home America FORTIFIED Homes rankings.

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