Living Space

Monthly Archive: November 2018

Lighthouse Point, Florida Beacon For Home Sales

Like other areas of Florida, Lighthouse Point is in a strong seller’s market, say local Realtors.

“Florida real estate is booming! The average single family home is appreciating approximately 18 percent per year,” says Realtor Maria Galligan. “Broward County is almost totally built out with almost no more vacant land for builders to develop. The trend is moving east and old homes are being either torn down or majorly renovated. Developers are very active in high-rise condos and townhouses. The feeling is that this trend is going to continue for quite some time and the costs will keep rising. Investors are buying pre-construction and making a tidy profit at time of completion when they re-sell.”

“The real estate market in Lighthouse Point and the surrounding area has been “red hot” for the past six months,” say Realtors Marilyn Wechsler and Allen Rosenthal. “The result is a decrease in available inventory. Whether you are interested in buying or selling, now may be the best time to call for assistance with your plans. It’s anybody’s guess how long the cost of borrowing will remain affordable or low.” Suggests Realtor Karen Dove, “The intercostal and Hillsboro Mile and the inlet are to the east, Deerfield Beach and The Cove are to the north, and Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale to the south. Wonderful waterways wind through this boating community, many new high-end homes offer easy access to the sea for large deepwater yachts; upscale dry lot homes enjoy the lifestyle and breezes off the ocean.

“Safe and clean, and minutes to all the amenities you could want or need, Lighthouse Point is a most unique upscale community,” says Dove. “There’s condos sitting on the intercostal and the Hillsboro inlet where the Lighthouse points the to the sea. The nearby communities of Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Delray make for easy access to fine dining, the very best of shopping and the arts. The ease of ocean cruising from this town brings new boaters and residents here in droves.

Dove advises, “For the serious boater, there are a wide choice of priced properties, the land-lubber dry lot homes run considerably less but still afford you this area’s lifestyle. Florida draws folks from all over the world, the international mix of the cultures can be found in the diversified dining and architecture found from years past and now reflected in homes and communities being built. There are abundant choices of both new and custom construction in LHPT. Feel free to come, play and live in one of the most desirable areas in South Florida.”

What to Do If You Can’t Get Homeowners Insurance

Purchasing and keeping your homeowners insurance policy is increasingly difficult these days. Premium costs are escalating at double-digit rates, many companies’ renewal policies are tightening, some companies aren’t even selling new policies in some states, and if you live in a wildfire- or hurricane-prone area, or have a history of numerous claims, getting insurance is sometimes a complicated – and expensive -matter.
And that can make the whole home-buying process more difficult, especially if you’re buying your first house.

One of the biggest triggers leading to these new restrictions and rate increases is the emergence of mold lawsuits and the direction jury verdicts and judicial interpretations are taking, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
While damage from mold is specifically excluded from the standard homeowners policy, it is covered if it is the result of a covered peril, like a pipe that bursts causing water damage.
But now insurers say that if they are going to be asked, by juries and court rulings, to pay for what isn’t covered, that consumers will suffer.

“Potential rate increases needed to cover the cost of mold claims threaten to make home insurance coverage unaffordable for some and unavailable for others. A crisis in the price and availability of homeowners coverage could have far-reaching effects on home sales, and, as a result, the economy as a whole,” the III says in a topic paper on the mold issue.

Allstate has sought rate increases averaging almost 20 percent in 23 states. And State Farm, the largest home insurer in the country, has stopped writing new policies in a handful of states, including Texas, California, and Louisiana.
Another factor that may keep you from getting a homeowners insurance policy is a bad or borderline credit history.
Through the years insurers have found a person’s credit information to be a highly accurate predictor of risk, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit organization supported by the property and casualty insurance business.

While insurers look at the same factors as lenders, they weigh each factor differently. If you suspect your credit history is the reason you are denied insurance, get a copy of your credit report and make sure it is accurate. Better yet, review your credit reports before you apply for insurance or a loan.

Or perhaps your home, or one you are thinking about buying, is considered high-risk, meaning it might be prone to hurricanes, windstorms, tornadoes, or hail; is in a high-crime area; or has old plumbing, electrical or heating systems that present a higher chance of property damage.

If two or more insurers won’t issue you a homeowners policy, there are options. The I will suggests:
That if you are buying a new home to ask your real estate agent, lender, or builder for names of companies that write in the area.That if you are purchasing an existing house to ask the previous owners who insured the house.
Ask your current insurance agent or company representative for assistance. If the problem does not stem from your home’s location, but its condition, find out what you can do to remedy the problems and bring your home up to insurable condition.

Contact the Institute for Business and Home Safety for information on natural hazards, community land use and ways you can protect your property from damage. It can be reached at www.ibhs.org.
Talk to your neighbors. Find out what through which company they are insured. Talk to their agents about specific risks in your neighborhood.

Call your state insurance department.

Usually it can provide you with insurers in your area. You may have to get insured through a state-run risk pool, operated by 29 states and the District of Columbia.
You can buy from an agency company that sells through agents, or a direct writer company, in which agents represent several insurers. The most important thing factors are the company’s reputation for service, its financial stability, and the coverage offered.

If you are still unable to get insurance, find out if your state has a plan known as shared market. FAIR Plans (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) are insurance pools that sell property insurance to those who can’t get it in the standard market.

FAIR Plans can cost more and may provide less coverage than a typical policy, but they offer protection that you would not have otherwise. About 12 states have some sort of a homeowners policy, including liability. In California the plan covers brush fires, and in Georgia and New York they provide wind and hail coverage for some coastal communities. And in seven Atlantic and Gulf states, there is an equivalent program – Beach and Windstorm Plans – that provide coverage against hurricanes and windstorms.