We’ve seen a lot of scams and misinformation this past week so we thought we’d pass along some useful SW Florida real estate hurricane news and information.
If your property insurance was cancelled leading up to the hurricane, executive order 17-235 issued by Governor Scott provides that cancellation is now rescinded for 90 days. Furthermore, all rates are frozen for 90 days, and the order allows policyholders 90 days to provide requested information from their insurance company. In other words, this will give policyholders time to either renew or shop around for coverage in the wake of the storm. Great job Governor Scott.
FEMA is available to assist people with housing and emergency needs. From what we can gather, you must prove losses and damage and in some cases, show hardship. It looks like they’ll issue credits off your tax return in some cases. FEMA says it will provide some coverage that your insurance company may not. It may be worthwhile applying at www.disasterassistance.gov We did hear of somebody receiving $500 on the spot for their business. FEMA will send out claims adjusters to view your damage. This is especially helpful if your property has been flooded or is uninhabitable. There is some housing assistance for those people.
There are rumors that FEMA, the Red Cross and FPL will reimburse you for lost food, but this turns out to not be true.
We’ve heard FEMA will not reimburse you for lost food on the news, and yet we’ve seen a checklist for you to itemize your food losses.
You hear so many things online and in the news and it’s difficult to know what’s true. It’s especially difficult in times of disaster, limited power, internet, etc. Beware of scams.
Mortgage forbearance is a hot topic. Across social media everyone is advising you to apply and the banks must automatically grant you 3 free months of no payments. Let’s clear up a few things in this regard. Lenders are forgiving and offering assistance. If you have a government backed mortgage through FNMA or Freddie Mac you may be able to postpone payments up to 12 months. FHA loans may extend up to 90 days. In some cases, they will go longer depending on circumstances.
It’s best to contact your lender yourself. Be wary of online scams. There should not be a fee charged to you for this help. If someone is charging a fee, this might be your first red flag. These payments are not waived, they are tacked on to the end of the loan, so if you don’t need the assistance, it might be best to pass on the idea.
We’re seeing contractors going door to door looking for work. Again, be wary. If you pay them money upfront you may never see them again, and you always want to see their license and insurance. God forbid they get hurt on your property, or claim they did. You could be out some cold hard cash and have legal worries. Be wary of offers and possible strings attached. Evaluate the source of the help.You don’t need permits for everything. We’ve heard things like fence repair and replacement in a storm doesn’t need it. Be sure to check for yourself before completing or hiring repairs.
Buyers Are Looking
The good news is we have buyers contacting us looking to purchase. People up North haven’t given up on Florida either as they are signing up at www.LeeCountyOnline.com and searching for property. If you have a home to sell, we have buyers.
While we’ve been busy this week delivering generators to those in need, we’ve also been scurrying to fix damaged listings impacted by Irma. We’ve secured contractors to repair and replace items so our sellers can be on their way and buyers can move into their new home. Buying and selling real estate is more complicated than ever. It’s wise to hire a professional to help you with all the details.
If you’re buying or selling and need a professional Realtor, please call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042. We’re here to help.
FEMA Hurricane Irma Page