New 50% rule modifications benefit Lee County Homeowners by changing the way damage repair is calculated.

50% Rule Modifications Benefit Lee County

In the past, if a property suffered more than 50% of the home’s improved value in total damage the homeowner would be required to rebuild the structure to today’s codes, including new flood and height requirements. This could cause a total rebuild and would be very costly, exceeding flood insurance coverage if the homeowner had any.

New 50% Rule Modifications Benefit Lee County Homeowners

By adopting a Permit-to-Permit mode, each permit must stay within the 50% rule.  So, let’s say a home suffered severe damage and needed several permits to repair the home.  All told, the permits together total well in excess of the 50% of the improved value of the home. By breaking out each permit, the homeowner can file for one permit, complete the work, then close it out.

Each subsequent permit only needs to be within the 50% of the total value, and so on.  The only drawback is you may be forced to do some work, close the permit, and wait for the next portion of the project. This may slow down the project, however the benefit is the home is rebuildable without having to change codes. Sure, the new roof may need to meet new codes, but the elevation and building height could stay the same.

This is a game changer for many residents. So far, this only applies to unincorporated Lee County. If you live in a city like Cape Coral or Fort Myers, you may need to wait and see if they adopt similar language. We find it hard to believe they wouldn’t, but it is the government, so you never know.

FEMA Controls the Flood Insurance Discount

I’m sure FEMA won’t be completely happy, but each entity oversees implementing their own floodplain plan under FEMA. Fort Myers Beach isn’t taking the same approach, and this video explains why.

This past week we have attended two insurance seminars, so we have learned a great deal about insurance after Ian. Of course, insurance is changing weekly. It’s not that the Ellis Team is smarter than other agents about things like insurance, it’s that we talk to more people, so our learning curve is faster. Having connections is valuable, especially after a disaster like Ian.

Having the reputation and clout to get top people on the phone when you call is valuable. We can offer ways to sell a property when others say it cannot be done. There are options to get insurance even when there is an existing claim, and it is challenging.

Here to Help

Our team is here to help. If you’d like to buy or sell, there may be a way.  We are experts at listening to your situation and helping find resources to accomplish your goals. There are some people that are unrealistic with what they are trying to do, and that’s OK. We listen and help where we can. In some cases, the goal is unrealistic today, and then something changes, like the new 50% rule implementation.

Insurance carriers are opening back up, and so are the options. A seller’s ability to get Top Dollar or sell the property at all will be determined by who they hire to sell their home. The same with a buyer. A buyer’s ability to purchase a home will be determined by the agent they choose to work with.

We have a way of searching MLS and finding damaged home or undamaged homes. Knowing inside tips on searching MLS along with keeping up on insurance and building permits enables us to better serve our clients. We don’t know everything, but we are willing to get in there and talk to people and help figure stuff out.

Always call the Ellis team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 or visit to get your home’s value instantly, or to search the MLS.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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