Home insurance standards are changing – here’s what you need to know

This is going to be a longer newsletter than we’d normally write, but we feel like this is a topic we need to talk about.

Last month we shared how multiple-offer situations were affecting our market and clients. That dynamic is still in play, but there’s a different shift we’re experiencing – and it’s not property values. It’s a shift in homeowner’s insurance.

In June, we attended a continuing education class on homeowners insurance. We learned the insurance industry is changing its standard for insuring Florida homes. This didn’t surprise us since we’ve been feeling the changes happening over the past year. In the last 3 months alone we’ve had transactions where it was significantly more difficult and expensive to secure coverage for a home.

For years, whole neighborhoods have been filing insurance claims to get new roofs. That was never going to be sustainable. It never made sense that the insurance industry could insure our homes for $80-150 a month and replace our roofs for $10-30k. Change is happening and now insurance rates are going up.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re trying to buy a home, this increase in annual premiums will change your monthly payment and affect your debt to income ratio. We suggest securing a quote as soon as you go under contract on a property. That way your lender can use exact numbers when estimating your monthly payment.

We’ve also seen insurance agents ask for extra inspections, such as a 4-point or wind mitigation report, before binding insurance on a property. Your inspector can do these during your regular home inspection period for an additional fee. They are well worth the money!

If you’re trying to sell a home, this is where things are a little complicated and we’ve had to be more creative. If a buyer is getting a loan to buy your home, their lender will require them to secure homeowners insurance. That insurance carrier has sets of requirements for property conditions like the roof, hot water heater, and HVAC age, as well as the type of electrical and plumbing in the house. If any of these items are at the end of their expected life span (the insurance carrier is the one who will ultimately decide that) you may need to make some repairs. We’ve run into this on 2 of our listings in the last 30 days.

If you own a home and are thinking of selling, especially within the next 6-12 months, keep track of any improvements you make on your house. This includes permit information or invoices, so you’ll be able to verify the age/make of those pertinent components of your house.

We truly care about you, and all our clients, and want you to be as informed as possible with what’s happening in real estate. If you’d like to talk further about how this shift may affect your personal sale of property, let us know! Fill out the form below or give us a call at 407-267-2319. We’re here to serve you.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? Contact us today!

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Featured Listing

1156 BRENTON MANOR DR

3 BEDS/2 BATHS 1,770 SQ FT $259,000

Well-kept cul-de-sac home in the most secluded section of Brenton Manor, conveniently located near Hwy 27 and I-4. Close to shopping dining, parks, and public access to the North Chain of Lakes.

Split floor plan with smart upgrades including Solar Bear solar panels and spray foam insulation to increase energy efficiency and lower costs.

Visit bit.ly/1156BrentonManorDr for more photos and info or youtu.be/xLK3BFr6-Po for a video tour.

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Congratulations to our clients who bought and/or sold a home last month!

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