Archives for March 2014

President Obama Signs New Flood Insurance Law

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act was signed today by President Obama.  This bipartisan bill limits premium increases, stops FEMAs ability to increase premiums when a property is sold and provides for some refunds.  This is good news for coastal property owners.  Here is a video discussion of the new law by the National Association of Realtors.  Click “Read More,” then click the link to view:


UNDER CONTRACT-MULTIPLE OFFERS! Bank-owned Gulf Front Home on St George Island

This new listing at 916 East Gorrie Drive features 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2246 square feet and right on the Gulf of Mexico on a 1/3 acre lot.  List price is $659,900 and we have already received multiple offers.  Highest and best final offers are due 2 pm on Monday, March 24.

For Sale - $659,900

For Sale – $659,900

UNDER CONTRACT-MULTIPLE OFFERS! 1910 Fixer-upper in Apalachicola

This home is located at 92 5th Street in the heart of historic Apalachicola just a few blocks from downtown.  Charming style and some original features remaining but the home needs work.  Listed on Friday for $77,900, we are expecting multiple offers.  Call today to schedule a showing.

92 5th

More Good News for Economic Growth

The Wells Fargo Economic Group recently released reports that indicate a positive climate for economic growth.  To read the full article.  Click the following “read more” link, then click the hot link to the DS News article.

New Flood Insurance Bill Passes Senate

On March 4 the U. S. Senate passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act with a vote of 72-22.  The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.  This bill solves many of the issues with the Biggert Waters Act of 2012 which placed undue hardships on many coastal property owners.  Both Florida Senators, Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio voted in favor of the bill.  Here is link that compares the new bill with the previous one.

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More Good News for Flood Insurance

Here is a flood insurance update from John Sebree, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the Florida REALTORS.

“The US House of Representatives has just passed H.R. 3370, “The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.”  This bill is expected to go straight to the Senate (versus go to “conference” with the flood bill the US Senate passed previously).  If it passes the Senate without amendment it will then go to President Obama for his signature.  Attached is NAR’s letter of support and here is a synopsis of what the House bill accomplishes.

Reinstates Grandfathering – This bill permanently repeals Section 207 of the Biggert-Waters Act, meaning that grandfathering is reinstated. All post-FIRM properties built to code at the time of construction will have protection from rate spikes due to new mapping – for example, if you built to +2 Base Flood Elevation, you stay at +2, regardless of new maps. Also importantly, the grandfathering stays with the property, not the policy.

Caps Annual Rate Increases at 15% – This bill decreases FEMA’s authority to raise premiums. The bill prevents FEMA from increasing premiums within a single property class beyond a 15 percent average a year, with an individual cap of eighteen percent a year. Pre Biggert-Waters, the class average cap was 10%. Currently (Post Biggert-Waters), the class average cap is 20%. The bill also requires a 5% minimum annual increase on pre-FIRM primary residence policies that are not at full risk. The updated legislation also states that FEMA shall strive to minimize the number of policies with premium increases that exceed one percent of the total coverage of the policy (e.g., 1% of $250,000 = $2,500).

Refunds policyholders who purchased pre-FIRM homes after Biggert-Waters (7/6/12) and were subsequently charged higher rates.

Permanently Removes the Sales Trigger – This bill removes the policy sales trigger, which allows a purchaser to take advantage of a phase in. The new purchaser is treated the same as the current property owner.

Allows for Annual Surcharges – This legislation applies an annual surcharge of $25 for primary residences and $250 for second homes and businesses, until subsidized policies reach full risk rates. All revenue from these assessments would be placed in the NFIP reserve fund, which was established to ensure funds are available for meeting the expected future obligations of the NFIP.

Funds the Affordability Study and Mandates Completion – This legislation funds the affordability study required by Biggert-Waters and mandates its completion in two years

Includes the Home Improvement Threshold.  This bill returns the “substantial improvement threshold” (i.e. renovations and remodeling) to the historic 50% of a structure’s fair market value level. Under Biggert-Waters, premium increases are triggered when the renovation investments meet 30% of the home’s value.

Additional provisions: This legislation includes several other provisions including preserving the basement exception, allowing for payments to be made in monthly installments, and reimbursing policy holders for successful map appeals.”

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Apalachicola Power Station For Sale

FOR SALE:  $1,599,000.  The Apalachicola Power Station property at 263 Water Street, Apalachicola, Florida on the Apalachicola River consists of two former power stations that are joined together, side-by-side, plus a vacant lot.  150 feet of deep water dockage.  To view a video tour of this historic property, please click “Read More” then click the link.

Apalachicola Power Station

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