Beginning of Summer in Orlando

Happy June!  The kids are out of school now and the summer season officially starts on June 21st.  The rainy season is upon us.  It’s a good idea to have your roof checked if you haven’t done so since hurricane Irma.  We’ve had a lot of rain.  Many times, a homeowner’s discovery of water intrusion is a little too late.  Remember to lower the water level in your pool if you plan to be away for a week.  You may also want to consider turning off the lawn irrigation system, especially if you do not have a rain sensor.  I usually turn off mine between May and September.

Once again, we continue to see a lot of relocation homebuyers this year.  This continues the trend of the recent years.  It’s not a surprise because Orlando is one of the nation’s fastest growing job markets.  This bodes well for a strong local economy and extends the strength into our housing market.

The demand for housing remains strong.  The current average Orlando home sale price is $286,300 and median price is $237,000.  The inventory level is stable this year, but we saw some price bumps.  Low appraisals are more common (I wrote about this last month) as a reflection of uneven price increases.  Homes priced too high often see price reduction(s).  These suggest mature market forces.  We do not have a run-away market where the buyers are willing to pay any price for a home and banks are willing to make any loan (like in 2004-2006).  The check-and-balances appear to be functioning properly.

Now, the weather.  Starting with June, we officially enter the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.  It lasts through the end of November.  The current projections point to an average to slightly-above-average season.

It’s easy to get complacent in central Florida because hurricane crossing is a rarity.  Hurricane Irma’s from last year is a reminder we should always be prepared.  A slight change of course can put us right in the path of a storm.

It’s a good idea to make sure you have a supply of nonperishable food and water to last 3-7 days, as well as supply to deal with loss of power for the same duration.  The Florida Legislature approved a “disaster preparedness” sales tax holiday June 1 through June 7, to encourage the public to be proactive in preparedness

As homeowners, you should also check and make sure your property insurance is adequate.  Understand the difference between the regular deductible, and the separate deductible for hurricane damages, which are generally based on a percentage of the home’s insured value rather than a flat dollar amount.  For example, you can have a $1,000 deductible for regular damage claims, but a separate 2% deductible for hurricane damages.  If your home is insured for $350,000, then 2% of that is $7,000.  That means if a storm causes damages, you will be responsible for the first $7,000 of repairs!

The hurricane deductible usually goes into effect only when a storm is categorized as a hurricane by the National Weather Service.  In some policies, it kicks in when a storm is named, even if it doesn’t become a hurricane.

Last year I shared this document.  Here it is again. The Florida Department of Financial Services offers a hurricane financial prep toolkit in PDF form.  It has an insurance checklist that includes adjuster contacts and emergency service contacts, such as the Red Cross, FEMA and the Department’s consumer helpline, as well as a log of calls made to insurance companies about claims.

You can download a copy here.

Once prepared, I hope we do not see a hurricane making landfall this year!

As always, if you are planning on buying or selling a home in 2018 (or even 2019), it’s never too early to have a conversation with us.  Many of our clients today started planning with us last year!

Give us a call if you have questions, or know of someone we can help!

Until next month, take care!

Yien and the Yao Team.

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