What Effects Did Irma Leave on SWFL?

What Effects Did Irma Leave on SWFL

This month, probably one of the biggest questions I’ve been getting from people all over the country is on the effects of Irma. Whether they’re curious about the real estate market or they want to know if living here has changed, one factor stays the same:  After an event like Irma, people want to understand the circumstances and how it impacted the communities that went through it. And that’s perfectly normal. But as your source for all things Southwest Florida, real estate or otherwise, I’m here to give you an update on SWFL after Irma.

How is the SWFL Real Estate Market Now?

First, let’s start with properties. As you could imagine, there weren’t many home tours going on as Irma was making her way across our region. Typically, after a major storm—one that was expected to be far worse—we see a drop off in the market leading up to and directly after. It’s probably not hard to understand why that would be. However, I’m glad to say that, as we enter October the market is bouncing back once again. This is good news for people looking to sell their property, as well as for buyers wondering about inventory.

Was SWFL Really Ready for Irma?

For those of you considering a move to Southwest Florida, this is another area of concern. If you haven’t been through a storm season here, you might be left with a ton of questions about everything from building codes to prepping lists. In one sense, you can never be 100% ready for everything as a property owner. But after Hurricane Andrew in the 1990s, Florida really pulled together and change many aspects of how we prepare for hurricanes.

And if you ask many Floridians, during Irma, they likely met countless utility workers from as far away as Montana and Wisconsin. The response to restoring power, internet, and phone was nothing short of amazing. Was it perfect? Of course not. But when you live in SWFL, you come to realize exactly how much our state has learned about being ready for any extreme weather event.

Will I need Flood Insurance if I move to SWFL?

This is an excellent question. The fact of the matter is that it all depends on which property you purchase. And even if you aren’t required, some Floridians still choose to hold onto a policy to be on the safe side. As with any property you look at, you’ll want to do your homework, and this is something that I can be a resource on for you. When we tour properties, we can look at how the area you’re interested in may be affected by a strong storm and what your options are.

How are People Doing with Irma Gone?

I’m very happy to report that, while we’re still in the recovery process, life has largely returned to normal. On the weekends, you might see someone putting up a new line of fencing or, in many cases, updating windows. With a close call like Irma, it can totally change people’s perspectives, even in a storm state like Florida. There’s one thing I’ve noticed with how people are doing… as a community, people are taking time to help each other out and check in with others to see how they’re doing; and on how well prepared people felt they were. It’s an incredible testament to how much people in Southwest Florida rally together in challenging times.

And that’s one of the most important reasons I love living here. Have a question about what life is like in SWFL? I’m always just an email away.

Terry Records

Broker/Owner
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service

Terry.Records@gmail.com

239-887-2163

 

 

 

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Best Tips for Flood Insurance in Florida

Bests Tips for Flood Insurance in Florida 

With recent storms like Hurricane Irma, more and more of my clients are asking about how they can be better prepared. And one of the big topics they have questions about is flood insurance. After all, in Southwest Florida, we have some amazing perks, like world-class beaches, year-round sunny weather, and many more amenities. But we also need to be prepared for the challenges that any area in the country has.

And for Southwest Florida, that’s weather events. If you own a SWFL home, or are thinking about buying one, understanding flood insurance is essential. This way, you’ll be able to safeguard your investment for the future. Plus, you’ll gain the peace of mind that makes home ownership a great experience.

Know Your Updated Flood Zone

Because flood zones can and have changed in the past, it’s important to know your zone. In addition, you get a perspective on your general area when you check your zone map.

Make Sure You Know Your Terms

Flood watch, flood warning… what’s the difference? When you live in Southwest Florida, it’s a good idea to become more familiar with these terms and what they mean.

Choose a Plan with Adequate Coverage

Your flood insurance plan should fit your needs. If you choose a plan that doesn’t cover your property in the way you intend, there could be unforeseen consequences. Instead, thoroughly review your options to get the one that makes the most sense for you.

Consider Insurance, even if not Required

At the same time, you may see that you aren’t in a flood zone and opt to not get flood insurance. However, I would recommend that you still look at your specific property and determine if you still want to be covered. After all, flood forecasting isn’t perfect, and you may want to be safe.

Gather Together Multiple Quotes

Just like you should gather multiple quotes for your home loan when you buy a SWFL home, the same holds true for flood insurance. Don’t just go with the first one! Once you have a few quotes together, you can go with the option that best protects your property.

Keep Your Adjuster’s Number Handy

In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to be digging through papers trying to find your adjuster’s number. Heaven forbid something happens, but if it does, you want to be able to follow up quickly and easily.

Itemize Your Possessions

Of course, making a list of your possessions is also key when you own a SWFL home. This way, if you do have to file a claim, there won’t be any question about an item.

Have a question about weather in Southwest Florida? I’d be happy to provide you with an answer!

Terry Records

9 Tips for Keeping Your Home Insect-Free

9 Tips for Keeping Your Home Insect-Free

While owning a home, in Southwest Florida or anywhere, comes with its perks, there are also factors that require our attention. This can be anything from cleaning the gutters to touching up the paint. And for many areas of the country, keeping your home insect-free is also on that list. After all, who wants to see a pest in their home, especially if you have guests over? But as your source for all things real estate related, I’m bringing you nine tips that can help with this issue.

Check your property throughout the year

The first piece of advice I like to give homeowners is simple. Throughout the year, give yourself a chance to check over your property. What are you looking for? The big thing to look out for is any infestations on your property.

Seal holes or cracks in doors and windows

Next, I recommend tackling entry points. After you’ve reviewed your property, you’ll have an idea of where you need to patch any holes. This one is low-cost and easy even if you aren’t particularly much of a repair person.

Don’t store wood near your home

I also recommend moving any wood or other debris away from your home. These can attract all sorts of pests that can easily enter your home, causing all sorts of problems.

Secure all your containers

From old papers in the attic to emergency food storage, our homes contain all sorts of goodies that can attract pests. Make sure that all your containers are properly secured to keep those insects away.

Go over the pipes in your home

Next, I like to point out how even the smallest bit of extra moisture can attract insects. Even a small leak can turn into a bigger headache if it attracts a swarm of pests. If you’re dealing with extra moisture or a leak, get it sealed!

Add screens and a screen door

If you’ve sealed up all those cracks or holes, but leave your door and windows open… you’re practically inviting in those insects! Screens for your windows and a screen door can be purchased cheaply and do a world of good.

Pull out your appliances

Too many homeowners leave their appliances in the exact same spot. This means that dirt and other things that attract pests can build up. Instead, pull out those appliances and get cleaning!

Keep your home swept and vacuumed

And speaking of cleaning, it probably goes without saying that cleaning is vital. Still, I like to mention that a weekly cleaning schedule can go a long way toward keeping insects and other pests out of your home.

Schedule an inspection

Finally, I also like to recommend a yearly inspection by a professional. While it’s not too difficult to notice a bug or two if they get into your home, there’s a bigger issue to worry about. For every insect you see, there can be stacks more that you don’t. But with the help of a professional, you can be sure your house is pest-free.

Buying a home in Southwest Florida and need the name of a good inspection company? I’m ready to provide you with an entire list of trustworthy local professionals for all your needs!

Terry Records

Broker/Owner
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service

Terry.Records@gmail.com

239-887-2163

Busting 4 More Home Buying Myths, for SWFL Real Estate and Beyond

home buying myths

Recently, we dispelled four home buying myths that are fairly common. From timing the market to “bigger is always better,” these fictions can be mostly harmless, but occasionally, they can really get you into trouble. And when you’re making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, you want to ensure you have all the best information.

Therefore, this week, we’re taking on four more myths about buying a home. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if you’re buying SWFL real estate or real estate just about anywhere else in the country. This way, you’ll be able to make the right choice for you and your family.

All you need is your down payment

While it’s true that, in many cases you can get into a new home without large sums of money I have an extra tip. Sure, your down payment is a big part of the home buying process. But as we’ve seen in the past, having a separate home fund can also help. This is because, during your first year, you might want to add a fence to your home or maybe upgrade a room.

You don’t need to do a home inspection

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get a home inspection. Occasionally, I’ll hear about a buyer who opted out of an inspection, and the story usually doesn’t end well. And if you’re getting a loan from a bank, chances are you’ll need to get an inspection anyway. Home inspections give you vital insight into the property you’re purchasing, whether it’s SWFL real estate or real estate anywhere.

You have to use your bank for your loan

Another common myth is that you have to go with your existing bank for your mortgage. But in reality, you can mortgage shop, and I even recommend it! This way, you can get the best offer for your financial situation. Although a percent or two doesn’t sound like much, over the life of a loan it can be huge.

You have to pay an arm and a leg

Finally, another myth that’s very common today regards cost. When you look at markets like New York City or San Francisco, the price can leave you with feelings of sticker shock. Yet, there’s also real estate throughout the country that’s affordable, near amenities, and beautiful. In fact, Southwest Florida has numerous properties that are gaining value, even as they’re priced right for many couples, families and snowbirds!

Do you want an affordable home right in paradise? A home in Southwest Florida might be perfect for you. Let’s talk about your options.

Terry Records

Broker/Owner
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service

Terry.Records@gmail.com

239-887-2163

 

7 More Easy and Affordable Upgrades When You Own a Home

7 More Easy and Affordable Upgrades When You Own a Home

Not long ago, we looked at some affordable upgrades you can do as a homeowner. And from Southwest Florida to San Diego, more and more people are interested in these sorts of projects right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about buying your first home or you already own and want a smaller DIY project, one fact remains the same. All projects we’ll go over today are cost-effective. Not only do they add value to your home, you can tackle them with a little bit of handy work!

Change some of your fixtures

Recently, we discovered that replacing your front lighting fixture could be an affordable upgrade. However, let’s take this a bit further… you can actually upgrade the fixtures throughout your home on a budget too. Best of all, you can do them one by one as you have the time and the budget!

Upgrade your bedroom doors

In most houses, the bedroom doors are simply cheap, hollow wood. In addition, they’re often thin and break easy. But for a few hundred dollars, you can get a bedroom door that’s better constructed. They’ll also block sound easier!

Add a new backsplash

Now, because I have plenty of rehab experience, I can attest that this project can be a bit more of a challenge. You may even have heard that tiling can be tricky. That’s why I recommend a smaller project like a kitchen backsplash, before tackling bigger ones like re-tiling a bathroom. You’ll definitely want to prepare for this one though, but it’s very affordable.

Install new ceiling fans

This is another project that I recommend if you’re more of a handyman. You may even choose to hire a professional to deal with some of the aspects. However, ceiling fans don’t just add a low-cost way to cool your home; they can also add elegance and sophistication to a room at the same time.

Put in extra garage storage

Okay, for those of you looking for something less handy, this one is for you. Best of all, you can take a variety of avenues for your garage storage, and there are choices that meet just about any budget. And while it’s not an upgrade per-se, putting in metal shelves that you’ve bought from Lowe’s or Home Depot is still a great way to enhance your space.

Swap out your old thermostat

Today, it seems like smart technology is everywhere. Moreover, you can even add it to your home! Programmable thermostats offer a range of perks at an affordable price. Just imagine changing the temperature of your home using your smart phone!

Choose a new dishwasher

If your dishwasher is getting a little older, it may be time to think about a new one. With so many new models in trendy styles, you can’t go wrong. You can also get them for cheaper than say, a new refrigerator or high-end stove.

Thinking about upgrading your real estate? Southwest Florida homes are affordable and surrounded by some of the best amenities in the world. Let’s talk!

Terry Records

Broker/Owner
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service

Terry.Records@gmail.com

239-887-2163

 

Dispelling 4 Real Estate Myths, in Southwest Florida and Beyond

 

Dispelling 4 Real Estate Myths

For just about every profession, it seems that there are a set of myths that simply refuse to go away. You probably know exactly what I’m talking about when you think of your own industry. In addition, as a Realtor with decades of experience, I’ve discovered that there are a few prevalent fictions that can truly affect your real estate experience. This is true whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Moreover, since your home is one of your greatest investments, I knew I had to give you the facts on each of these.

It’s almost impossible to time the market

While savvy investors and professionals make it their job to know their market, you can’t actually time it. In reality, you might be right about the general direction, but wrong about the amount of time it takes to get there. And in some cases, that could cost 10s of thousands of dollars. Instead, look to how buying or selling works toward your personal financial goals and pair up with a real estate professional that makes it their business to gauge the temperature of the market.

You don’t always have to go bigger to go better

As we’ve seen here in the past, the tiny house movement is proof that smaller can be quite stunning. Plus, what’s right in size for a growing family might not be right for a retiree. This is especially true for our area’s real estate. When buying or selling a home, consider what makes the most sense for you in the coming years.

Buying a home limits your lifestyle

Even though it’s true that you can’t always simply up and move when you own a home, there’s more to the story. In fact, many people report a sense of freedom after they’ve bought their first property. And when you think about it, it makes sense why that would be… within reason, they can make that home their own in any way they like. And if you’ve worked with a skilled real estate agent, you’ve also purchased a home that makes the most sense for your lifestyle choices.

The real estate market is only one market

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love to share unique insights into Southwest Florida real estate. This is because every market has its own internal reasoning. Sure, there are general principles that apply, and we keep a very close watch on the national data as well. However, at the same time, Southwest Florida has year-round sunny whether… and snowbirds… and beaches as far as the eye can see. These factors can have profound effects on how long a property might be on the market as well as its final sell price. This is why it’s so vital to find a real estate agent that’s a premier agent in their area and knows it inside and out.

And whether it’s community events, the best local restaurants, or the direction of home values, I aim to know everything about SWFL. Interested in buying or selling a home here? Let’s talk!

Terry Records

Broker/Owner
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service

Terry.Records@gmail.com

6 Easy & Affordable Upgrades when You Own a Home

6 Easy and Affordable Upgrades When You Own a Home

From Southwest Florida to San Diego, homeowners are looking toward upgrades. Maybe you’re buying your first home and want to try a few smaller DIY projects yourself. Or maybe you’re in the market to sell, and you’d like to do some touchups before you list. In either case, “affordable” is always a word just about everyone wants to hear. So, your trusted SWFL real estate agent is bringing you 6 easy and affordable upgrades you can do in your home!

Putting in or Replacing Crown Molding

If you’re thinking about adding crown molding to one of your rooms, you should know that it’s totally doable on your own! You’ll probably want to watch a few online videos to get tips on the best way to get those joints flush. But this project is incredibly affordable and pretty straightforward if you’re even a little handy. And it can all be done in an afternoon!

Add a Splash of Color to Your Rooms

Even if you’re selling, a splash of the right color can go a long way. I know, I know… many real estate agents will advise you to go neutral. But for SWFL real estate, using a well-chosen blue can add life to a room or highlight a waterfront view like you can’t believe. And for this one, all you need is a few paintbrushes and some paint!

Upgrade Your Hardware to a Trendy Choice

Whether you’re into vintage pieces or something more modern and hip, you’ll love how easy it is to upgrade hardware. And we’re seeing more and more home decorating stores carrying good selections. I always recommend purchasing one set before going through the whole project. This is because you can take that set home and compare it to ensure it matches well.

Change Your Entryway Fixture

While this affordable project does involve some electricity, it remains a great way to make your home pop that much more. Even Lowes and Home Depot now have many, many choices for front door lighting. And because the pieces are low-cost, you can even hire a handyman to swap out the old one for you without breaking the bank.

Increase the Insulation in the Attic

Because of the Florida heat, when it comes to real estate, cooling costs are always on our mind. And in recent years, more alternatives have hit the market in terms of insulation. While you’ll want to do your research before diving into this project, it’s a cost-effective way to save. Increasing your insulation can greatly reduce your electric bill each month, just about anywhere in the country.

Re-caulk Your Bathroom

It might seem like a minor project, but it can do a world of good in the long run. Remember, any caulking throughout your home is there for a reason. The last thing you want is the caulking in your bathroom to fail and moisture to get somewhere it shouldn’t be. Make sure you choose the correct caulk for your application, but you’ll be happy to learn that this small upgrade is very affordable.

Buying or selling a home in Southwest Florida? My team is ready to help you with your real estate goals!

Terry Records

Broker/Owner
Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service

Terry.Records@gmail.com

239-887-2163