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.
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