- Have a residence with no smokers
- Pay your premium upfront
- Pick paperless billing
- Sign up for automatic payments
As a Floridian, you already know the drill: hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30 each year, and certain hurricane preparations are needed to protect your home when storms appear to be heading your way. But what happens if you are some distance away, or even out of state, when this occurs? You can still prepare ahead of time – and a few extra steps is all it takes to secure your home while you’re away.
Performing the following hurricane preparation before vacation will allow you to relax and enjoy family time, or the scenery wherever you’re vacationing.
Insurance Coverage. Every year, you should review your homeowners, flood, and wind insurance policies to make sure you will have the coverage you need should your home be in the path of the next major hurricane or storm surge. Ideally, this is done before hurricane season begins, but should absolutely be done before you leave on vacation.
Home Safety Measures. Whatever hurricane preparedness you might normally do if you were home when a storm was approaching, do before you leave on vacation. This includes closing/installing your hurricane shutters, trimming trees, and bringing in any outdoor furniture or other items subject to becoming projectiles during a hurricane. Doing all of this before a storm is even on the horizon might seem like overkill – but the peace of mind it provides should bad weather threaten while you’re away will be priceless. Especially since you won’t be able to do much from a distance.
Electronics, Water & Gas. Consider unplugging valuable electronics and appliances to avoid potential power surges as the result of a hurricane or tropical storm. Alternatively, you could opt to turn the power off at the breaker. To avoid potential leaks, you may also want to consider turning off the main water and gas valves to your home.
Inform a Trusted Neighbor or Friend. Let someone you trust know about your vacation plans, including when you’ll be away, how you might be contacted, and any relevant details about your home security or other systems. They may be able to keep an eye on your home in your absence should a hurricane develop.
Ready the Emergency Kit. Stock up on supplies you would rely on if you were home during a hurricane, such as flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, nonperishable food, and an ample supply of bottled water. This hurricane preparedness will be helpful if you return home without power or access to supplies are limited. Store a small version of this kit in your car, and top off the tank.
Have a Backup Plan. Should you be unable to get to your home upon your return from vacation, or if your home is damaged by a hurricane or tropical storm, have a contingency plan of possible friends or nearby locations you may be able to shelter in until your home is safe to return to.
Stay Informed. Even with all the right hurricane preparedness before you leave on vacation, you’ll want to monitor weather conditions from afar, especially once a hurricane or tropical storm has been identified. You’ll be able to make the best decisions when they are informed by as much information – and preparation – as possible.
- Water damage
- Or even flooding
- PB pipes used for interior applications are generally gray in color but may also be black. PB pipes used outside may be gray, blue or black.
- PB pipe is flexible, not rigid.
- PBpipes may be stamped with the code: PB2110.
- Near the water heater
- Connecting to sinks and toilets
- At the main shut-off valve or water meter
- The amount and type of coverage
- Location and flood zone
- Design and age of your home
- Elevation (for homes in high-risk areas built after the first Flood Insurance Rate Maps were drawn)
- If flood insurance is being purchased in connection with the creation, increasing, extending, or renewing of your mortgage loan.
- If your home has been recently designated in the SFHA and flood insurance is being purchased within the 13-month period following a map revision.
- If flood insurance is required because of a lender determining that your mortgage loan that does not have flood insurance coverage should be protected by flood insurance.
- If an additional amount of insurance is selected as an option on the renewal bill.
- If your home is affected by flooding on burned Federal land that is a result of, or is exacerbated by, post-wildfire conditions when the policy is purchased within 60 days of the fire containment date.
- Roof Shape
- Roof Bracing of Gable End Roof Deck Attachment
- Roof Covering
- Roof-to-Wall Connections
- Secondary Water Resistance
- Protection of Openings (windows and other openings)
Closing costs are inevitable when you’re buying or selling a property. While they vary from state to state, the amount you’ll pay in Florida depends on both the property and the county it sits in. As a buyer, you’ll have to cover most of the fees and taxes. In Florida, you’ll also have to post a fee for documentary stamps (or doc stamps), which is a percentage of the sales price. Then there are the taxes. You’ll likely be subject to property and transfer taxes.
Neither party is responsible for 100% of the closing costs in Florida, which includes fees, taxes, insurance costs and more. The buyer typically pays between 3% to 4% of the home loan’s value and is responsible for the bulk of the fees and taxes. The seller usually pays between 5% to 10% of the home’s sale price. Closing costs also vary among counties.
Condos are regulated by the Florida Condominium Act. The legislation lays out your rights to the property and gives you an “undivided interest” in all the common areas of the building. You’ll have to pay a monthly maintenance fee or a yearly homeowners association fee to cover the servicing of those areas that fall under the “undivided interest.” The fee isn’t tax-deductible.
If you are getting a mortgage The fees shown on the Good Faith Estimate can be difficult to understand but can be broken down into five sections.
- Appraisal fee
- Reinspection fee
- Credit application, credit report and credit supplement fees
- Mortgage origination fee
- Lender’s title insurance policy (optional owner’s title insurance)
- Escrow fee
- Home inspection fee (optional)
- Closing attorney fee
- Courier fee
- Bank processing fee
- Recording fee
- Notary fee
- Loan discount points
- Homeowners insurance
- Property taxes and tax servicing fees
- Mortgage insurance premiums
- Flood certification fee (in some areas)
Lenders typically require an appraisal as part of the underwriting process, before financing a home purchase. Appraisals will vary in price depending on the location and size of the property. The lender hires an appraiser to provide the fair market value of the home, and the buyer pays the lender.
Mortgage origination fee
Every lender will charge a mortgage origination fee, which covers their service and administrative costs. The average loan origination fee is 1% of the total loan amount. Buyers should shop for lenders with both experience and low origination fees.
Title insurance policy fees
Lenders typically require borrowers to purchase insurance to protect the financial institution from future title claims. This policy is called lender’s title insurance and the cost depends on the location and size of the property.
Owners title insurance protects the Buyer from future claims against the title. The customary party that pays for the Owners Title Policy varies by County in Florida. In Sarasota,Collier, Miami-Dade and Broward County, the Buyer pays for title insurance and chooses the title company. In all other counties, it is the Seller’s responsibility.
During the purchase and sale transaction, your funds will enter a holding account managed by a third party — an escrow company. When the transaction is complete, the escrow representative will disperse your down payment, fees, and loan proceeds to the appropriate individuals.
Home inspection fee
A home inspection is a common contingency for a home purchase. As the buyer, you can hire an inspector to evaluate the condition of the home and its systems prior to purchase. Home inspection costs vary depending on the size and age of the property. You will pay the inspector for their service out-of-pocket, and this amount is separate from the purchase and sale transaction.
Florida is a Title Theory state and does not require that an attorney be used to close a real estate transaction. Private real estate attorneys, or borrower’s attorneys, are an additional and optional cost for buyers who want a specialist to assist them with contract-related issues or professional advice beyond the scope of their agent’s abilities. Private real estate attorneys charge by the hour or charged a fixed rate for the transaction and rates vary based on their level of expertise and services provided.
During a financed home purchase, several institutions need to process information and create official records.
- The courier fee allows lenders to send your documents to necessary parties
- The bank processing fee pays the bank for handling the necessary loan documentation.
- The lender uses the recording fee to pay the county to file a public record of the transaction.
Loan discount point fees
When locking your interest rate with your lender, you’re allowed to buy down the rate. To do this, you pay “points” — essentially, paying interest in advance. One point is equal to 1% of the loan; but that does not translate to a 1% drop in interest rate. Not all buyers choose to buy down their interest rate, but when they do, the rates vary by lender.
As a stipulation of your financing, you will be required to purchase homeowners’ insurance. You will continue to pay the insurance premium on a yearly or twice-yearly basis directly to your insurer, or monthly via an escrow payment that is part of your monthly mortgage payment to your loan servicer. Homeowners insurance policy fees range based on the amount of coverage and the size of the property.
Your property taxes will be prorated based on your closing date. Some buyers pay their taxes in lump sums annually or biannually. If you don’t pay this way, you might escrow the taxes, which means they would be included as an escrow line item in your monthly mortgage payment to your loan servicer. Property taxes are paid in arrears in Florida.
Mortgage insurance premiums
If your loan amount is more than 20% of the value of the home, you are typically required to pay insurance to protect your lender’s investment. Mortgage insurance is generally escrowed but may vary from lender to lender. Some lenders will also charge a one-time application fee for mortgage insurance.
Depending on the location of your property, you may also be obligated to purchase flood insurance to help protect your lender’s investment. Flood insurance policies range by risk level, based on location and are a Federal Program and the pricing cannot be competitively shopped for.
What are the closing costs for cash buyers?
Cash buyers are still required to pay for things like notary fees, property taxes, recording fees, and other local, county and state fees. Unlike a buyer who is using financing, cash buyers won’t have to pay any mortgage-related fees. But most cash buyers still opt to pay for things like appraisals, inspections, and owner’s title insurance.
Closing costs can vary depending on where you live in Florida, the type of property you buy and how much it sells for. While the seller forks over some money, the buyer pays for the bulk of the fees and taxes, which typically add up to 2.5% of the average sale price depending on the time of year you close ( proration sensitive).