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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Florida
198 posts, read 419,899 times
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I appreciate everyone's advice in advance. From the research I have done I should skip buying a frame home and it makes sense for cheaper insurance. My other issue is the flood zones. I have seen a couple of homes in flood zone "A" which requires flood insurance but it is the lowest flood risk (other than a non flood zone area). Should I just cross these types of homes off of my list? Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:56 PM
 
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Not in my opinion. But you should get an agent's quote for flood insurance before you consider putting an offer in. do this for EACH property, by address. the insurance rate can differ significantly from home to home even if they are a few blocks apart. the rate depends on the elevation of the home compared to the FEMA required elevation. If the home is below required elevation, insurance can be in the thousands per year. If the home is at/above the FEMA required elevation, insurance can be in the hundreds per year.

Newer homes in past 40 years generally should be above FEMA elevation. But it depends on when the FEMA maps were made for each individual area. that's why you should check for each property.

"A Zone" can mean pretty cheap flood insurance. It's not worth running away from, for sure.

Also a tip...if you want to keep the insurance rate low, you can choose to insure the home only (but not the contents). It's a risk that you need to be comfy with...but flood insurance allows you to do this. You could compare the price with/without coverage for contents and then choose.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:41 AM
 
6,448 posts, read 5,024,157 times
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Good advice above. I personally wouldn't consider a frame house in this part of Florida. I've seen too many termite nightmares to ever feel comfortable owning frame. Not to mention, you've got plenty to choose from that isn't frame.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:39 AM
 
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Would be interested in opinions on whether previous owners' maintenance makes a big difference as far as risk with wood frame homes.

I'm looking in areas of Florida where I'm seeing frame houses within my price range that appear to have no serious drawbacks other than the fact that they're frame, whereas the block houses in my price range have clear downsides, really often deal-breaking ones. I'm trying to weigh the trade-offs because in my low price range there will definitely be trade-offs to make (wood frame in a clearly ok neighborhood vs. block in a higher crime area etc.).

I've been told by a couple of real estate agents that wood frame is only a negative if the home has not been maintained--that, for example, if the previous owners had a termite bond I don't have to worry about termites. But I'm wondering whether even with an inspection and previous termite bond (that I would continue) I might be taking too big a risk with frame in Florida?

Realistically, if I limit my choice to block I will be looking at having to buy a condo instead of a house, whereas I'd really rather have a house where I have control over maintenance, expenses, etc., and not deal with the financial risks associated with the condo form of ownership. (But having a house that's destroyed by termites is a financial risk too.)

So would appreciate any more details on experiences people have had with buying frame houses in Florida--especially would be interested in more opinions on whether or not it's true that they are mainly risky where there has not been proper maintainence.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:58 AM
 
6,448 posts, read 5,024,157 times
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I saw a house (Merritt Island) that had had a termite bond with one of the big termite company for the previous ten years with quarterly inspections that sold to a new owner. They began remodeling and when they opened up a wall the subterranean termite damage was so extensive that it seemed impossible the house could stand on it's own. It had literally been almost completely eaten behind the siding. The termite company rather than try to settle the claim which would have been substantial, threw their lawyers on it and won by shear brutal force. The bond means nothing and apparently neither does regular inspections. Buy frame if you must but do more than a cursory inspection. Open up some walls. Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Florida
198 posts, read 419,899 times
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Thanks all! I have decided not to look at frame homes or those in any flood zone. Just a couple of avoidable problems I can forget about and concentrate on CBS in a higher elevation. At least my insurance should be less expensive! I appreciate everyone's comments!!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Florida -
10,140 posts, read 13,158,552 times
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Frame Homes in Brevard - Absolutely not! -- In addition to bugs/termites, they simply don't hold-up.

Flood Zones in Brevard - Most of this is 'insurance company hype' to raise rates. We lived in Brevard County (on the barrier island of Satellite Beach) for 27-years; ... 10-years directly on the beach. Flood zones there are largely a myth; (which is partly why NASA built right out on the water there). ... Additionally, there has 'never' really been a direct-hit of a major hurricane in Brevard (David - 1979 was worst and it jumped over). However, the media often pretends that Brevard is in the middle of 'hurricane alley,' but, it really isn't! --- unless you look a 100+-year old maps sometimes published by the newspapers as 'proof' ... which they really aren't!
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Florida
198 posts, read 419,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Frame Homes in Brevard - Absolutely not! -- In addition to bugs/termites, they simply don't hold-up.

Flood Zones in Brevard - Most of this is 'insurance company hype' to raise rates. We lived in Brevard County (on the barrier island of Satellite Beach) for 27-years; ... 10-years directly on the beach. Flood zones there are largely a myth; (which is partly why NASA built right out on the water there). ... Additionally, there has 'never' really been a direct-hit of a major hurricane in Brevard (David - 1979 was worst and it jumped over). However, the media often pretends that Brevard is in the middle of 'hurricane alley,' but, it really isn't! --- unless you look a 100+-year old maps sometimes published by the newspapers as 'proof' ... which they really aren't!
I did look up a study of sinkholes and Brevard was the only county of 52 listed that did not have a map. So that made me feel better. Also thanks for your input. My relatives in Titusville also have never had a problem with flooding or hurricanes.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:15 AM
 
553 posts, read 788,393 times
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Are the termites worse on the east coast of Florida? We are considering retiring to Brevard County, but I'm nostalgic for the stilt houses of my childhood, which were all frame and had withstood hurricanes and everything else on the Gulf coast for decades. (Of course, there aren't many such places in Brevard, it seems.)
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