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Fort Myers - Cape Coral area Lee County
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Old 07-26-2008, 04:28 PM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,890 posts, read 1,433,660 times
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I've heard so many different things -
Cannot get insured if houses were built before 75?
Something about wind inspections?

How hard is it to get homeowners insurance?

What does the average insurance run a year on a SFH not on water or canal?

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Old 07-26-2008, 06:41 PM
Location: North Central Florida
5,408 posts, read 6,437,203 times
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I cant answer your questions directly, as I sold the last home I owned here in 1998, and have rented since.
I know insurance has gone way up considerably, and many insurers have stopped insuring homes in Florida altogether after the huge losses they suffered in 2004-05. I believe, but could be wrong, that obtaining a wind inspection, will allow for a discount on the insurance, but I dont think it is mandatory.(But certainly wise)
You mentioned not being on water or a canal. Rule out Cape Coral, the whole city is interlaced with approximatly 400 miles of canals. NO home is ever going to be much further than a block or so from the nearest canal, so for all intents and purposes, you may as well say, they're all on the water front. Fort Myers doesnt fare much better. ALL of Lee county, WEST of I 75 is in a flood zone, and could be flooded by "storm surge" if the right storm, comes from just the right direction, with just the right intensity. Keep in mind "flood insurance" is separate from a homeowners policy, and is issued by the federal government. It is an additional expense, over and above "homeowners" insurance. I'm certain if you google it, you'll be able to find the flood zone maps for SW Fl online. Most of the area, IIRC, averages around 12 feet above sea level. So a 20 foot storm surge would deposit eight feet of water in your living room.(Thats just about up to the ceiling) Look at images of Punta Gorda(20-30 miles north of here) after Hurricane Charley, August 2004 for a good example of wind damage, then look at a map of Lee county, and how much real estate there is WEST of I 75 out to the coast that is vulnerable to flooding, while remembering the pictures of New Orleans after Katrina. Frankly, what you'd pay for insurance is probably a bargain.....why many insurers dont write policies here anymore.

An example I can give for price: A friend, with a typical 3/2/2 1900 squre foot ranch, in SW Cape Coral, paid 127K in 2003, house appraised for 204K at peak in 2006, paid $2900.00 for annual insurance(including flood) before selling in mid 2007.(Thats 241.00 a MONTH, for insurance only, add taxes, and principal and interest, and falling home values, and you get a clearer picture of why people are simply walking away from their houses here) The latest foreclosure stats were released today. I think the figure for Lee county was 10,983(current filings). The highest in the state. There are plenty of vacant houses here. I'd consider renting, for a while, at least.

Last edited by Compression; 07-26-2008 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:47 PM
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I'm in Cape Coral and not in a flood zone.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:05 AM
Location: North Central Florida
5,408 posts, read 6,437,203 times
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Map of Lee County Flood Zones

The Yellow areas on the map found at the link above, are the areas of least risk. A pretty small percentage of the county. The rest of the area IS in some form of a flood zone. The maps are in the process of being changed. The changes to take effect near the end of August 2008. About one month from now. From the brief amount I read, the changes will make some areas lower risk, while changing the status of others to a higher risk. Using the address input on the FEMA website, I was able to determine that both, my residence, and place of business are located in a "high risk" zone. So, instead of splitting hairs over what is what, you can check the individual property you are considering occupying by going to Floodsmart.gov: Your premier resource for flood insurance information and filling in the address of the property in the red box on the left side of the page called "One step flood risk profile". You'll know if you are in a Low to Moderate risk, or high risk area at once.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:51 AM
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Thank you for this information!
We are considering coming to the area to shop if our house in the NorthWest sells.
We are retired.
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