Great news for Tampa home buyers on the home insurance front. We are seeing additional home insurance carriers writing policies in Florida, and rates are falling. I had 5 closings this week, and all 5 HUDs (closing cost statements) had remarkably low costs for home insurance. Buyers of new construction are seeing particularly low costs due to the revised building codes, and thanks to home insurance providers who specialize in new construction. The State of Florida has introduced a new website where the public can have an idea of which insurers are writing homeowners policies and what rates they are charging: see Shop & Compare Rates.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist has just signed SB 2234, which creates a program to license home inspectors working in Florida by July 1, 2010. Selecting a home inspector is an important step in purchasing a new or resale home, and the additional level of oversight is a welcomed development. Meanwhile, we will continue to look to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) for qualified inspectors. ASHI is the oldest and largest professional society of home inspectors in the Unites States. The ASHI website has a feature for locating home inspectors.
Is Tampa Florida a candidate for a rapid recovery in residential real estate? The June 8, 2007 issue of Forbes has an article entitled “The Most Resilient U.S. Real Estate Markets” that examines the 40 largest metro areas to asses which are ripe for investment. The story asks “which metro area markets stand the best chance of recovery, and when will that upturn occur”? The article focuses on Tampa as the perfect candidate for a V-shaped recovery. Citing economic analysis from Moody’s Economy.com, the data points to Tampa’s strong economy and low exposure to subprime lending. Moody’s projections have Tampa burning off excess inventory by first quarter of 2008, with prices are expected to increase by 10.6% the following year.