With Florida home prices on the rise again, so is the value of the Save Our Homes property tax break. The 20-year old policy, voted into Florida's constitution, says a homesteaded property's taxable value can't rise by more than 3% a year (or the national cost of living, whichever is less).
This time around, however, Save Our Homes is unlikely to turn into "Slaves to Our Homes", where homeowners would be taxed at a much higher rate if they relocated. That's because Florida voters in 2008 approved "portability", which lets homesteaded owners to take up to $500,000 of their Save Our Homes break to a new homestead (see our web site for "portability" explanation). Tom: All properties are re-assessed at the start of each year, and because home values are rising substantially is one reason we recommend new buyers of Florida homes to close before the end of the year if possible.
There were 129 Cape construction permits issued in August, the highest level since November 2007 (153). Ever since the real estate crash, permits have plummeted from a high of 858 in March 2005 to as few as 10 - 15 a month during the bottom of our real estate market.
Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, combined with Cape Coral's severe shortage of inventory, we estimate that it will require at least 300 new homes built each month to keep up with demand. Until such time as enough new homes/condos are built to keep up with demand, Cape Coral inventory will remain very low and prices will continue to rise, likely by double digits.
The average timeframe from selecting a local builder, finalizing floor plans and securing construction financing, to finally securing Certificate of Occupancy has reached the one year mark, and will likely only increase in the future. The reason for the increased time to build a new home are higher demand, lack of sufficient contractors, and more time-constraints on city inspectors. Sue: not only have we helped many clients with the new home construction process, but we are in the process of building our own new home (and another investment home shortly), so we know first hand about the process and related delays. We can guide clients toward reliable, honorable builders who provide good value.
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