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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Windstorm Insurance Rate Reduction?

According to the Key West Citizen article on March 21st the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will cut wind premiums for Monroe County customers, even beyond what the state had mandated, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation. CLICK HERE to read the article.

One of the factors that has been depressing the real estate market in the Keys has been the unprecedented explosion in windstorm insurance rates. People in the Keys felt that they were being unfairly targeted by the windstorm insurance provider because the rates here were disproportionately higher. Various groups throughout the state petitioned the Florida legislature and politicians from both sides of the aisle listened. Windstorm insurance reform was the hottest topic in the 2006 Florida elections.

So it looks like there is some progress. At a recent Key West Association of Realtors luncheon there was discussion regarding rate decrease, but the lobbyist for FIRM pledged not to stop with this slight victory. The fight is not over. More reform is being called for.

Some local banks have taken action to help provide some relief from the high price of wind insurance. You may be able to negotiate the amount of insurance required which in turn could reduce the rate charged. So it is a good idea to meet with several local lenders if you are in the market to purchase real property in the Keys in the near future. The interest rate a lender charges is not the only factor you should consider when purchasing financing a piece of real estate.

If you do buy a home from me, you could have a cute little mailbox like the one pictured above to signal your arrival in Paradise. Not even the mail is dull in Key West.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.