Do I really need Flood Insurance?

SurveyorLast month in our newsletter we shared some information from Ray Faubion, Vice President of BB&T Insurance Services on Flood Insurance and some recent changes.

Here is some more information from Maxine Nix of Land Point Surveys, that may help you mitigate or eliminate the cost of Flood Insurance if your property qualifies.

Most property owners are unaware that many homes and businesses in Collier County are eligible to be removed from the Flood Insurance Rate Map and the requirement to carry flood insurance.

FEMA uses LIDAR technology to determine ground elevations. LIDAR—Light Detection and Ranging—is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth, often collected by air. LIDAR is a huge leap forward in technology, but not exact enough to pinpoint the elevation of individual structures.

If the structure is above the Base Flood Elevation set by FEMA, it is up to the property owner to prove that the structure does not belong in the flood zone.The only way to determine if a structure is eligible to be removed from the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is to have an Elevation Certificate completed by a licensed surveyor.

 Elevation Certificate

multifamily_building_AAn Elevation Certificate shows the exact elevation of a property in relation to the Base Flood Elevation set by FEMA. It will also show the highest and lowest elevation adjacent to the foundation of the structure, i.e. where the soil meets the slab. Costs vary dependent on the type of structure.

An Elevation Certificate can be completed on any structure, residential homes, multi-family, commercial, even fixed trailers. Once you have an Elevation Certificate completed, your land surveyor will be able to tell you if the structure is eligible.

If the property does not qualify for a LOMA, an Elevation Certificate will still be beneficial for the purchase of Flood Insurance.

If you already have an Elevation Certificate, the information you need find is the LAG, which is the lowest adjacent grade to the foundation. If the LAG (item C2.f) is higher than the BFE (item B9), the structure could be eligible for a LOMA.

Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)

A LOMA is a document approved by FEMA that removes the footprint of a structure (not the entire property) from the Flood Zone and places it in an X Zone. Thus it is no longer subject to Mandatory Flood Insurance Requirements.

There are two methods to apply for a LOMA:

  1. LOMA –This method requires hardcopy submission by mail, or can be completed online. FEMA has 90 days from date of receipt of the LOMA application to respond, thus this process can take a few months. If the structure is non-single family, or at the BFE, this method must be used.
  2. eLOMA –This is an electronic submission of the LOMA application by a licensed survey or engineer. The approved LOMA is usually completed within 48 hours of submission. This application method is only applicable for single family residence. If the structure is between two BFE designations, the higher must be used.

An approved LOMA will eliminate FEMA’s requirement to carry flood insurance. If the property owner opts to carry Flood Insurance, they will receive a Preferred Risk Rate that will not expire. The best part is you only have to do it once, a LOMA never expires.

It is a common misconception that only single family residential properties are eligible for the LOMA program. Commercial and Multi-Family buildings are eligible for LOMA’s as well. Our firm has removed entire multi-family communities from the flood map.

When contacting a surveyor be sure to ask if they have experience with the LOMA program and, if you are a homeowner, are they a FEMA eLOMA vendor. A good surveyor can be your best advocate in the flood of information about flood insurance.

 

Master Logo LPSurveys

Maxine Nix
Land Point Surveys
PO Box 990058
Naples, FL 34116

O – 239-963-8857
F – 239-455-3220
maxnix@lpsurveys.net
www.lpsurveys.net

 

Tax Exemptions-Florida

Access_Title_Tax_Tips

Tax Tips

List of Tax Exemptions you or your client may qualify for:

Homestead Exemption – Up to $50,000
$500 Widow’s and Widower’s Exemption
$500 Disability Exemption
$5,000 Disability Exemption for Ex-Service Member
$500 Exemption for Blind Persons
Service Connected Total and Permanent Disability Exemption
Exemption for Totally and Permanently Disabled Persons
Additional Homestead Exemption for Persons 65 and Older
Homestead Property Tax Discount for Veterans Age 65 and Older with a Combat Related Disability
Homestead Tax Deferral
Installment Payment of Property Taxes
Personal Property

Source is the Florida Department of Revenue
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/taxpayers/exemptions.html

Qualifying for Homestead-Collier County, Naples, Florida

Access_Title_on_Homestead_Exemptions

Homestead Exemption

What you or your clients need to know about qualifying for Homestead by the March 1st Deadline

You must provide the following items as proof of legal residence:

  1. Evidence of ownership (deed, tax receipt, etc.)
  2. Social Security numbers for all owners
  3. County Voter Registration (if you vote) dated prior to January 1st
  4. Florida Driver License dated prior to January 1st
  5. Florida Vehicle Registration dated prior to January 1st

Optional: Declaration of Domicile filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court prior to January 1st of the year of application.

You must have legal and equitable title to the property and reside in the property as your primary residence as of January 1st.

Additional information may be necessary:

  1. If not a U.S. citizen, a resident alien  “green” card.
  2. If your property is held in trust, a complete copy of the trust agreement.
  3. If your residence is a mobile home, the real property decal number and a copy of the registration or title to the mobile home.

Source is the Collier County Property Appraiser website: http://www.collierappraiser.com/MainHomestead.asp

Goal Setting Tip

GoalsGOAL SETTING TIP

It’s that time of year when goals should be in place for 2013, but if not, it is not too late! Below are a few tips that we utilize for our business that we thought we would share.

• Break your goals down to their simplest form. Try not to just have annual or monthly goals but weekly or even daily targets. This makes them seem much more attainable and keeps your focus on them timely.

• Do the math (it’s all in the numbers).  4 new orders/clients a month means that you need 1 order/client a week. How many calls, appointments, or meetings will it take to get there? If 10 calls a week result in 3 appointments, that should be your minimum.

• Correlate clients/orders with revenue. Look at average dollars per order or sale to help you visualize the impact this simple process can have on your monthly or annual income.

• Have fun! Place your goals on your computer desktop, post on your bulletin board, tape to the wall, or hang on your fridge. They need to be visible. Countdown as you have success, ring a bell when you get the client, celebrate the wins, and share with someone!

If we can help encourage you or give feedback on your goal setting process, please give us a call! Wishing you all a prosperous and successful 2013!

If you feel you do not receive value in our tips, please feel free to unsubscribe at: info/orders@accesstitleagency.com

 

Power of Attorneys

Powers of Attorney

Florida Uniform Title Standards govern how title agencies and their Underwriters assess marketable title. Too often when we are provided with a Power of Attorney for a real estate transaction, it has broad, general language and does not contain the specific powers needed to insure the type of transaction.

A gives to B a power of attorney authorizing B “to generally act for me and in my name, place and stead, in any state and in relation to all matters, to do any and all things and to execute any and all instruments which I might or could do if personally present.” Does B have the authority to convey land owned by A? No.

If a Power of Attorney is necessary to accomplish a real estate transaction, the document must reflect the powers being conveyed such as the authority to sell, convey or mortgage.

Note: No legal advice or suggestion is being given. Present a copy of the Power of Attorney for underwriting review as early as possible. The above is an excerpt only from the Florida Uniform Title Standards.

 

Red Flag Warnings for Real Estate Transactions

Red Flags!

Proceed with Caution!

Underwriting guidelines over the years have continued to caution title agents to be wary of any red flags in closing transactions. Red flags are a warning to alert us to be more cautious or perhaps only to check out a situation further until we have a comfort level to proceed. Just a few of these could be:

1. A buyer wanting to come to closing with excessive amounts of cash.

2. Sellers who are from a foreign country, have you mail documents to yet another country, then have you wire the proceeds to a bank in yet another country.

3. Power of attorneys being used and the unavailability of someone to sign documents.

4. Flip transactions.

5. No acceptable form of personal identification.

6. Requests to not show fees on the closing statement.

7. A seller who brings in a release of mortgage to the property.

 

Vesting or Taking Title on Deeds

naples-florida_title_deed_insurance

Multiple Party Deed

A few ways in which more than one party may hold title are as follows:

Tenants by the Entirety:  Only a husband and wife may hold title in this manner.  Provided the couple remains continuously married, the surviving spouse becomes the 100% owner of the property upon the death of their spouse.

Tenants in Common:  Title can be held by two or more individuals or legal entities in equal or unequal percentages.  Upon the death of one of the owners, their interest passes under the term of their will and not automatically to the other people with whom they are in title.

Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship:  Title must be held in equal interests (ie:  50/50 or 25/25/25/25) by individuals.  Title passes automatically to the co-owners upon the death of any owner.

Life Estate with Remainder Interest:  Title passes automatically to the holder of the remainder interest upon the death of the holder of the life estate interest.

Note:  No legal advice or suggestions are being given as to the preferable or recommended way to hold title.  Consult with an attorney prior to deciding how to hold title.  The above is an excerpt only from an Underwriting Manual.