Lee County home prices and permits on the rise

Although lenders filed more foreclosure actions in Lee County in January

English: Foreclosure Sign, Mortgage Crisis

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than in December, the “foreclosure pipeline” is not producing enough homes for purchase. This low supply is creating a greater demand, which in turn is driving the price for Lee homes up, according to Jeff Tumbarello, director of the Southwest Florida Real Investment Association and an agent with Steelbridge Realty.

Foreclosures are not the only thing on the rise. More building permits were pulled by contractors for single-family homes in January than in December.  When purchasing a home it is important to check that there are no open or expired permits on the house. They can arise when a permit has been pulled but not properly closed out pursuant to municipality guidelines, usually by way of a final inspection within a certain window of time after receiving the permit.

Open and expired permits run with the property even if the property is sold and ownership changes hands. So, a new home owner will be responsible for  for remedying an open or expired permit, which can include fees, fines, completion of work, inspection of work, or even removal of improperly done work.

Unless a prospective property owner makes sure a search for open and expired permits is conducted pre-closing, she may be setting herself up for a costly and time-consuming situation as a new owner. And, no, title insurance doesn’t usually protect against unknown open and expired permits.

If you’re looking to purchase property, make sure you know whether there are any open or expired permits on the property; ask your title agent or attorney to contact Premier Lien Research to conduct a lien search, which always includes an inquiry into open and expired permits. You’ll be glad you did.


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Filed under Buyers, Florida Real estate, Investors, Open & Expired Permits

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