Sposen Homes Blog

     

When it comes to the ventilation of your roof, you have a few options.  Most common here is Florida are roof vents or soffit vents.  The purpose for these options is to provide constant air flow through the attic space in your home.  Properly designed air flow helps remove overheated air and moisture from the attic and roof system, which in turn prevents extreme temperature changes and moisture conditions occurring inside and outside of the home.   Well-designed ventilation in your roof system is essential for proper heating and cooling.

Ridge Vents

Ridge vents were typically placed at the “ridge” of the roof, which is the highest point.  Now, most builders in our area have adjusted to placing ridge vent about 2’ down off the ridge, as shown in the picture below.

These vents are designed to increase the airflow created by holes that penetrate the roof.  The openings are then covered with a baffle to help deflect wind and rain.  Ridge vents create a penetration into the roof and if are not installed properly homeowners can experience moisture issues, bowing of the vent and erosion of underlayment.  Any time you are penetration the roof of the home you leave your roof open to the potential for leaks and moisture buildup.

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We are fortunate to have a buzzing wildlife here in Cape Coral, Florida. There are many species of endangered birds and reptiles that thrive in our estuary rich environment. One of those, the coveted Bald Eagle is very well known around the country and has called our area home for years. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has classified the Bald Eagle as a threatened species and with this protection, the population has grown over the years.

Active and Alternate Nest Locations

Many precautions have been put into place to further the population. One of those is a protection order placed around their active and alternate nests around the city.  (See map below.)  Land deemed essential to the feeding, sheltering or other vital behavior patterns to the Eagle during their breeding season, which runs October 1st through May 15th, is monitored closely by the city.

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A home insurance policy may not be a requirement for most homeowners, but if you have one, it certainly gives you some peace of mind. After all, a disaster can strike your home at any time, and your homeowners’ insurance policy is your guarantee that you will be able to recover from the damage and losses it may cause.

COVID-19, however, has many policyholders worrying about their home insurance coverage. They already know the pandemic is affecting the economy, and it is likely to make an impact on the insurance industry as well.

How worried should you be about the impact COVID-19 might have on your homeowner’s insurance?

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While much of the world is currently in a state of uncertainty, the housing market is in its most viable state. Rates are lower than ever, and it is a seller’s market. Anytime spent on a listing site would show that houses are spending a record short time on the market and are often going for asking price or above. First-time home buyers are taking advantage of every program available, and it is allowing many homeowner goals to be achieved much sooner than expected.

Why Now is the Best Time to Own A Home

This current boom in home buying is attributed to one factor above all others: record-low interest rates. These low rates are the result of the Federal Reserve buying larger and larger amounts of government bonds and keeping the interest rate near 0%. This has led to more families than ever being able to accelerate or achieve their long-term homeowner goals. Becoming homeowners for the first time and having the opportunity to move into the home of their dreams is becoming a reality for so many. Many families have spent their extended time at home and are more motivated more than ever to take advantage of every tool available to help them reach their goals.

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When building a home every lot has unique elevation attributes based on it’s location.  Before you can build the home of your dreams, preparations need to go into the lot you have selected to build on.  Estimating the costs to take a lot from its existing elevation to the required finished floor elevation (FFE) is extremely important to determine the feasibility to build a new construction home within your allotted budget.  Before being able to understand the elevation, it is important to understand some of the terms used. 

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maintenance tools on a white background

Show your home some love during this “Stay at Home” order.  We like binge-watching Tiger King like everyone else, but instead you can stay productive and finally get around to those preventative maintenance projects that have been on your “to-do” list.  Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make and keeping it in proper working order requires maintenance.  Here are a few indoor and outdoor homeowner preventative maintenance projects you can do while stuck at home.

  1. HVAC System

We live in Florida and our air conditioner systems run yearlong!  To ensure your system is working efficiently be sure to clean and/or replace your air filters on a monthly basis.  Doing so will ensure the unit is not under additional stress, and you are getting the best indoor air quality.  In addition to filters, the condensation lines should be cleaned out.  To do this you will want to pour a 50% mixture of water and white vinegar (2 cups) into the condensation line to keep it free of debris and growth.

  1. Clean Gutters

People often don’t stop to think about the issues that can arise from clogged gutters.  Believe it or not routinely keeping your gutters free of debris will help prevent damage to your roof, the exterior of your home and your homes foundation.  The purpose of your gutter system is to take the collection of rainwater away from your roof and foundation, from the use of downspouts.  When your gutters or downspouts are clogged with debris, they don’t allow the rainwater to flow away from your home, and this can be putting the integrity of your home at risk.

  1. Test Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors

You should be testing and making sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working and free of dust to ensure they continue to work properly.  This testing should be done monthly.  To test, press and hold the test button and be sure you hear a loud siren.  If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries immediately!

  1. Clean out Dryer vents

Homeowners may not realize but lint build ups happen in more places than just inside the dryer.  Proper dryer maintenance includes, cleaning the lint trap housing, the interior dryer duct and the dryer vent.  Be sure you are routinely clearing out all locations mentioned above to ensure your dryer is working efficiently, offers less chance of mold buildup and greatly reduces the risk of the lint build up becoming a fire hazard.

  1. Cleaning

We all remember to vacuum, clean bathrooms, and wash windows but here is a list of routine cleanings we don’t always think to do and now have the time to do!

  • Clean range hood filters
  • Clean drains in shower and sinks
  • Clean faucet aerators & shower heads
  • Clean kitchen sink disposal
  • Clean refrigerator coils
  • Clean and dust light fixtures

We suggest to all our homeowners that writing down key preventative maintenance dates on a calendar is beneficial to keeping you on track.  Items to be done monthly, you can mark down on the same day each month and so on.  Keeping up with preventative maintenance will bring years of added pleasure to you and create longevity in your home systems.

 

In 1957, when Cape Coral was founded it was a developing rural community. The infrastructure was not in place to provide public utilities and municipal services to all areas of Cape Coral, which spans an area of 120 square miles. At that time, property owners within service areas were given options to pay off assessments for services to their parcel.  They could pay the amount in full, defer until they built, or make payments on a 20-year plan.

When the city continued to grow rapidly, property owners building in areas not serviced with utilities used septic tanks and well pumping systems.  In 2010, the City invested in the infrastructure to service these areas by building a second water plant in the North Cape.  The ability to offer city water and sewer was necessary for the development of the City for homeowners and businesses.

In order to finance the expansion of utilities and services, now and in the past, a special assessment fee was put into effect.  Special Assessments are one-time charges to property owners when their property is serviced for drinking water, sewer or irrigation water.  This includes vacant property.  Once any of these services are available, hookup to water and sewer lines is mandated by the City for all developed properties.  Irrigation line hookup is optional and existing wells may still be used, but for irrigation only.

The assessment that the property owner is responsible for is determined by the location and linear frontage the property will require.  The pipes must run along the street line, and the more frontage your property spans determines the length of pipes, and labor to install the pipes needed in order to service your property.  These costs along with impact fees and permit fees is what property owners are being “assessed” on.

Properties vacant during the assessment installation that decided to defer until they “bettered” the property, ended up creating a lot of debt for the city.  With so many vacant lots in this status the city decided to implement a “Betterment” fee. This fee is the total cost of the assessments and impact fees and is due in full upon applying for a building permit.  If your property has betterment fees attached to it and you have questions you can call The City of Cape Coral, Billing Division at 239-242-3851.

Once a property is evaluated for real estate listings, those properties with assessments satisfied, often listed as “assessment in and paid” become attractive to buyers.  Properties listed with special assessments in pending status, often becomes leverage for buyers to discuss price negotiations on the property.

Below you will find a map outlining the utilities extension zones defined until 2022, and a link for assessment payoff amounts, payment plans, as well as financial services offered by the City.

https://www.capecoral.net/department/financial_services/assessments.php