July, 2010:

Alive and Well Despite BP and the Media

So, BP has finally succeeded in capping the Deepwater Horizon well … While that is great news, there will still be little mention in the media of the fact that our beaches here along the Emerald Coast are oil and tar ball free.  Over the past two weeks, Terri and I have traveled by boat from Perdido Key to Port St. Joe.  The only oil we have seen is called Banana Boat or Coppertone or No Ad, etc etc … And it was most definitely smeared all over the beachgoers, locals and tourists alike.


The cable news networks have been bad enough in their irresponsible coverage of this event, but what about the print media!!! My God!! With huge declines in readership and shrinking ad dollars, some of the print media has been the most reckless and desperate of all. Photos of sludge on the beach at Grand Isle Louisiana with headlines indicating it to be Florida??? Criminal!!


Even more criminal is the fact that BP is NOT paying reasonable claims as they would like to have everyone believe. Dragging their feet and digging in their heels, these Keystone Cops are going to deny the majority of legitimate claims.  When BP says “We are going to make this right”, it really means “If you don’t like it, sue us”.


After nine consecutive months of increased sales transactions over the previous year, the month of June fell flat. That is because there is a 30 – 60 day lag between cause and effect in real estate sales. The impact of April and May will be felt in June and July.  Over time, the public will come to realize that all is well and that life is still good on the Emerald Coast.   Most Gulf Coast regulars are already aware but had already cancelled their plans for this year. So business-wise, fall and winter will most likely be fairly normal.  By spring, business should be much improved. Time will tell.  It always does.

Flood Insurance Floats Again

For the fourth time since last December,  Congress and the Senate have agreed (imagine that) to temporarily extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP),  just as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Alex struck the Texas Gulf Coast. The measure to reauthorize the federal flood insurance program is only good through September 30, 2010, at which point Congress and the Senate may very well allow it to again expire. The President is expected to sign the current legislation.

During these lapses, new flood insurance policies could not be issued. Now that the program is temorarily reinstated, new and renewed policies are effective retroactively. There is a 30-day waiting period after issuance of a new policy before it takes effect,  unless it is issued in conjunction with a purchase. The rationale behind this is that homeowners may purchase flood insurance in the case of an immediate threat, only to cancel after that threat passes.

Fannie Mae Tightens Policy

One more reason that a short sale is better than foreclosure … The government-owned mortgage giant Fannie Mae issued the following warning:

“Defaulting borrowers who walk-away and had the capacity to pay or did not complete a workout alternative in good faith will be ineligible for a new Fannie Mae-backed mortgage loan for a period of seven years from the date of foreclosure.”

Prior to this policy change, a foreclosure would render the mortgagor ineligible for 5 years. However, if you complete a short sale instead, the prohibition is a mere 2 years – Approximately the length of time it takes the average consumer to get back on their feet again.