Lawmakers look to restrict impact fees
Amid a booming real-estate market in many areas, state lawmakers are moving forward with proposals that would place additional restrictions on impact fees that cities, counties and school boards say are needed to help keep up with growth. House and Senate committees Wednesday approved bills that include putting limits on impact-fee increases and defining the types of infrastructure projects that can be funded with impact-fee money. The bills (HB 337 and SB 750) came after the approval or consideration of large impact-fee increases in areas such as Hillsborough County, according to House sponsor Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach. With impact fees collected on new construction, supporters of the bills say increases are baked into the prices of new homes. More from the News Service of Florida and the Palm Coast Observer.
‘Haunted’ Florida jail and tourist destination up for sale
One of what some consider the most notoriously haunted jails in Florida is looking for a new owner. The eight-bed, eight-bath former Gilchrist County Jail in Trenton is selling for a little less than $140,000. The listing from Watson Realty Group promotes the property as a “GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO OWN THE ONLY DECOMMISSIONED, CERTIFIABLY HAUNTED JAIL IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA! AS SEEN ON TV AND THROUGHOUT THE WEB The old Gilchrist county jail in Trenton is a very unique attraction.” [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida's affordable housing fund is once again targeted by lawmakers
Nearly 30 years ago, the Florida Legislature passed the Sadowski Affordable Housing Act which placed a surcharge on every real estate transaction in the state. That money then gets split between each county and larger cities to fund local housing programs. This year, some lawmakers want to use some of the funds to pay for flooding mitigation and sewage upgrades. But Jaimie Ross, President of the Florida Housing Coalition says the pandemic has only exacerbated the state's affordable housing crunch. More from WUWF and the Orlando Sentinel.
As the pandemic rages, newcomers are buying up homes in Florida. Here are the areas they’re settling in
As housing prices continue to surge in Florida, newcomers from across the country are flocking to South Florida, lured by warmer weather and the promise of spacious homes. Spurred by high taxes, out of state newcomers are settling down in South Florida as employers allow — or even encourage — remote work, according to various real estate agents in the tri-county area. Most of the newcomers are heading down from the northeast, but others are also making their way from the midwest, California and Canada. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) announced the launch of a statewide art contest on Thursday, inviting kids and teens to submit their visions on the theme: What does home mean to you? The contest aims to increase awareness on the importance of having a home by encouraging kids across the state to use their imaginations to illustrate the meaning of what their home truly means. A committee will review all designs and select the top 40 in late May. Those 40 works of art will be prominently displayed in the Florida Housing Finance Corporation building in Tallahassee in honor of National Homeownership Month in June. [Source: WTXL]
› Florida home rental scammer steals money from hopeful tenants via Zelle, ApplePay [Orlando Sentinel]
A police department in Florida is investigating after a scammer pretended to own a home, posted a rental listing, and collected money from at least two people seeking to live there. The scammer posted photos and information about a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage with wood paneling on a shaded lot, the Fellsmere Police Department said. Using the name “Rosalie Coffee,” the thief asked for money through Zelle or ApplePay to secure the rental.
› Hoffmann spends $9 million for Naples offices [Business Observer]
A Chicago-based real estate investment firm that has been among the most active in Southwest Florida in recent years has added to its portfolio in Naples with an $8.9 million acquisition. Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate’s purchase of the roughly 9,000-square-foot office building at 500 Fifth Ave. South last month marks the latest in a string of deals for the company.
› Florida Realtors launches affordable housing education and advocacy effort [Florida Trend]
Florida Realtors®, the state's largest professional trade association, has launched a comprehensive education and advocacy effort centered on the urgent need to allocate the maximum amount of funding available in the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds for affordable housing projects. The effort is a result of recent legislative proposals that would permanently reduce the amount of funding available for affordable housing by more than 66%.
› Commercial architecture on the rise in Miami [South Florida Reporter]
According to the Biz2Credits annual ranking, Miami is currently the best city in America for small business growth. Miami was chosen to top the list because of its credit score, annual revenue, and businesses’ age in terms of months. Vice city is in the middle of a real estate and a construction boom because of the current thriving economy and low tax rates that have business owners moving down south.