Well, Ian was a rough storm for this area for sure. Our hearts go out to the people who lost their homes to this historic storm. There are many who are having to make major repairs to their homes due to wind and/or flood damage and hoping their insurance coverage is sufficient. When I started writing this we were on day 12 post Ian and Ray and I still did not have our power restored. We finally got power back that evening. Our delay in power being restored was due to the flooding that occurred after the Myakka River crested after the hurricane passed. We are dealing with tons of trees down and torn screens but we are fortunate that our house did not flood. Even with all the technology available, the severity of a storm and where it is going to hit cannot be predicted. The only certainty is that it will hit somewhere.
The incredible thing in all of this is seeing how people have rallied together to care for one another. Church and civic groups have been putting together resources to help strangers in their time of need. Story after story of people stepping up to help their neighbors. I want to share a little bit about what Ray was doing for those 12 powerless days. We live on a small street close to the Myakka River with only a handful of neighbors and we all have about 5 acres of land. Right after the storm Ray got to work with his tractor and chain saw and he started clearing the trees off the road. For one of our neighbors, Ray had to clear a path through trees and debris just so she could get out of her home which had flooded from just the hurricane. If he hadn’t helped she would have been stranded with no way out before the Myakka River flood waters came. You see, when the Myakka River reached its crest up river on Friday after the storm it continued to flood our area for days. It took until Sunday for the full impact of the flood waters to reach our property. It turned our road into a river. For days our home became an island. Ray went out in the canoe and checked on neighbors’ homes and sent pictures to those who evacuated so they would know the status of their homes. He canoed neighbors in so they could feed their cats and retrieve things from their homes. He cleared the neighbors’ drives so they could get home when the waters did recede. He cleared our road so the tree trimming crews and electrical crews could get in. That’s the kind of guy Ray is, he sees a need and he tackles it.
The picture above is of our neighbors. Ray gave them a ride on his tractor to see their home for the first time since the flood. A couple takeaways from all this are, of course-Be PREPARED! We were glad we were prepared! But, also, I was reminded that when you buy a home you’re buying into a community. And community supports one another during the hard times.
Check out this video. Ray and I literally canoed from our front yard, down our road and out into the Myakka River. It was peaceful and beautiful in the midst of such chaos.
Market Stats and Data October 2022
This is a real estate newsletter so let’s talk about the impact of Ian on Southwest Florida. Yes, there are cash investors wanting to buy homes “no matter the damage”. Why are they buying houses? Because they are investors, and they want to make money. They understand Ian was not going to blow the appeal of this area away. The west coast of Florida is still the best coast for enjoying life along the Gulf of Mexico. Fact, hurricanes are part of Florida living. The picture above I took a week after Ian came through. We just stood on the beach and breathed in the fresh air and soaked in the beauty of the sunset.
I looked at the market numbers seven days after Ian to get a grasp of the real estate market. A basic look at the single family home market, (no other criteria) to get a feel for the quick impact.
In Manatee County there were 42 new listings! In Charlotte county there were only 5, in Sarasota County 16. Each county experienced homes that needed to be temporarily taken off the market. In Manatee there were 21. In Charlotte County there were 40 , Sarasota County 12. In the seven days after Hurricane Ian came through some homes came Back On The Market. There were 12 homes in Sarasota County , then in Charlotte County 8, Manatee County 21.
Then I ran some numbers at 10 days after Ian, Sarasota County 28 homes went pending, in Charlotte16, in Manatee 62 homes went pending. People are still buying homes. Sure, there is storm damage and yes it looks messy right now. But, that won’t last. Restaurants are open and ready to serve people with ice cold drinks and fabulous food. The local musicians are playing the tunes we all know and love. Communities will be full again as our snowbirds return to their piece of paradise. Did Ian shake things up? YES!!! But did the storm spin real estate completely out of whack? No. It will be interesting to see the data over the next couple months. After that we will be full swing into "season" and our life along the Gulf of Mexico will feel "normal" again.