BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The combination of soaring housing costs and a shrinking number of home insurers has more and more people facing a hard question: Are they now priced out of paradise?
"It's incredibly frustrating, everything is unavailable. There's just such an influx of people coming to Florida because this is where everybody wants to be," said Joe Lafauci, who has been struggling to find a place to live.
The 24-year-old moved to Palm Beach County from Tampa to start his career in finance, but the current home market has left his hopes dwindling.
"We're just starting out. We don't have a basis of cash like New Yorkers, Californians like other people who move here do," said Lafauci. "So, when we get beat out by a cash buyer, it's practically hopeless at this point."
Lafauci said the rental market is just as challenging and he has been forced to stay in an Airbnb for six months.
"Four walls and a roof at this point, a refrigerator a stove and a washer-dryer," said Lafauci. "It's honestly the bare minimum of things are difficult to find."
Peter Conn, a real estate adviser with Compass, said Palm Beach County remains a seller's market.
"Hundreds of people, we get calls on a daily basis from people moving from Chicago, Cailfornia, New York City, the whole tri-state area, kind of starting their search trying to figure out where they want to be," said Conn.
Conn recommends home buyers have their tax returns, pre-approval and other paperwork ready to go and find a good broker.
"We are in the marketplace, we are constantly communicating with our colleagues, so much of what's going on is happening is off-market or happening instantly," said Conn. "If you are relying on some property aggregator to give you information, it's not going to be fast enough."
Conn said he works with insurance agents and mortgage brokers to help his clients get set up but suggests prospective home buyers do their research before putting in an offer so they aren't blind-sided by insurance premiums among other costs if they do find that dream home.
"If you want to buy a house right now, it's not necessarily an easy thing. But it's something that can be accomplished," said Conn. "The lead to speed is the way to win in this market."