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Timeless Tudor

by The Prestige Properties Team

Respect for Architecture and Attention to Detail Revive an English Tudor Kitchen

“Can you do a black kitchen?” Mario J. Mulea laughs as he recalls the first words the homeowner spoke to him. The homeowner had just stepped into the showroom for Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly (kitchendesigns.com), a firm serving the Long Island area of New York where Mulea works as a kitchen designer. As an experienced interior designer herself, the homeowner had a clear vision of what she wanted to accomplish. That she sought Mulea’s help offers a clue into how specialized and complicated kitchen design can be.

The kitchen in the homeowner’s nearly-century-old Tudor was the final update that needed to be made to return the home to its former glory. In Mulea, she found a kindred spirit who appreciated the history of her home and believed it should inform and inspire the design. “I always talk about the house first,” he says, describing his design process. “What’s the style of the house? What neighborhood is it in? Do the interiors match the architecture? If you have a center-hall colonial and you ask for cobalt-blue, high-gloss cabinets, I’ll tell you that you’ve picked the wrong designer. I’m not going to do that.”

Kitchen designer Mario J. Mulea says you don’t need one-hundred-year-old materials to make a historic remodel look authentic. Case in point: the reproduction Victorian fireplace located behind the range.

With pickled maple cabinets, green Formica countertops, and vinyl flooring, nothing about the kitchen matched the home’s Tudor style. Respecting that architecture necessarily constrained the design. Windows, doors, and a radiator could not be moved. Another design constraint, which would ultimately become the room’s centerpiece, was a wish-list purchase by the homeowner. “She absolutely had to have the La Cornue CornuFé range,” Mulea recalls.

After the must-go, must-stay, and must-add items were defined, Mulea’s next questions revolved around how the room would be used. “I talk with clients about how their family uses the kitchen and how they use it when they have visitors,” he says. “We discuss zones and how kitchens work.” He notes that the “work triangle” notion is now outdated for most modern homes. It’s more helpful to know how homeowners actually use the space and what traffic flows in and out of the room.

Once all the information is gathered, Mulea starts sketching possible ideas. That’s the creative side of the process, but it’s paired with more analytical considerations. “A kitchen is both a giant jigsaw puzzle and a math problem,” he explains. Once you know window and door positions and appliance sizes, you then have to figure out the best way for cabinets, islands, and countertops to fill the room’s envelope. Every available inch of space in this kitchen is put to use.

Respecting the home’s history meant choosing materials that seemed contemporaneous. “The materials you use don’t have to be historic, as if they’ve been there for one hundred years. The critical thing that makes a kitchen timeless is integrating it into the fabric of the rest of the house,” says Mulea. The distressed finish of the black cabinets is one such example. Handscraped hickory floors with black distressing also add a patina of history to the room.

The homeowner, a designer herself, worked closely with the kitchen designer, Mulea. The layout, architectural details, and finishes were his purview, while she focused on accessories, fixtures, and fabrics.

The black La Cornue range with brass trim serves as a centerpiece. Other appliances were clad in cabinet panels so they would not distract from the showpiece. The mantel hood arches over the range and an English foxhunt print rests on its ledge.

No detail was overlooked during the remodel. The diamond angles of the white-tile backsplash match the angles in the room’s windows and leaded-glass cabinet fronts. A fireplace back hangs behind the range and looks like a reproduction from the Victorian era. In a corner of the room, a new door with a ring pull was added to the home’s original milk delivery box. A copper sink serves the wet bar off to the side of the room. The same wet bar camouflages the room’s radiator, which sits behind a lattice door and vented toe kicks that allow air circulation. Practical quartz counters top the perimeter cabinets, while walnut slabs cover the wet bar and island.

The homeowner added her own special design touches throughout the space, too. She discovered the vintage chandelier, which now hangs over the island, in an antique store and had it rewired. The wallpaper was her request, and the plaid-covered stools with brass nailheads were one of her finds. On a trip to England, she gathered many of the teapots, crystal, and curios on display behind the glass-fronted cabinets.

The surfaces in the kitchen exude Old-World charm, but beneath them lies functionality. A tug on custom brass hardware reveals deep pot drawers, appliance garages, an ice dispenser, and a trash bin.

The end result is a kitchen that looks like it could have been there from the home’s beginning, but incorporates all the modern needs for today’s family. “If you look at my portfolio, you’ll see I do not have a signature design,” says Mulea. “To me, my signature is that the design must fit the house and the people who live there above everything else.”

Article written by guest blogger Ronda Swaney.

Sweet Tooth

by The Prestige Properties Team

Heed These Tips for Your Healthiest Mouth Ever

They say your eyes are the windows to your soul. If that’s the case, then your teeth are the windows to your overall health. In fact, not only can your oral health offer serious clues about your overall health, but any issues you may have in your mouth could seriously affect the rest of your body, and not necessarily in a good way. So what’s at stake? Poor oral health can lead to a variety of health problems including endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of your heart), cardiovascular disease, and premature birth and low birth weight. Plus, in some diseases like diabetes, periodontal disease can lower the body’s resistance to infection. “Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is extraordinarily important for overall good health,” says Dr. Edward A Alvarez, DDS PC, who is based in New York City, New York. “The good news is that taking care of your teeth and oral health doesn’t have to be difficult or cumbersome.” Here are some top ways to keep your teeth (and, in turn, your overall body) healthy.

BRUSH YOUR TEETH
It may seem obvious, but brushing is the number-one thing—with flossing right behind it—you can do to keep your teeth healthy; however, not all brushing is created equal. In fact, how you brush, what you brush with, and what toothpaste you use all play a role in keeping your pearly whites healthy and, well, pearly white. Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a softbristle brush, advises Alvarez. Adds Dr. William Crutchfield, DDS, an orthodontist in Washington, DC: “Leaving food on and between teeth is what breaks down the enamel and causes long-term damage. The age-old wisdom of avoiding over-exposure to sugary foods or drinks remains true. For adults, many people forget alcoholic beverages have lots of sugar as well. So make sure, if you’ve been out on the town, brush your teeth before bed to maintain your best smile.”

SKIP THE TOOTHPICK
Your tools of choice when getting in between your teeth should be limited to dental floss and Waterpiks—not toothpicks or random items with sharp corners (read: business cards). “While not as popular in recent years as before, toothpicks are dangerous for dental health,” explains Crutchfield. “Floss, Waterpiks, and brushing are much safer and won’t damage the roots of your teeth. For those with cosmetic dentistry, toothpicks can chip or loosen the bond of veneers making for a costly habit.”

STEER CLEAR OF STAINS
Foods that stain, that is. “Patients should be aware that foods that are acidic, such as tomato sauce, citrus dishes, and drinks such as lemonade can soften the enamel,” says Alvarez. “It is important to rinse after such meals if possible. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks will cause your mouth to dry out, and that can lead to greater plaque and tartar build up, and to cavities.”

KNOW YOUR MEDS
“Patients on medications, such as antidepressants, thyroid medication, high blood pressure medications, and others, should use a fluoride rinse daily, as those medications can cause dry mouth, which can lead to decay,” explains Alvarez. “Hydrating with lots of water during the day is very important when taking medications.”

Pearly Whites

Want to get the whitest teeth on the block? Consider these at-home treatments, but check with your dentist to make sure the method is right for you.

Crest 3D White Strips

“There are lots of products on the market nowadays for whitening, but what I use and my family uses is Crest 3D White Strips,” says Dr. William Crutchfield, an orthodontist in Washington, DC.

Activated Charcoal

“You can take some charcoal powder (please make sure it’s medical grade) and lightly brush with it after mixing it with some distilled water,” says Dr. Edward A Alvarez, DDS PC, who is based in New York City, New York. “The charcoal is abrasive, so it will remove any build up and external stain on the teeth.”

Baking Soda

“Much like charcoal, baking soda is an abrasive substance that will polish off external stain and plaque that gives teeth that dark, yellow appearance,” says Alvarez. “Baking soda also serves as a buffer to raise the pH of the mouth, which will pull out the tannins from your teeth.”

Coconut Oil

“Oil pulling with coconut oil (where we hold coconut oil in our mouths for ten to twenty minutes while swishing it around, and then spitting) has great benefits,” says Alvarez. “The coconut oil will break down the plaque that has that nasty, pasty yellow look to it. Plaque that hardens becomes tartar, which can sometimes not only look yellow, but also brown, or even green.”

Article written by guest blogger Blake Miller.

Pub Grub

by The Prestige Properties Team

Irish Pub Recipes for the Home Chef

American football dominates the airwaves during the fall months. And while it can be tempting to head to the pub to catch a game and some grub, family time is important too. Get the whole family together to make a comforting meal of Irish-inspired dishes; this hearty cuisine is the perfect accessory to a football game or the ideal centerpiece of a casual dinner party.


IRISH CHIPS WITH THREE DIPS

 
Irish chips are simple to prepare and delicious to eat. They can be served à la carte or with these three tasty dips. This combo offers a festive beginning to a pub menu at home.

Serves 6 to 8

6 cups plain, thick-cut potato chips

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the chips in a single layer on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the blue cheese. Bake the chips for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the blue cheese is melted.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with Bacon and Cheese Dip, Chive and Onion Dip, or Roasted Red Pepper Dip.

Dips

Each dip makes about 2 cups
 

1. Bacon and Cheese Dip

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

4 ounces bacon, diced and cooked

Place the 8 ounces cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for about 30 seconds and stir. Continue to heat for 30 seconds and stir until the cream cheese and shredded cheese are smooth.

Stir together the sour cream, Dijon mustard, and chives. Mix the sour cream mixture with the cheese mixture and then fold in the diced, cooked bacon. Garnish with additional diced cooked bacon or chopped fresh chives.

2. Chive and Onion Dip

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, halved and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions. Sauté the onions until golden brown and then add the garlic.

In a food processor, add the cream cheese, sour cream, chives, squeeze of lemon, and cooked onion and garlic. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Roasted Red Pepper Dip

8 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup fresh basil leavesSalt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, add the roasted red peppers, cream cheese, sour cream, Dijon mustard, and fresh basil leaves. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

IRISH REUBEN SANDWICH

The classic Irish Reuben is a melt-in-your-mouth sandwich that will forever be one of my family’s favorites. We adore this sandwich slathered in the sauce and piled high with sauerkraut. I like this sandwich best with a dill rye bread, but marbled and dark rye taste just as delicious.


Serves 4 to 6

1 (2- to 3-pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet

¾ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup chile sauce, ketchup, or cocktail sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Dash Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons butter

8 to 12 slices dark rye or dill rye bread

6 to 8 slices Swiss cheese

2 cups sauerkraut, drained

Dill pickles (optional)

Place the brisket in a large pot or Dutch oven, add the spice packet, and then cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for about 45 minutes per pound until the meat is tender. When the corned beef is done, remove it from the pot and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. When slicing the corned beef, slice the meat across the grain for a tender bite.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, chile sauce, lemon juice, pickle relish, capers, garlic, chives, and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread a tablespoon or two of sauceon the other side of each slice of bread. Layer half the bread slices with Swiss cheese, shredded corned beef, and then top with sauerkraut. Place the remaining bread slices onto the sandwiches and heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.

 Once the skillet is warm, place the sandwiches on the skillet and brown both sides of the sandwiches. Once the sandwiches are toasty, remove them from the skillet or griddle, slice, and plate. Serve immediately, with dill pickles if desired.

Article written by guest blogger Karista Bennet.

Kitchen Confidential

by The Prestige Properties Team

A Run-Down Row House Kitchen Is Transformed into a Sophisticated Place to Gather

The kitchen was originally two separate rooms, but designer Breeze Giannasio opened and combined the spaces to create a long, dramatic kitchen area.

 

When designer Breeze Giannasio first saw her clients’ row house located in Washington DC’s hip Dupont Circle neighborhood, she knew she had a challenge on her hands. Though the home had fantastic bones and boasted historic architectural details common in a classic Federal row house, it was run-down and in need of some serious upgrading and renovations. Luckily, though, Giannasio was willing to take on the project and help the couple—who, at the time, had just become new parents—transform the dated house into an open and seamless floor plan that was ideal for a fun, growing family.
Originally two separate rooms, the kitchen was opened up into one room, and the existing fireplace was transformed into a bay window allowing for natural light to brighten the entire space. Though the narrow, long shape of the kitchen may have posed a challenge to some designers, Giannasio embraced it. “Architectural constraints are gifts to designers in that they create the parameters that create design solutions and opportunities,” says Giannasio. “Design doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it solves problems. Here the layout is fundamentally linked to the unique volume of the space: the long, narrow room with lovely, high ceilings.”
Make the Most of It
Use Every Inch
“Take advantage of any recessed areas, which can offer a wealth of space in situations where every inch matters! In this kitchen design, there is recessed spice storage behind the stove (behind sliding stone doors) as well as a recessed area built out for a TV near the kitchen nook, but styled here with accessories. Live large and carry your cabinets all the way to the ceiling—you’ll appreciate the storage and the visual drama!”
Amplify Seating
“Seating can also be incorporated into circulation areas—we have great bar seating on a long central island along the main circulation back to the eating nook. A banquette (built-in or freestanding as here) is a nice way to economize the footprint of your eating area given that it can back up against the wall leaving more square footage for the accompanying dining table and chairs.”
Maintain Continuity
“Having continuous flooring from space to space makes things feel larger. Here the flooring connects from the formal living room and flows directly into the kitchen through two large, historic pocket doors.”

When designer Breeze Giannasio first saw her clients’ row house located in Washington DC’s hip Dupont Circle neighborhood, she knew she had a challenge on her hands. Though the home had fantastic bones and boasted historic architectural details common in a classic Federal row house, it was run-down and in need of some serious upgrading and renovations. Luckily, though, Giannasio was willing to take on the project and help the couple—who, at the time, had just become new parents—transform the dated house into an open and seamless floor plan that was ideal for a fun, growing family.

Originally two separate rooms, the kitchen was opened up into one room, and the existing fireplace was transformed into a bay window allowing for natural light to brighten the entire space. Though the narrow, long shape of the kitchen may have posed a challenge to some designers, Giannasio embraced it. “Architectural constraints are gifts to designers in that they create the parameters that create design solutions and opportunities,” says Giannasio. “Design doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it solves problems. Here the layout is fundamentally linked to the unique volume of the space: the long, narrow room with lovely, high ceilings.”

ABOVE: To modernize the traditional architectural details of the classic Federal row house, Giannasio installed contemporary decorative pendant lights and a sleek glass chandelier. LEFT: Giannasio added sliding stone doors behind the stove to conceal a spice rack.


Make the Most of It

Use Every Inch

“Take advantage of any recessed areas, which can offer a wealth of space in situations where every inch matters! In this kitchen design, there is recessed spice storage behind the stove (behind sliding stone doors) as well as a recessed area built out for a TV near the kitchen nook, but styled here with accessories. Live large and carry your cabinets all the way to the ceiling—you’ll appreciate the storage and the visual drama!”

Amplify Seating

“Seating can also be incorporated into circulation areas—we have great bar seating on a long central island along the main circulation back to the eating nook. A banquette (built-in or freestanding as here) is a nice way to economize the footprint of your eating area given that it can back up against the wall leaving more square footage for the accompanying dining table and chairs.

Maintain Continuity

“Having continuous flooring from space to space makes things feel larger. Here the flooring connects from the formal living room and flows directly into the kitchen through two large, historic pocket doors.”

 

 

Ample seating was paramount to the homeowners, who wanted the downstairs of the home to exude a more sophisticated aesthetic while the upstairs was denoted as the much more relaxed and casual “kid zone.” To achieve a more formal dining room, Giannasio created an elegant dining area in what would normally be reserved as a casual breakfast nook. In lieu of expected chairs, Giannasio installed a tufted, lavender banquette, which immediately elevated the space. Adjacent chairs upholstered in a sleek geometric pattern complement the modern crystal ball chandelier that serves a twofold purpose of providing functional light and acting as a piece of artwork.

The approximately 300-square-foot space was limited in natural light due to the lack of windows on two sides of the room (typical of row houses). “Light is perhaps the most important facet of successful interior design,” explains Giannasio. “Placement of the kitchen was linked to being on the hunt for natural light. We brought in ample recessed lighting to make sure the space was light and bright. The decorative pendants and chandelier are on a separate circuit so mood lighting is possible in the evening hours.” Beyond that, a color palette of neutral grays, white cabinetry, and a sleek, white cowhide at the opposite end of the kitchen helped brighten what could easily have become a dark space. “I tend to gravitate toward immersive grays with handsome, high-contrast architectural ‘pops’ and a bit of play with color and pattern,” says Giannasio. “All of those elements happened to be a part of this space.” To take advantage of the kitchen’s ceiling height, Giannasio added floor-to-ceiling cabinets and grand windows and doors, which immediately opened up the space.

 

The final product was exactly what the homeowners wanted in a place they knew they’d spend much of their time in as a family. “While it remains family friendly and extremely functional,” says Giannasio, “I love the fact that we were able to achieve such a sophisticated and tailored look to suit the couple’s pre-child aesthetic.”

 

Article written by guest blogger Blake Miller.

White Balance

by The Prestige Properties Team

This Symmetrical, All-White Kitchen Provides a Calming Family Gathering Place

Inspired by a sojourn in Paris, the homeowner requested a marble top in the kitchen—a surface prized by professional bakers.

“When I leave, it should look like I was never there,” says Katja van der Loo, CEO of Papyrus Home Design, a Boonton, New Jersey interior design firm. She’s describing the desired end result after a remodeling project. “Whatever style the kitchen is, if it is in keeping [with] and respectful to the architecture of the home, I think that’s when it’s most successful. This bright kitchen would look awful in a different type of house. In this house, it looks incredible,” she says.
When van der Loo was hired for this project, she found a kitchen stuck in the ’80s. The older part of the home had a classic design but suffered from a poorly executed addition. The remodeled portion appeared to be tacked onto the house as an afterthought. The owners, a couple with young children, needed a fresh start. The previous construction was removed and a new three-story addition was planned for the back of the house. This kitchen was part of that project. “We had to seamlessly blend the old with the new,” says van der Loo.
“I knew this client was into balance and symmetry, and that’s how I approach things too,” explains van der Loo. “The cleaner it is the better it feels, I think.” Balanced designs create a calming effect, which is helpful for any busy homeowners.
The range and island are perfectly centered, as are the large glass pendant lights. “Those pendants add an industrial touch to the kitchen,” she says. And they are grand enough to be noticed. “The kitchen has nine-foot ceilings and the island is nine feet long. I felt we needed something large scale to balance all that space.”
Off to the side, the bench seating that skirts the wide bay window is also perfectly symmetrical. The seat cushions are custom, while store-bought pillows in gray, white, and taupe finish the look. Drawers beneath the window seat add more storage, which the homeowner uses to keep serving pieces that are rarely used.

 

“When I leave, it should look like I was never there,” says Katja van der Loo, CEO of Papyrus Home Design, a Boonton, New Jersey interior design firm. She’s describing the desired end result after a remodeling project. “Whatever style the kitchen is, if it is in keeping [with] and respectful to the architecture of the home, I think that’s when it’s most successful. This bright kitchen would look awful in a different type of house. In this house, it looks incredible,” she says.

When van der Loo was hired for this project, she found a kitchen stuck in the ’80s. The older part of the home had a classic design but suffered from a poorly executed addition. The remodeled portion appeared to be tacked onto the house as an afterthought. The owners, a couple with young children, needed a fresh start. The previous construction was removed and a new three-story addition was planned for the back of the house. This kitchen was part of that project. “We had to seamlessly blend the old with the new,” says van der Loo.

“I knew this client was into balance and symmetry, and that’s how I approach things too,” explains van der Loo. “The cleaner it is the better it feels, I think.” Balanced designs create a calming effect, which is helpful for any busy homeowners.

The range and island are perfectly centered, as are the large glass pendant lights. “Those pendants add an industrial touch to the kitchen,” she says. And they are grand enough to be noticed. “The kitchen has nine-foot ceilings and the island is nine feet long. I felt we needed something large scale to balance all that space.”

Off to the side, the bench seating that skirts the wide bay window is also perfectly symmetrical. The seat cushions are custom, while store-bought pillows in gray, white, and taupe finish the look. Drawers beneath the window seat add more storage, which the homeowner uses to keep serving pieces that are rarely used.

Designer Katja van der Loo believes in keeping it classic. “Make a remodeled kitchen fit the home’s architecture and it will always feel current,” she says.

 

In any remodeling project, it’s smart to save dollars where you can. The homeowners already had the table and chairs used in the eating nook. Chair slipcovers were a practical selection because they could be removed and machine washed if the children spilled on the furniture. A glass chandelier, with a traditional shape but modern transparency, sparkles above the dining table. The transparency gave an added benefit to the room. “The garden, which you can see through the windows, is spectacular. I didn’t want anything to obstruct that view,” explains van der Loo.

The children use the small desk off to the side to work on arts and crafts projects. Open cabinets above the desk make books easily accessible. A printer is hidden in one end of the island, which provides easy access without visual clutter. At the island sit practical and lightweight aluminum barstools, which van der Loo calls “indestructible.”

Attention to proportion promotes the calming effect as do the colors and materials used. The cabinets, subway tile, and crown moldings are awash in white. Room flow is enhanced by how the cabinet molding merges seamlessly with the crown molding that circles the room. Pietra cardosa, a mineral-laden gray stone, tops the perimeter counters. Neutral paint with the slightest hint of gray covers the walls. The range and hood serve as the room’s focal point, while other appliances are hidden beneath cabinet panels.

One of the homeowners has a great passion for cooking and baking and many of the room’s features align with that. Many an amateur baker covets a marble surface, so statuary marble tops the island at the homeowner’s request. A high BTU range is professional grade and the warming rack above it aids in meal prep. A mixer lift is hidden in the other end of the island.

“A lot of people store mixers in a pantry, but that’s not convenient. With a lift, you open the cabinet and it pops up. When you’re done, all you have to do is clean the bowl, then it pops back down to be hidden in the cabinet again.”

A custom cabinet to the right of the range hides steel cooling racks for baked goods. To the left of the range is a wall oven and microwave. To the side of the island is a wet bar. It contains a beverage fridge and a small sink. This spot is adjacent to the family room, which is helpful for enter-taining. Guests can serve themselves without getting in the way of food prep in the main cooking area.

Symmetry, soothing tones, and hiding places that keep clutter at bay—each element plays a role in creating a calming atmosphere that draws the family together. “I love the openness and balance of this room,” says van der Loo. “But you know what the best thing about this kitchen is? It’s how you feel when you’re in it.”

Article written by guest blogger Ronda Swaney.

President Signs Disaster Tax Relief Bill

by The Prestige Properties Team

On September 29, President Trump signed the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 into law. The law is intended to provide tax relief for taxpayers impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. One of the stand-out benefits of the legislation relates to providing employers located in the disaster zones with the ability to take a tax credit on certain wages paid during the business down-time related to the Hurricanes. This is especially important for those businesses that were closed because of the storms. The Act also removed the excess of 10% of AGI requirement for the deduction of casualty losses.


The Disaster Tax Relief will:

  • eliminate the current requirement that uncompensated personal casualty losses exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income to qualify for deduction
  • eliminate the current requirement that taxpayers itemize deductions to access this tax relief
  • provide an exception to the 10-percent early retirement plan withdrawal penalty for qualified hurricane relief distributions
  • allow for the re-contribution of retirement plan withdrawals for home purchases cancelled due to eligible disasters
  • provide flexibility for loans from retirement plans for qualified hurricane relief
  • temporarily suspend limitations on charitable contribution deductions associated with qualified hurricane relief made before December 31, 2017
  • provide a tax credit for 40 percent of wages (up to $6,000 per employee) paid by a disaster-affected employer to each employee from a core disaster area
  • allow taxpayers to use earned income from 2016 to determine the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for the 2017 tax year

 

Casualty Loss Rules

Current law - A taxpayer generally may claim a deduction for any loss sustained during the tax year and not compensated by insurance or otherwise. For individuals, a personal loss from a casualty is deductible only to the extent that (1) it exceeds $100, and (2) all casualty losses (after application of the $100-floor) for the tax year exceed 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI).
If the disaster occurs in a Presidentially declared disaster area, the taxpayer may elect to take into account the casualty loss in the tax year immediately preceding the tax year in which the disaster occurs. The deduction for casualty losses is an itemized deduction.

New law - For a taxpayer that has a "net disaster loss" for any tax year, the relief provides in relevant part the elimination of the current law requirement that personal casualty losses must exceed 10% of AGI to qualify for a deduction and increases the $100 limitation per casualty to $500.
Furthermore, it also eliminates the current law requirement that taxpayers must itemize deductions to access this tax relief. In general, qualified disaster-related personal casualty losses are losses which arise in the Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria disaster areas.


IRA and Retirement Plan Rules

Current law - A loan from a qualified employer plan to a participant or beneficiary is treated as a plan distribution unless: (i) the loan amount doesn't exceed the lesser of: (A) $50,000, or (B) half of the present value of the employee's nonforfeitable accrued benefit under the plan (however, a loan up to $10,000 is allowed, even if it's more than half the employee's accrued benefit); and (ii) the loan is required to be repaid within five years, except that a longer repayment can be used for a principal residence plan loan. Early (generally, pre-age 59 1/2) withdrawals from a qualified retirement plan result in an additional tax equal to 10% of the amounts withdrawn that are includible in gross income. The additional tax applies unless the taxpayer qualifies for one of several specific exceptions.

New law - The Act allows tax-favored withdrawals from retirement plans, up to $100,000 (less any prior withdrawals treated as qualified hurricane distributions; by: 1) providing an exception to the 10% early retirement plan withdrawal penalty for "qualified hurricane distributions"; and 2) allowing the amount distributed to be re-contributed at any time over a 3-year period beginning on the day after the distribution was received.

The relief also allows for the re-contribution of certain retirement plan withdrawals for home purchases or construction, which were received after Feb. 28, 2017 and before Sept. 21, 2017, where the home purchase or construction was cancelled on account of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria.

With respect to retirement plan loans, the Act 1) increases the maximum amount that a participant or beneficiary can borrow from a qualified employer plan under from $50,000 to $100,000; 2) removes the "one half of present value" limitation, and delays certain repayment dates; and 3) allows for a longer repayment term by delaying the due date of the first repayment by one year and adjusting the subsequent repayments accordingly.

A "qualified hurricane distribution" is any distribution from an eligible retirement plan made, during a certain time period, to an individual whose principal place of abode is located in the Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria disaster area.


Charitable Deduction Limitations Suspended

Current law - An individual who itemizes can deduct charitable contributions up to 50%, 30% or 20% of AGI, depending on the type of property contributed and the type of donee). A corporation generally can deduct charitable contributions up to 10% of its taxable income.  Amounts that exceed the ceilings ("excess contributions") can be carried forward for five years by both individuals and corporations, subject to various limitations and ordering rules.  For individuals, charitable contributions are deductible only as an itemized deduction.

New law - For qualifying charitable contributions associated with qualified hurricane relief, the law temporarily suspends the majority of the limitations on charitable contributions. The law provides that i) such contributions will not be taken into account for purposes of applying the percentage limitations and carryover rules to other contributions; ii) provides eased rules governing the treatment of excess contributions; and iii) provides an exception from the overall limitation on itemized deductions for certain qualified contributions.

"Qualified contributions" must be paid during the period beginning on Aug. 23, 2017, and ending on Dec.31, 2017, in cash to a qualified organization for relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey, Irma, or Maria disaster areas. The contributions must also be substantiated, with a contemporaneous written acknowledgement that the contribution was or is to be used for relief efforts and the taxpayer must make an election for the relief to apply. For partnerships and S corporations, the election is made separately by each partner or shareholder.

Employee Retention Tax Credit for Employers

Current law - Certain business incentive credits are combined into one general business credit (GBC) for purposes of determining each credit's allowance limitation for the tax year. A GBC (claimed on Form 3800) is allowed against income tax for a particular tax year and equals the sum of: (1) the business credit carryforwards carried to the tax year, (2) the current year GBC, and (3) the business credit carrybacks carried to the tax year. 

New law - The Act provides a new "employee retention credit" for "eligible employers" affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria (generally defined as employers that conducted an active trade or business in a disaster zone on the date of the disaster and the active trade or business of which, for some period of time following the disaster, was rendered inoperable). In general, the credit is be treated as a credit listed in Code Sec. 38(b) , and equals 40% of up to $6,000 of qualified wages with respect to each eligible employee of such employer for the tax year.

"Earned Income" for EITC & CTC Purposes

Current law - An eligible individual is allowed an earned income tax credit (EITC) equal to the credit percentage of earned income (up to an "earned income amount") for the tax year. For 2017, the earned income amount is $6,670 for taxpayers with no qualifying children, $10,000 for those with one qualifying child, and $14,040 for those with two or more qualifying children. For purposes of the EITC, earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, and other employee compensation, but only if those amounts are includible in gross income for the tax year; plus net earnings from self-employment less the deduction for half of self-employment tax for the year.

Furthermore, individuals can claim a $1,000 child tax credit (CTC) for each qualifying child the taxpayer can claim as a dependent. The child must be under 17 and a U.S. citizen or resident alien. The amount of the allowable credit is reduced (not below zero) by $50 for each $1,000 (or fraction thereof) of modified adjusted gross income above: $110,000 for joint filers, $75,000 for unmarried individuals, and $55,000 for married taxpayers filing separately. To the extent the CTC exceeds the taxpayer's tax liability, the taxpayer is eligible for a refundable credit equal to 15% percent of earned income in excess of a threshold dollar amount.

New law - The Act provides that, in the case of a "qualified individual," if the earned income of the taxpayer for the tax year which includes the applicable date (i.e., the dates shown in the following paragraph) is less than the taxpayer's earned income for the preceding tax year, then the taxpayer may, for purposes of the EITC and CTC, substitute the earned income for the preceding year for the earned income for the tax year that includes the applicable date.

For Hurricane Harvey, a "qualified individual" is one whose principal place of abode on Aug. 23, 2017 was located either in the Hurricane Harvey disaster zone, or in the Hurricane Harvey disaster area and the individual was displaced from their principal place of abode by reason of Hurricane Harvey. Similar definitions apply for Hurricane Irma (using a Sept. 4, 2017 date) and Hurricane Maria (using a Sept. 16, 2017 date). In the case of joint filers, the above election may apply if either spouse is a qualified individual. 

Together let us put forth all our efforts to ensure that not only our families and friends but all the people affected get the support they direly need. Thank you very much for your support!  If you have other resources please send them to me so that I can update this and we can get the information out to as many people as possible!

Post-Hurricane Irma: Citizens Is Ready to Help

by The Prestige Properties Team

Citizens is here for you if your property does experience damage and you would like to file a claim.

The important information below will assist you with Citizens' claims process. 


Call Citizens First to Report A Loss 

Call Citizens' toll-free claims hotline at 866.411.2742 as soon as you become aware of or suspect any damage from the storm. Trained professionals are available 24/7 to take your claim information and start you on the road to recovery.  

Have the following information available when you call: 

  • Your policy number
  • Your contact information, including any temporary addresses or phone numbers
  • Description of damage (Example: tree fell on roof; lightning struck house)
  • Mortgage company information (if applicable)

Call even if you don't have all of this information. Citizens will be able to assist you. 

To learn more about reporting a claim: 

Don't Sign Away Your Rights 

Be careful signing over your insurance benefits to anyone. Some contractors may ask you to sign an assignment of benefits (AOB) contract before starting emergency repairs. Signing over your benefits can cause increased costs for which you could be held responsible. You are urged to exercise caution before signing any documents that give your insurance benefits to someone else. 

Please call Citizens first and see our Assignment of Benefits: What You Need to Know brochure to learn about the risks. 

Stay Informed

Call Citizens toll-free at 866.411.2742 if you have any questions or need additional information about a claim.

 
Together let us put forth all our efforts to ensure that not only our families and friends but all the people affected get the support they direly need. Thank you very much for your support!  If you have other resources please send them to me so that I can update this and we can get the information out to as many people as possible!

Hurricane Response Hiring & Help For Seniors

by The Prestige Properties Team

South Florida has been recently struck by a hurricane with unprecedented magnitude. It unleashed destructive winds and flooding rain and inundated coastal communities with several feet of water.

Currently, there are national coordinating relief actions to facilitate support and aid to the victims of the calamity. 

These are multiple resources to get help.

HELP FOR SENIORS
If you know of a senior who needs assistance contact the Florida Department of Elder Affairs hotline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337). To report elder abuse, call 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). 

BASIC SUPPLIES
If you need supplies, such as food, water, or ice, please contact your county emergency management
at:http://www.floridadisaster.org/fl_county_em.asp or by phone at (850) 815-4001 for the location of the nearest distribution center. Your county emergency management can provide up-to-date information about shelters and local distribution centers for food and supplies. 


FEMA ASSISTANCE
Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma should apply for assistance with FEMA as soon as their county is granted Individual Assistance. Financial help and direct services may be available from FEMA for clean-up, temporary housing, medical, moving expenses, and more.

To apply visit: www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585. For a list of counties approved for Individual Assistance visit: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4337#

HELP FOR VETERANS
Veterans needing assistance or medication can contact the Veteran Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 or go to any VA medical facility for assistance. 

DIALYSIS
To find a dialysis center in your area visit: http://www.dialysisunits.com/. Patients of DaVita Dialysis may contact 1-800-400-8331 to find the nearest Dialysis Center. 

MENTAL HEALTH
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress please call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor. You may also visit:  http://bit.ly/2vH2Hucfor more information about managing stress after a disaster and talking with children about traumatic events. 

TAX RELIEF
Floridians in counties granted Individual Assistance may be eligible for tax relief from the IRS. To learn more about IRS assistance for victims of Hurricane Irma visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/help-for-victims-of-hurricane-irma. 

DISASTER RECOVERY LOANS
The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing various disaster loans to qualifying Floridians in several counties. For more information about SBA disaster loans visit: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-irma

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides loans and assistance to qualifying individuals, businesses, and communities after disasters. For more information visit: https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/storms, or contact the USDA office in Florida at: (352) 338-3400

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
Floridians who are unemployed as a result of the disaster are encouraged to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information about DUA visit:https://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp or contact the U.S. Department of Labor by phone at 1-866-487-2365

MORTGAGE RELIEF
To find out if you qualify for temporary mortgage relief such as a suspension of mortgage payments for up to 12 months, or suspension of late fees, visit the Freddie Mac website at: http://www.freddiemac.com/about/hurricane-relief.html. For additional information visit the Fannie Mae website at: http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-fm/hurricane-relief.html  or by phone at 1-800-2FANNIE (800-232-6643). 

HURRICANE RESPONSE HIRING
The U.S. Small Business Administration is hiring a variety of temporary positions located throughout Florida now through December 31, 2017. For more information visit:  https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-response-jobs-sba#section-header-4 

ADDITION ASSISTANCE
For in-person assistance with storm related questions, or to apply for benefits you may visit your local FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. For a list of Centers in your area visit: http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm 

Aerotek
If you are interested in working the hurricane relief project please come to the following address below. 
Remember to bring two forms of ID. The indentifications CANNOT be expired. 13400 West Sunrise Boulevard. Sunrise, FL, 33323. Follow the signs for the Aerotek room, and say that you are here to apply for the job and the debris monitor position. If you have any friends interested in working, please feel free to bring them.

 


Together let us put forth all our efforts to ensure that not only our families and friends but all the people affected get the support they direly need. Thank you very much for your support!  If you have other resources please send them to me so that I can update this and we can get the information out to as many people as possible!

Hurricane Irma Resources

by The Prestige Properties Team

South Florida has been recently struck by a hurricane with unprecedented magnitude. It unleashed destructive winds and flooding rain and inundated coastal communities with several feet of water.

Currently, there are national coordinating relief actions to facilitate support and aid to the victims of the calamity. 

These are multiple resources to get help.

1. Mortgage Forbearance 

As we now live in a Federally declared disaster area (State of Florida), if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed Mortgage, your Mortgage Holder is required by Federal Law to give you a 3 month Forbearance on your Mortgage Payments at no cost and no credit implications, if requested. I personally contacted Ditech Loans and it took approx 2 min to get my Forbearance. My next payment is due January 2018. The 3 months are added to the back end of my loan extending the term 3 months. . Call your Lender now, no cost, no credit implications!!! Great way to reduced the Financial strain heaped upon us by Irma!!!

2. Defer Your Auto Loan

I received an email from my car loan company noting that they could see I was in an area affected by Irma and to call if I wanted to see if I could qualify for payment delay.  I called and they immediately offered me the opportunity to skip car payments for October and November as I had already paid September and they would just add it to the back end of the loan.  If I needed a further delay I could call back as the 60 days approached and let them know why I would require a further delay.


3. Free Legal Hotline

For legal questions, please provide this number to tenants, and others.
A legal aid hotline is now available for Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney: 1 (866) 550-2929


4. Help For Those In The Realtor Family

For any of our Florida REALTOR Family members hit by Hurricane Irma, below is the link for you to apply for funds from our Florida REALTORS Disaster Relief Fund. Additionally if you do not have access to print or fill out this form but are able to make a call, Florida REALTORS have folks standing by to take your application over the phone, and to process these application quickly. Should you need assistance in this matter or have questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly via text at: 954-292-6412
Application found here: http://www.floridarealtors.org/AboutFar/DisasterReliefFund/index.cfm


5. Generator Reimbursement

Check out this link for reimbursement for your generator:  A friend of mine at the board of realtors applied and his application is currently being processed:


6. Residents who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
 
7. Residents are also encouraged to download the FEMA App to begin the registration process.  Simply click on Disaster Resources.
 
8. If you do not have access to the internet, you may register by calling:
1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-621-FEMA.
The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.


Together let us put forth all our efforts to ensure that not only our families and friends but all the people affected get the support they direly need. Thank you very much for your support!  If you have other resources please send them to me so that I can update this and we can get the information out to as many people as possible!

Florida Property Insurance Company Update

by The Prestige Properties Team

Florida Property Insurance Company


Contact Information 

When reporting a claim to your insurance company it is helpful to have: 

  • Your policy number  
  • Your contact information  
  • A description of damage  
  • Photos of Damage
  • Your Mortgage Company Information

To the extent possible, try to safely mitigate any damage that has occurred.

American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida (Assurant)

Customer Service: 800.358.0600

Claims: 800.358.0600

Website: www.assurant.com

American Coastal Insurance Company

Customer Service: 800.861.4370

Claims: 252.247.8796, 1.877.284.4900 (toll-free)

Website: www.amcoastal.com

American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida

Customer Service: 1.866.968.8390

Claims: 1.866.277.9871

Website: aiicfl.com 

Strategic Insurance Company

Customer Service: 866.274.8765

Claims: 866.274.5677 (866.ASI.LOSS)

Website: www.americanstrategic.com 

Ark Royal Insurance Company

Customer Service: 727.456.1673

Claims: 727.456.1673

Website: www.arkroyalins.com 

Assurant

Customer Service: 800.852.2244

Claims: (American Bankers) 1.800.358.0600 (Renter's Insurance) 800.432.8612

Website: www.assurant.com 

Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida (AAA Insurance)

Customer Service: 800.289.1325 and 888.929.4222

Claims: 1.888.929.4222 or (for auto) 800.289.132

Website: www.autoclubfl.com

Castle Key Indemnity Company/Castle Key Insurance Company (Allstate)

Customer Service: 1.800.255.7828

Claims: 1.800.255.7828 (1.800.ALLSTATE)

Website: www.allstate.com

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Customer Service: 888.685.1555

Claims: 866.411.2742

Website: www.citizensfla.com

Federated National Insurance Company/Monarch National Insurance Company

Customer Service: 800.293.2532

Claims: 800.293.2532

Website: www.fednat.com

Florida Family Insurance Company

Customer Service: 888.850.4663

Claims: 888.486.4663

Website: www.floridafamily.com 

Florida Peninsula Insurance Company

Customer Service: 877.229.2244

Claims: 866.549.9672

Website: www.floridapeninsula.com

Frontline Insurance (First Protective)

Customer Service: 877.744.5224

Claims: (Hurricane) 866.673.0623 (non-hurricane) 800.675.0145

Website: www.frontlineinsurance.com

Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company

Customer Service: (FL) 1.855.620.9978 (Other States) 1.855.536.2744

Claims: 855.415.7120 (Platinum Prefferred) 1.855.474.6526

Website: www.heritagepci.com

Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty

Customer Service: 888.210.5235 & 844.530.4099

Claims: (Reporting) 866.324.3138 (Status) 877.235.5076

Website: http://hcpci.com/  

FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program

Customer Service: 800.621.3362 (800.621.FEMA)

Website: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program 

Olympus Insurance Company

Customer Service: 800.711.9386

Claims: 866.281.2242

Website: www.olympusinsurance.com

People's Trust Insurance Company

Customer Service: 1.888.364.8557

Claims: 877.333.1230

Website: peoplestrustinsurance.com 

Safe Harbor Insurance Company

Customer Service: 866.896.7233

Claims: 1.866.482.5246

Website: www.safeharborflorida.com 

Safe Point Insurance Company

Customer Service: 877.858.7445

Claims: 855.252.4615 (855.CLAIM15)

Website: www.safepointins.com 

Security First Insurance Company

Customer Service: 877.333.9992

Claims: 877.581.4862

Website: www.securityfirstflorida.com

St. Johns Insurance Company, Inc.

Customer Service: 800.748.2030

Claims: 877.748.2059

Website: www.stjohnsinsurance.com 

State Farm

Customer Service: 800.782.8332

Claims: 800.782.8332 (800.STATEFARM)

Website: www.statefarm.com 

Tower Hill Insurance

Customer Service: 800.342.3407

Claims: 800.342.3407

Website: www.thig.com 

United Property & Casualty Insurance Company

Customer Service: 800.295.8016

Claims: 888.256.3378 (1.888.CLM.DEPT),option 1

Website: https://www.upcinsurance.com/

United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

Customer Service: 800.531.8722

Claims: 1.800.531.8722 or 1.210.531.8722

Website: www.usaa.com

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company

Customer Service: 1.800.425.9113

Claims: 800.470.0599

Website: https://universalproperty.com/ 

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR FLORIDA PROPERTY INSURANCE COMPANIES http://www.floir.com/siteDocuments/FLLargestPropertyCompaniesContact.pdf 

State and Federal Government Resources

Executive Office of the Governor Website: www.flgov.com

Florida Division of Emergency Management Florida

Emergency Information Line: 800.342.3557

Website: www.floridadisaster.org

List of Shelters: http://floridadisaster.org/shelters/    

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FloridaSERT

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLSERT

Florida Department of Financial Services - Division of Consumer Services Insurance Consumer Helpline: 1.877.693.5236(1.877.MY.FL.CFO), Out of State: 850.413.3089

Website: www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/

Florida Attorney General Price Gouging Hotline: 1.866.966.7226

Website Complaint Form: http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Consumer Assistance Hotline: 1.800.435.7352 (1.800.HELP.FLA)

Website Complaint Form: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Contact-Us/File-a-Complaint

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Website Hurricane Season Resources: http://www.floir.com/Office/HurricaneSeason/hurricaneresourcepage.aspx

Federal Emergency Management Agency - FEMA FEMA Helpline: 1.800.621.3362

Disaster Assistance Website: www.disasterassistance.gov

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers: asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm or text DRC and your 5 digit Zip Code (Example DRC 12345) to 4

FEMA Mobile App Download: www.fema.gov/mobile-app

National Hurricane Center Website: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights s. 627.7142, Florida Statutes

This Bill of Rights is specific to the claims process and does not represent all of your rights under Florida law regarding your policy. There are also exceptions to the stated timelines when conditions are beyond your insurance company's control. This document does not create a civil cause of action by an individual policyholder, or a class of policyholders, against an insurer or insurers and does not prohibit an insurer from exercising its right to repair damaged property in compliance with the terms of an applicable policy.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:

1. Receive from your insurance company an acknowledgment of your reported claim within 14 days after the time you communicated the claim. 

2. Upon written request, receive from your insurance company within 30 days after you have submitted a complete proof-of-loss statement to your insurance company, confirmation that your claim is covered in full, partially covered, or denied, or receive a written statement that your claim is being investigated. 

3. Within 90 days, subject to any dual interest noted in the policy, receive full settlement payment for your claim or payment of the undisputed portion of your claim, or your insurance company's denial of your claim. 

4. Free mediation of your disputed claim by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services, under most circumstances and subject to certain restrictions. 

5. Neutral evaluation of your disputed claim, if your claim is for damage caused by a sinkhole and is covered by your policy. 

6. Contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services' toll-free helpline for assistance with any insurance claim or questions pertaining to the handling of your claim. You can reach the Helpline by phone at 1.877.693.5236, or you can seek assistance online at the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services' website at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/contactus.htm

YOU ARE ADVISED TO:

1. Contact your insurance company before entering into any contract for repairs to confirm any managed repair policy provisions or optional preferred vendors.

2. Make and document emergency repairs that are necessary to prevent further damage. Keep the damaged property, if feasible, keep all receipts, and take photographs of damage before and after any repairs. 

3. Carefully read any contract that requires you to pay out-of-pocket expenses or a fee that is based on a percentage of the insurance proceeds that you will receive for repairing or replacing your property. 

4. Confirm that the contractor you choose is licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a contractor's license and check to see if there are any complaints against him or her by calling the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You should also ask the contractor for references from previous work. 

5. Require all contractors to provide proof of insurance before beginning repairs.

6. Take precautions if the damage requires you to leave your home, including securing your property and turning off your gas, water, and electricity, and contacting your insurance company and provide a phone number where you can be reached.

Together let us put forth all our efforts to ensure that not only our families and friends but all the people affected get the support they direly need. Thank you very much for your support!  If you have other resources please send them to me so that I can update this and we can get the information out to as many people as possible!

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Prestige Properties Team
RE/MAX Advance Realty
www.homeinsouthflorida.com
954-862-2645


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