Priced out of Jax: Inflation driving up mortgage rates

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Maybe you’re feeling “priced out of Jax”. If so, you’re not alone.

A local business professor says inflation is driving up the cost of homeowners insurance and tax assessment bills.

Local families like Barnes are having a hard time finding housing they can afford. With three kids and three dogs, options are few and far between for the military family.

“The market right now is insane with pricing,” Mazie Barnes said. “Just for a two-bedroom is thirteen, fourteen, fifteen-hundred dollars.”

Homeowners could be feeling the pinch, too, according to FSCJ Business Professor Justin Bateh.

“We see increases across property taxes and homeowners’ insurance across the board,” Bateh explained.

He says inflation is to thank for that. With it, the goods and services that property taxes pay for are increasing as well.

“As prices go up, as you start paying more for things, as your home equity goes up, those are all things (such as the equity) that everybody likes because their house is worth maybe double what they paid, but there’s also consequences to that as far as increasing maintenance, insurance, and taxes,” he explained.

Bateh warns that homeowners insurance could either cancel you because your house is a certain age or hike up the premiums -- it happened to him. He says the Insurance Information Institute estimates premiums in Florida will increase by at least 25 percent this year.

“That’s gonna increase your bill significantly,” Bateh added.

Bateh says there are some options to lower costs:

Appeal: you can appeal the amount of your property tax with the tax collector’s office. (Be sure to avoid third-party lenders claiming they can do that -- it’s probably a scam).

Payment plan: Bateh says most property appraisers will allow you to enter a payment plan if you can’t pay your tax bill all at once.

“I’ve been praying,” Barnes said. “Pray, pray, pray!”

She encourages other families in her situation to remain hopeful.

Click here to read about how Jacksonville saw the highest increase of investors buying up properties.