WP - Island Park Disaster

Case Study: Island Park Village Disaster

Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc in Southwest Florida over a year ago, causing extensive damage to properties.

One prime example of a community affected by Ian was Island Park Village in South Fort Myers, a 55-and-over condo community in unincorporated south Lee County, which faced significant challenges in rebuilding after the hurricane.

The aftermath has left homeowners in financial distress, entangled in lawsuits, and dealing with unresolved issues in their uninhabitable homes. Which brings us to the question: “Do you think it’s important to have the work that you’re doing on your condo in Florida permitted?”

Well, after you hear this story about the Island Park Village you may change your mind.


Island Park Village comprises 85 condos across three streets, primarily wood-sided duplexes with cheerful front yard decorations. The once-peaceful community, known for social gatherings, has been marred by the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and the subsequent rebuilding efforts.

This is an interesting case study to look at because sometimes people don’t take it seriously that you do need licensed and insured Florida companies doing your work for you with permits.

Watch the full YouTube video about this case study:

Challenges in Rebuilding

Construction experts highlight construction flaws during tours, including incorrectly laid subfloors, unsupported walls, and structural issues. Examples of specific home issues were garage ceiling holes from floodwaters and improperly shingled roofs, illustrating the severity of the problems.

Financial Burden on Homeowners

Our Florida dream turned into a Florida nightmare

Mike Riley

There’s an article that just came out in the news press about this couple, Mike and Becky Riley, who shared their experience. This was their dream to have this place in Florida. And then they bought it and the hurricane hit, and they’ve taken $45,000 from their savings and put it into fixing up the condo yet they are facing hurdles in selling due to liens and notices of commencement.

Unpermitted Work and Sale Challenges

All reconstruction work in Island Park Village Section 3 was done without proper permits, leading to additional challenges. The primary contractor applied for permits, but they were not paid for, leaving the homeowners responsible for the unpermitted work, which hindered their property sales and left them uncertain about their future.

So it’s very important that you do your due diligence when you’re buying a property in Florida, especially now after the hurricane. With the new Hurricane Ian Addendum that we use here in Florida which lets buyers know that there was a hurricane that made landfall called Ian and that the seller should disclose anything that they know that could cause a problem with the property. However, problems are not always evident right away and they can come out later.

WP Featured Photo of Top Agent Team Florida

Here with Top Agent Team Florida, we have incorporated the addendum in our work and use it to advise buyers to consult with the correct professionals if they feel that they need professional advice. However, we are very comfortable at this stage, being able to walk into property and guide you through that process and have a very precise eye on what to look for and also point you to home inspectors that can see beyond.

Having a paperwork for proper remediation is so critical. You don’t want to have anything shoddy, so it’s really important that you work with a trusted real estate advisor who can guide you through this process properly. You don’t want to make a mistake with buying a piece of real estate that is hiding something.

Got any questions related to buying and selling properties in Florida? You can contact us here.