Even before hurricanes Katrina and Rita, home builders in the Tampa, Fla., area included so-called “escalator” clauses into sales contracts. The clauses let builders offset the rising costs of lumber, concrete, and roof shingles. While buyers are torn because it's never clear how much the price will increase, most sign a deal because with real estate prices increasing, the chances of finding a similar home for the originally agreed upon price are slim. Builders say they need the escalator clauses to maintain profitability.


Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.