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Following Harvey: Should the Gov't Buyout Homes That Are Repeatedly Flooded?
by Countable
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  • Rosemary

    So....complicated topic. Full disclosure - I own a home 1/2 block back from Atlantic Ocean. I'm fortunate not to have a mortgage. If we "lose it" - I'm not obligated for payments to a lien holder, so I can decide on my own about flood insurance. Those with a mortgage in this area are required to have flood insurance. Last year my one year flood premium was over $7,000 - on top of ordinary second-home homeowner's of $3,000. The flood policy was still "grandfathered" to lower, federally subsidized rates. As subsidizing of the rates are scaled back, that $7,000 was set to increase 25% a year to a "free market" premium of $29,000, per year. Think about that. How many people can pay $29,000 a year for flood insurance? Especially, in a place like Houston, properties that include rentals, apartments, mid-income housing. The reality is that - if you're a fiscal conservative like Ted Cruz (I'm not) - there is zero logic in the federal government subsidizing flood insurance OR bailing any property owners out who choose to build/own in risky areas. Mr. Cruz did NOT want relief for Sandy victims - and his "pork" arguments were bogus. My personal opinion is "second homes" and rental properties (thus the OWNERS of such properties) should not qualify for flood insurance subsidized in any way by the federal government. By the way - rental properties in a place like Houston, where the renter is living in their primary home, should be able to seek personal property damages from the landlord regardless of if the landlord has secured free market flood insurance. Long and convoluted, sorry. People like me with a loved beach home should take the full cost and risk. People renting an apartment in Houston, or living in their flood damaged primary home should get relief.

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