NEW FLOOD MAPS AND THEIR "POTENTIAL" TO WILDLY AFFECT PROPERTY VALUES AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS
FEMA has completed their new flood maps and it is only a matter of time until they are implemented. This, coupled with the Biggerts-Waters Act signed into law in 2012, [whose implementation has been DELAYED after shocking the public] will be the chickens coming home to roost for property owners in much of Florida. The Biggerts-Waters Act essentially called for a more actuarily sound flood insurance premium to be assigned to each property, without the benefit of any artificial assistance. On its face, this seems logical and fair. But that is where it stops - much of the country is subsidized in one way or another and Florida is actually a NET PAYER to the system even with the huge payouts from the few disasters we have endured.
The Biggerts-Waters Act called for an accelerated time table for the subsidized rates to be raised to the level required to be actuarily sound rates, this was a SHOCK when the premium increases were first billed. There were many instances where people's rates went up by 600-1,000 percent. There was a huge and immediate outcry resulting in the government providing a temporary freeze of the required rate increases - this is ending! Now we have new flood maps that will almost certainly call for more properties being located in flood zones and those already in flood zones now being located in worst flood zones. Oh, there MAY be a few properties that receive more favorable treatment, but they will be few and far between, if they even exist.
What does this mean for property owners? Well, your flood insurance is definitely going to go up, and by a lot. The stealth effect in IS far more chilling - the rates will have an impact in ON home values. Anyone requiring a mortgage is required to have flood insurance, self-insuring is NOT optional. This will reduce the price/home value many buyers can qualify for, as the cost to carry increases the remaining funds to be applied to the mortgage payment are reduced by a like amount. This will have a cumulative effect and bring down the values of existing homes!
The other VERY UNFAIR result is the confiscated property rights! Even if you have the funds, the FEMA 50% rule severely limits what you are allowed to do to YOUR PROPERTY which can affect both new construction and renovations! This limitation also reduces YOUR property's value to you and to any potential buyer as they will be bound by the same limitations as you. You do NOT have the right to self-insure - and rightly, YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT RIGHT! If you can afford the loss and are willing to sign to the effect that you are willing to absorb any loss, why can't you do whatever you want to with YOUR property??? Well, you can't. And the new maps will ensnare many more properties and make them subject to the 50% limitation.
There are ways around the limitation, but they require a seasoned professional to navigate the system, more money and much more time. Make no mistake about it - you are losing more of your property rights with the implementation of these new maps!