Eli has been writing about the problems that sea level rise poses for the east coast of the US from Cape Hatarras north. North Carolina has chose the ostrich strategy driven by a blog scientist called John Droz. As Eli wrote, about the only thing that might save the situation are the fleeing insurers.
The Bunny was wrong, it's gonna be the home owners who have to pay for flood insurance.
Today in the Virginian Pilot on Line, an article by Aaron Applegate appears about how real estate (aka houses) in high flood risk areas just is not selling. Applegate uses the house search of two 30ish newlyweds as the hook for the story
They would search for a home in Norfolk to be near Josh's office. But it could not be in a flood plain, susceptible to rising seas, storm surge and escalating flood insurance prices.
Their decision is one glimpse into the changing dynamics of coastal real estate. A growing awareness of sea level rise and flooding, coupled with rising flood insurance premiums as the federal government phases out subsidies, has the potential to reshape segments of the Hampton Roads market.Sellers are having to alter houses to deal with the risk of flooding, such as moving basements to attics (or at least the heating and cooling plants)
Real estate agent Kathy Heaton found herself on the flip side of the growing concern, and perhaps at the forefront of a new trend.King Canute had it easy.
For months, the Nancy Chandler and Associates agent had been trying to sell a home in the desirable Norfolk neighborhood of Larchmont. The problem: Like many homes in that area, it's in a high-risk flood plain. Flood insurance could run up to $3,500 based on estimates she's seen.
That would add almost $300 to a monthly mortgage, an amount many buyers Heaton has encountered would rather put into the cost of a home.
Regular homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. Homes in the flood plains with mortgages are required by lenders to have insurance from the subsidized National Flood Insurance Program. It is struggling financially, and reforms are steadily increasing rates - about 18 percent a year - until they represent coverage of the true cost of the risk.
The specter of flood insurance is making the Larchmont home, assessed at around $270,000, nearly impossible to sell.
"We've probably had 35 showings, and everybody has walked out because of the flood insurance," Heaton said.
The home is not unique in a city penetrated by tidal creeks with some of the highest rates of sea level rise in the country, a combination of sinking land and rising water.