The entire flood-insurance controversy is one of those issues that kind of sail over people’s heads if they don’t own property near the ocean or rivers etc.
But now the new Federal Reserve Beige Book is taking up the issue, mentioning at the very end of its most recent Boston report that surveyed respondents (and we assume they’re real-estate industry people) say new government rules could drive up the cost of flood-insurance policies.
“They say that lack of affordable flood insurance may cause values to fall and buyer delays in newly redrawn flood zones,” the report states.
While it doesn’t specifically mention the Cape or other specific coastlines in New England, most of the concerns about the new insurance rules and costs in Massachusetts have indeed focused on Cape Cod homeowners.
Suddenly, a seemingly policy-wonkish issue becomes more real.
Photo is courtesy of WikiMedia Common.
That’s one of the top questions home buyers ask me on a regular basis.
On the cape and some Boston real estate homeowners must have flood insurance. In a Boston condo building, it will double your homeowners association dues (HOAs). Additionally, most policies come with a 10-15% deductible. This means the damage to the building would have to be pretty severe in order for you to use your coverage.
But if you have substantial equity in your home or even own it outright (e.g., a very small loan or no loan at all) I believe purchasing flood insurance is a good idea at this point in time. We’re regularly reminded that “the big one” is on the way. If your building is destroyed and you own it outright, you’ll be on the hook for the total cost to rebuild. Or, you’ll simply have to walk away from what was once your most valuable asset.
The cost of flood insurance depends on several factors, such as location, year built, number of stories, dwelling amount and the level of coverage you select for personal property.
Condos in large buildings are a bit more complicated. The condo association has to agree to purchase a policy for the whole association. In other words, an individual condo owner can’t buy his or her own policy. Condominium dues will also increase substantially ($300-$400/month) for condos in large buildings that have this type of insurance.
If you’re interested in more information, contact your favorite insurance rep and inquire about the specifics for flood coverage.
To learn more about the Boston pet friendly real estate market please feel free to call our office at 617-720-5454. You can also stop by our Beacon Hill office at 137 Charles Street, Boston MA.
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Updated: January 2018