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Old 11-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #121
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This is a tragedy and may become a bigger one for some property owners. I have seen instances where building permits for reconstruction after tornados were denied, making the properties unbuildable. The driving force is FEMA, the agency that regulates construction in flood prone areas. The builders filed for building permits, the city building dept's checked and found that the properties were in a FEMA defined flood plain, and the permits were denied.

Since the geographic limits of property remains unchanged during such an event, many properties could be under water, let alone in a flood plain. My heart goes out to these people because there is not much that they can do.

LOL.... this reminded me of a trust that I had to review to make sure it was being handled properly.... one of the requirements is to go inspect real property... so, there was a picture of a shrimp trawler motoring by... the person wrote something like 'below this trawler is the subject property'.... yep, around islands and barrier reefs land moves around.... the sad part is that they still had to pay taxes on the property (a trust can not just stop paying if there is no language in the trust allowing it)....
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:06 PM   #122
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Based on what I see with Fire insurance claims here in SoCal I don't think it will happen.

Here in SoCal people love to live right next to the forest areas prone to firestorms. In some areas a firestorm comes through every decade or so. Afterward we hear pundits and the press make statements such as yours.

Yet the houses get rebuilt bigger and bolder. Over the years more and more people build in these areas. And when the insurance rates go a little higher, the politicians see that the risk gets spread amoungst those far away from the danger so that those in great peril don't have to pay too much..

We all pay more so that people can live in these damage-prone areas.
The building codes did change here in San Diego after the big wildfires in 2003 and 2008. We built a granny flat after 2003 and had to have the plans reviewed by the fire marshall since we're close to a canyon. It was already a fire hardened design (because my husband, the architect, is paranoid about fire and earthquake) but the fire marshall tweaked it even more...especially on the roof vents. This is a house that was already stucco, tile roof, metal clad windows, etc. Heck - even the landscaping had to get blessed and they nixed our plan for a row of Italian cypress trees.

I know in the new development east of Rancho Santa Fe all new homes have to have fire suppressant sprinklers, etc... The idea is that they can shelter in place during a wildfire.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:22 PM   #123
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Sad to see, but I have to wonder: why do we keep rebuilding on barrier islands like this?
"Barrier"? Barrier to what?
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #124
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.... yep, around islands and barrier reefs land moves around.... the sad part is that they still had to pay taxes on the property (a trust can not just stop paying if there is no language in the trust allowing it)....
But if your land was covered by water and unusable, wouldn't its fair value then be zero (no one would pay you money for underwater property)? If so, then the owner/trust could grieve their assessment and get relief through a nil (or next to nil) assessed value? I think that is the way it would work around here.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:25 PM   #125
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"Barrier"? Barrier to what?
Punching bag for storms as they approach the mainland. Everyone who owns property on the Jersey shore knows that the islands are the cannon fodder for incoming storms and is fooling themselves if they think their property will not at some point get pounded. That is why I never chose to live there (we lived 5 miles inland).

Well, not really my problem any more.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:29 PM   #126
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I've lived my whole life on islands, barrier and sea. We get insurance, we build to the best standards we can, and we enjoy where we live.

I'm fine with a "live and let live" attitude about these kinds of things--I wouldn't live where there were massive snowstorms, tornadoes, or whatever it is that creates weather havoc in other parts of the world.

This is my home, so this is where I live. Not hard to understand for people who have roots.


Oooh, edit to add: missed the bonus of being called "infantile". Thanks Ha. I'll consider that means I'm considerably younger, ie an infant compared to your old phartedness.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:42 PM   #127
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Taking advantage of government-backed insurance that does not accurately reflect the coastline risk is a type of Tragedy of the Commons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #128
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I've lived my whole life on islands, barrier and sea. We get insurance, we build to the best standards we can, and we enjoy where we live.

I'm fine with a "live and let live" attitude about these kinds of things--I wouldn't live where there were massive snowstorms, tornadoes, or whatever it is that creates weather havoc in other parts of the world.

This is my home, so this is where I live. Not hard to understand for people who have roots.


Oooh, edit to add: missed the bonus of being called "infantile". Thanks Ha. I'll consider that means I'm considerably younger, ie an infant compared to your old phartedness.
I get why individuals do this. My question was more why we as a society do so. Perhaps it is because the benefits outweigh the costs, simple as that. Benefits don't have to be financial - they can easily be hedonic.

I am disaster averse, so I never was willing to live on the water despite the benefits. Other people make other choices.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:05 PM   #129
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I get why individuals do this. My question was more why we as a society do so. Perhaps it is because the benefits outweigh the costs, simple as that. Benefits don't have to be financial - they can easily be hedonic.

I am disaster averse, so I never was willing to live on the water despite the benefits. Other people make other choices.
I think that around the world, populations began in coastal areas for the ease of transport and trade. Our coastline was settled by folks from England, Scotland, and Ireland, all traditionally seafaring people. I would suggest that it is in our DNA, collectively, to desire a coastal life. My DH, of Germanic extraction, lived happily in Charlotte for years until led astray by wine, women, and song. He kids me all the time about moving back to red-clay country. I told him he'd be lucky to be buried in it.

Thoughtful point, though. You should think where you live is beautiful and wonderful. I know I do.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #130
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You should think where you live is beautiful and wonderful. I know I do.
Fortunately, I found a beautiful place to live that has very little in the way of potential disasters.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #131
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The building codes did change here in San Diego after the big wildfires in 2003 and 2008. We built a granny flat after 2003 and had to have the plans reviewed by the fire marshall since we're close to a canyon. It was already a fire hardened design (because my husband, the architect, is paranoid about fire and earthquake) but the fire marshall tweaked it even more...especially on the roof vents. This is a house that was already stucco, tile roof, metal clad windows, etc. Heck - even the landscaping had to get blessed and they nixed our plan for a row of Italian cypress trees.

I know in the new development east of Rancho Santa Fe all new homes have to have fire suppressant sprinklers, etc... The idea is that they can shelter in place during a wildfire.
Somehow I don't think the buliding codes will help much for homes built where they should never have been built.

By the way, did your fire insurance rates change after the fires?


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Old 11-01-2012, 03:23 PM   #132
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I see the attraction of living on the shore (and live on the water myself). Just so long as those who want to live along the coast pay their way and I don't have to subsidize their lifestyle.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:29 PM   #133
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Because if private insurers are too smart to insure this stuff, we benevolent taxpayers, through our government and the magic of deficit financing, will step into the gap.

And because infantile people will not accept any limits on their wills.

Ha
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:43 PM   #134
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This is my home, so this is where I live. Not hard to understand for people who have roots.
I understand.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:48 PM   #135
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But if your land was covered by water and unusable, wouldn't its fair value then be zero (no one would pay you money for underwater property)? If so, then the owner/trust could grieve their assessment and get relief through a nil (or next to nil) assessed value? I think that is the way it would work around here.

The value was lowered a lot, but not to zero... and the trust tried to give the property away, but could not.... the taxes were low... but the trust had to process the payment and also send someone out to inspect it every three years (IIRC) which cost money....

The 'value' that it has is that if some big storm comes and dumps a LOT of dirt and sand right at that spot... and the water is no longer there... you have usable property.... worth some money...
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #136
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Somehow I don't think the buliding codes will help much for homes built where they should never have been built.

By the way, did your fire insurance rates change after the fires?


Yes - there were big premium jumps after the Cedar fires. Like $200/year IIRC.

My neighborhood is kind of hard to get insurance unless you're an existing customer. So no one can change their home owners insurance easily.
When the neighbor across the street bought he was only able to get his old company (from the house he sold) give him a quote - no one else would even talk to him. We were only able to get a quote from the insurance company my dad had had (we bought my childhood home from dad.) They made an exception because it was continuous coverage with them and family, etc...

Ironically - we're not in the areas hit hardest by the fire - although we were ready to evacuate during the cedars fire since it came within 1 mile of our house before the wind changed. I can't imagine if we lived more inland.

Pretty crazy.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #137
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Yes - there were big premium jumps after the Cedar fires. Like $200/year IIRC.
Even though $200 is a fair amount of money, it still comes nowhere near close enough to paying for the true risk premium on houses in these areas.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #138
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Eben though $200 is a fair amount of money, it still comes nowhere near close enough to paying for the true risk premium on houses in these areas.
Hmm, I imagine it is--the insurance companies are pretty good with figuring this risk stuff out.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:06 PM   #139
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Hmm, I imagine it is--the insurance companies are pretty good with figuring this risk stuff out.
Oh they do, and the insurance companies don't lose any money...

but the politicians make them spread the risk to people way away from the fire zones.

It's weird, the people living in the small cheap houses down the hill and in flat lying areas end up subsidizing insurance for the (often) wealthier people who build big homes up in the hills prone to fire damage.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:23 PM   #140
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Punching bag for storms as they approach the mainland. Everyone who owns property on the Jersey shore knows that the islands are the cannon fodder for incoming storms and is fooling themselves if they think their property will not at some point get pounded.
Yep.

I have to admit that I'll be disappointed if the TV show "Jersey Shore" manages to survive the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
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