When Politics and Real Estate Overlap

If you are alive in 2017- you know that politics invades everything today! Everything! Well- I have often stated that if you are in real estate, then you are in politics. It weaves its way through ordinances, planning and zoning, taxation, environmental regulations, land ownership rights, banking and lending rules, insurance and liability issues- and the list goes on and on…
Right now- one of the big issues that NAR and the REALTOR® community as a whole are paying attention to is the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) expires on September 30, 2017. The US House of Representatives has a package of seven bills that address various aspects of the NFIP. One of the main things that need to be addressed is access to private market insurance.
To give a little background- the NFIP was created to provide incentives for communities to rebuild to higher standards and steer developments away from flood zones. In exchange, communities gain access to flood maps, mitigation assistance and subsidized insurance to prepay for future damage and recover more quickly from flooding. However, the program was not designed to absorb the catastrophic losses of the last decade such as Katrina and Sandy and now Harvey and Irma. As a result of the flooding catastrophes (pre-Harvey) the NFIP has borrowed more than 25 Billion dollars from the Treasury and is making interest only payments of $400 million per year.
RPAC is working hard talking to and meeting with legislators and their staff to give feedback on the different bills and getting their ideas on the measures. Every time the NFIP lapses, this country lose 40,000 property sales PER MONTH!! The country cannot afford to allow this program to lapse.
Some of the things NFIP deals with are: updating and checking the accuracy of flood maps, reducing some of the burdens from property owners of amending these maps and distributing updated maps. Reducing the risk of flooding is also a vital part of any flood insurance program.
Private insurance has been found to be a big factor in reducing the cost of flood insurance, and in many cases, property owners have been able to lower the costs of insurance by being able to shop private insurance.
This month- with Hurricane Harvey and Irma and the vast, destructive and deadly flooding that ensued after the hurricanes came through- it is critical that careful examination of this program is a priority. This affects not only property that borders lakes, streams and oceans, but also low-lying areas prone to flooding after weather events. Currently, property owners can’t access mitigation grant money until after the property floods despite it being more cost-effective to elevate or relocate beforehand.
The bottom line is- we all have to call for Congress to address seriously the issues with NFIP and to pass the package of bills to continue this program. Realtors® understand the importance of this and other issues that come up from time to time that affect Americans’ home ownership rights. We vote, we act, we invest!Image result for flood boston kyImage result for flood boston kyImage result for flood boston ky
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®, she holds a Broker’s License in the State of KY, GRI and E-Pro designations. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and is a member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS® since 1965


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