After Sandy Flood Insurance & Elevation Implications – Ocean City NJ Real Estate

The Ocean City NJ Real Estate Board held an informational meeting regarding questions about elevating houses and flood insurance rates.
Speakers included a New Jersey Association of Realtors representative, land surveyor Ned Schwab, a City of Ocean City representative, along with Tom Heist and William McMahon from 2 local insurance agencies.

I thought that sharing what I took away from the Ocean City NJ real estate meeting would help some homeowners and Buyers that are concerned with these current topics.
Ocean City NJ real estate implications:

  • The new FEMA Advisory Maps that are being passed around to Ocean City NJ real estate owners are not yet being implemented when looking into flood insurance. An ‘advisory map’ is just the first step before a preliminary map, a public comment session, and the final adopted map. It is said that the final map may or may not affect insurance rates for another 2-5 years. William McMahon mentioned that even New Orleans final maps still have not been implemented.
  • The higher your Ocean City NJ real estate is sitting and the more venting that you have in the crawl space, the lower your flood rates will be.
  • The insurance agencies in town have many of the Ocean City NJ real estate elevation certificates and Master Deeds and may give them out upon request. It is an elevation certificate that is provided to an insurance company when they determine flood rates. Old elevation certificates and surveys are not always accurate. It is best to order new certificates to see how you might be affected.
  • A home built before 1974/1975 is called PRE-FIRM. This is when the lowest elevated floor sits below what is required in Ocean City NJ currently. Ocean City NJ real estate insurance premiums are higher for these types of structure.
  • Any Ocean City NJ real estate PRE-FIRM structure that had 50% flood damage to its structure’s assessed value will be required to elevate. These people, however, may also be eligible for (ICC) Increased Cost of Compliance money up to 30k. I recently had estimates done by 2 seperate customers that came to just 15k for the elevation of the home. The porches and ground-level utility room estimate was an extra 20k. If the foundation needs repair that will cost more. However, just the elevation price is pretty minimal. ICC money is a reimbursement not an upfront check so you must have the funds to do so in advance. I heard that Ocean City NJ real estate second home owners are eligible. Buyers are not eligible for a seller’s reimbursement.
  • One of the speakers at the meeting said that if the seller has a signed contract to elevate the home in hand they may advance half of the money to the seller.
  • It was stated at the meeting that raising Ocean City NJ real estate from base elevation by two feet could result in a 15 to 20% flood insurance discount and could potentially go to 40%.
  • The Ocean City NJ representative stated that Ocean City NJ has hired an engineering firm to evaluate Ocean City NJ real estate in order to have the FEMA Advisory Map scaled back. Final maps wouldn’t be adopted for a few years anyway.

So, if you have any flood insurance concerns and you are considering an elevation of your home, you may not want to make the move right away. FEMA maps are not yet adopted and that determines how you will be financially affected. Talk to your insurance representative!

FEMA information on ICC reimbursement monies:

City of Ocean City maps, elevation, zoning and helpful information:

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