If your home is in a flood zone, you are probably still suffering from the sticker shock of either the increase in your flood insurance or the shock of not being able to sell your home because of the outrageous insurance that will be required of the new owner.
Although Congress did pass a bill on January 16, 2014 that prohibits FEMA from implementing future premium increases on "grandfathered properties" for the next nine months, it allows premium increases that are levied on the buyers of a property.
If you have not contacted your Senator, now is the time to do so. The Senate is voting on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1926) on January 27, 2014. It will allow a four year moratorium on increases for buyers of property including second homes and businesses. Let them know that you want it passed, clean and with no nasty amendments that dilute it.
The housing market has been slowly recovering and now neighborhoods in flood zones are feeling the result of these onerous rate increases resulting in drastic price reductions by those owners who absolutely have to move and those who do not are taking their homes back off of the market while they try to decide how they are going to pay the new rates.
Not all waterfront properties are owned by wealthy people and not all waterfront properties are valuable enough to be charged the rates that are in effect now. When a home valued at $260,000 now has a flood insurance bill of $5,400 annually, the home becomes worthless and the value of the property is in the lot only. This is a serious situation and let's hope it is fixed.