Photo Courtesy of the New York Times.
It is worry-some to me that there are those who feel that it is government's obligation to solve the problems of their poor judgment.
The recent hurricanes are a good example. Owners chose to allow their homes and buildings to either be uninsured or under insured by third-party insurance companies against high winds and rains, or to not be insured at all for rising water.
There was no excuse for their mortgage companies allowing it. There was no excuse for the US Government allowing them to go without evidence of insurance. How many mortgages will be "walked" by owners, causing major loan losses?
Meanwhile, important commerce has come to almost a snail's pace in those areas, and that affects all of us.
People who live elsewhere are now being obligated by the US Government to assist in paying for those loses, loses that occurred because the owners failed to provide coverage for themselves, and legal regulations didn't make them.
On top of that, homes and buildings were built to building codes that engineers knew were insufficient for those homes and buildings to sustain even historical high winds and water. The culpability for those loses, however, for some reason, escapes those who where at the root of them.
Subdivisions were allowed to be platted and built on, when the flood plain and licensed surveyors knew that the elevation was subject to flood. Enchanted Oaks, on the north side of Houston, is one of those.
We investigated buying blocks of lots in Enchanted Oaks 35 years ago. One of the things we checked was whether or not they would be subject to flood. They would, so we didn't. The same information we had was available to others. Nevertheless, the lots were built-on by other builders, and they have flooded multiple times since.
Of course, it is local governments' obligation to repair and replace streets, bridges, sewers and the like that are damaged or destroyed by rising water or hurricanes.
But it simply isn't the obligation of those who weren't asked to participate in the decision of whether or not a homeowner should carry adequate insurance, or whether or not his home was allowed to be built within a flood plain, to come up with the bucks to make those owners whole.
There is very little liklihood that our home in Dallas will ever flood. Our neighborhood never has in its 70 or so year history. We're not in the 100 year flood plain. However, Patty and I carry flood insurance. The premium is about four hundred bucks a year. It assures our independence from others should we have an unfortuante claim.
Now HUD is trying to figure out how and who to buy-out to keep those homeowners from rebuilding, only to be able to file another claim the next time the water rises. Why would that be? Why isn't the answer, You can't rebuild?
This same mentality moves over to health insurance. If you don't have health insurance, and you get sick or hurt, emergency rooms of hospitals are required to provide you adequate medical care, whether you have insurance or not; whether you can pay or not.
The answer isn't held in the Cards of Life. Instead, it is held in whether or not we wish to, as a nation, define our nation's magnitude of benevolence and then stick by it.
BILL CHERRY, REALTOR