In response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently re-drew flood plain maps and pulled subsidies for flood insurance to help recoup some of those losses.
That sounds innocent enough, until you hear some of the horror stories that have ensued.
Suddenly, houses backing up to innocent little creeks are required to have flood insurance. A $150,000 home in Holland with a small creek in its backyard suddenly requires flood insurance costing $8,000 a year.
A Muskegon County family bought a home that didn’t require flood insurance, but shortly after the sale was completed, their loan was sold, and the new mortgage company is requiring a $200-a-month flood insurance premium.
Our real estate market in West Michigan is finally rebounding after a years of plummeting housing values. People are finally able to sell their houses without losing their shirt in the process.
But with this new development, many families are suddenly faced with premiums they can’t afford. Their houses are considered unsalable and unaffordable. Many have no choice but to walk away from their mortgage, letting the banks take over ownership of their house.
Local Realtors are doing their best to combat this problem. Dale Zahn, CEO of the West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors, and his fellow Realtors have taken it upon themselves to put an end to what they consider a gross injustice.
On one hand, this obviously affects their opportunity to earn a living.
Even more discouraging is the fact that these new and seemingly unreasonable premiums throw a huge curve ball to those attempting to realize their dream of owning a home.
We commend Zahn and his fellow Realtors for their efforts, and hope this discouraging situation can be quickly resolved.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.