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VOL. 41 | NO. 35 | Friday, September 1, 2017

About that lapsing federal flood insurance program . . .

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As residents of Texas suffer from the ravages of Harvey, the United States Congress is faced with a vote on the National Flood Insurance Program. Over the years, the program has been added to various appropriations bills as it expires, which amounts to kicking the can down the street. The current program expires on September 30.

The program is in trouble. Operating at an annual deficit of $1.4 billion, it is obviously unsustainable and currently owes $25 billion having paid claims payments of $24.6 billion just for Hurricane Katrina and Tropical Storm Sandy.

With interest-only payments of $300 million, the amount left for claims payments is greatly diminished.

The bill being considered by the House, H.R. 2874 (The 21st Century NFIP Reform Package) includes provisions that limit the premiums to $10,000 annually for residential properties. In Nashville, most properties that require flood insurance are much less than that, often in the range of $2,500 per year.

Additionally, this bill streamlines the claims process after the victims of Hurricane Sandy endured mountains of red tape in trying to gain access to funds to rebuild devastated properties.

One startling statistic that has emerged from information provided by the National Association of Realtors is that 25 percent of claims are generated by 2 percent of the properties covered, and those 2 percent are properties that repeatedly flood – the pre-exiting condition of flood insurance.

By eliminating claims by repeat offenders and the $25 billion in debt that requires $300 million in interest payments, the program might be sustainable. And now there is Harvey.

On another note, it is the time of the year that the National Association of Realtors begins its focus on the safety of its association members. In a recent survey of more than 48,000 of its members, 38 percent stated they had been in a situation that made them fear for their safety.

By nature, the profession invites such occurrences. Often Realtors have listings that have lingered on the market and not been shown in weeks. Suddenly a call comes in from someone who is in the driveway and loves the area and the exterior of the home and would like to see the home immediately.

Most Realtors drop everything they are doing and rush to the property. They do not know if the buyer is of the Mother Teresa mold or the next John Wayne Gacy.

There are many initiatives that are now being incorporated into operating procedures of the real estate firms in the area.

Sale of the Week

There was a time in the not so distant past that “The Nations” was a derogatory term used for a neighborhood that had been bifurcated from the hip, trendy Sylvan Park. As has been noted here before, the agents at the Wilson Group developed the euphemism “Historic West Town,” sometimes spelling Town as Towne in an effort to add more dignity to the forsaken land.

Now, to the consternation of many, the area is one of the more popular locales in all of Nashville, and the residents wear the Nations tag proudly as it refers to its heritage with the treaty signed there by the nations of the Native Americans.

No one – Realtor or citizen alike – even bothered to create a snazzy name for the lands that lie within earshot – NASCAR engine earshot – of the Fairgrounds, the home of the Flea Market. Fleas, fairs and stock cars did drive some developers away, but they are there now, and homes sales are booming.

Now referred to as Wedgewood-Houston, or WEHO, houses are selling for half a million dollars or more. One of the drivers of the area’s popularity is Village Real Estate Services, also known as VILLAGE, at times, and the development team helmed by Martha Montiel-Lewis.

She recently sold one of her new listings on Byrum Avenue for $500,000. The home had 2,400 square feet with three bedrooms, two full baths, and one half-bath. The master bedrooms are upstairs, and that deters none of these buyers, most of whom are at least 40 years away from their first knee replacements.

The rooftop decks are now de rigueur for the residences, and there is ample space in the living rooms for the bicycles. The construction is fiber cement and they will survive the best Kim Jong Un can muster. Research has revealed that these houses, roaches and Keith Richards will be all that remains should a nuclear attack occur.

There are hundreds of homes sold and thousands in the planning stages, and the prices are rising faster than the No. 87 car in the “Late Model” race.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcurtney.com

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MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
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