Flooding on Long Beach Blvd in Dec of 2012

Flooding on Long Beach Blvd in Dec of 2012

The Homeowner Flood Affordability Act of 2013, written by Senator Robert Menendez of NJ and Representative Michael Grimm of NY, has now passed the Senate and is on it’s way to the President’s desk to be signed into law. This eases the some increases and changes that went into affect as a result of the Biggert Waters Flood Act.  A more detailed rundown can be found on the Insurance Journal website, but here is a quick overview of changes that will help many homeowners along the Jersey Shore, and across the country for that matter. First, it puts the maximum increase NFIP can impose at 18% per year, with some property classes having a 15% cap on increases.  This is the maximum that NFIP can increase a policy each year. The Bill also repeals both the property sales and new policy sales trigger.  Under Biggert Waters, the home buyer and homeowner who are purchasing a new house, or new policy on their current house would immediately have to pay the full risk rate.  Both of these provisions have been repealed, and in both instances, subsidized rates would still be available. It also restores “grandfathering” and sets a hard cap on policy increases per year.  This relieves property owners who were mapped into a higher zone from being forced to raise their houses or have higher rates phased in over 5 years. There is also a slight change to the Reserve Fund that was set up as a result of Biggert Waters.  Now a fee of $25 per policy for primary residence, and $250 per policy for a secondary residence will be imposed on all policies.  This is changed from a 5% fee on all policies that Biggert Waters called for. There are many other changes that this Bill addresses also.  For a complete rundown, the article I mentioned above from the Insurance Journal is well worth the read.  You can also click here to view the article. Feel free to get in touch with our Insurance Dept. if you have any questions on how these changes might impact you.  
210-E-28th-St-300x225Although we have been renting out homes for the Summer of 2014 for a few months now, January is generally considered the start of the rental booking season. Obviously last year was somewhat different, and we were just getting back up and running after the storm. However, this year we are following the historical pattern, and the Rental Market has started off strong. We are obviously way ahead of last year, when we were still getting back on our feet. The encouraging sign is that we are slightly ahead of the 2012, the year before the storm. Our rental numbers are pretty much identical to that of 2 years ago, which is a great sign! We had a very good season in 2012, so hopefully that pattern continues. Our Rental Website is up-to-date with availability on rental homes, and we are adding new homes everyday. Also, our website will be getting a fresh new look coming soon! It will have a much more user friendly feel and will enhance the rental search experience. This year is starting off strong, and we are looking forward to a great 2014!
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Crews work on the beach in Brant Beach in spring of 2012.

  This coming September, LBI will be a part of a Beach Replenishment project that will fortify the beaches on the Island that were not fortified after SuperStorm Sandy. This is good news, as the beach areas that were fortified before the storm fared much better than those that were not. For this reason, these projects are scheduled all up and down the Jersey Shore this year. The history of these projects is certainly full of controversy, along with lawsuits, town meetings, etc. But after we saw the benefits of a replenished beach, there has not been as much resistance to these projects. There was some concern that this project would begin earlier, and would be going on throughout the busy Summer Season. After a down Summer last Season in the wake of Sandy, the concern was that this would cause another year of declining tourism revenue. Rentals so far are ahead of the pace of the beginning of 2012, before the storm. That, coupled with the news of the replenishment project starting in Sept., should make for a great Summer of 2014!

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