Collier Swecker video blogs about how FEMA recently released updated flood maps in the Birmingham AL area and many homeowners are shocked to learn that their property is now in a FEMA defined flood zone. Many experts are concerned that many properties have been deemed to be in a flood zone when in fact they should not be. The creators of the flood zone maps did not, in most cases, create these flood maps after a visual inspection of the properties, but rather they were created from data models as they sat at their desk in some far off bureaucratic office. Why is this bad? It is bad because at nearly the same time a bipartisan bill was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama that essentially removed all Federal subsidies for the Federal Flood Insurance Program and as a result increased the annual premiums as high at 10 times the current rates. Remember, that if a homeowner is going to obtain a mortgage on their home or they currently have a mortgage and any part of their property is in a flood zone they are in for a big increase in the cost of the required flood insurance. There is no phasing in of these rate increases. We have worked with at least two young couples that have seen their rates go from $350 a year to over $3000 a year. In each of these cases the chance of them actually flooding was so slim that I am not sure that Noah would have worried about building an Arc. I am not opposed to raising Flood Insurance premiums or getting rid of government subsidies, I am just against these subsidies being removed “cold turkey” with no advance warning to these homeowners, many of whom are living month-to-month. They should have phased out the subsidies over a number of years. This issue WILL affect our economy and the real estate market over the coming years. If you have any questions or comments email me at Collier@MegaAgents.com, visit my blog at www.CollierSwecker.com or my website at www.MegaAgents.com.