Naturall disasters in USA.

You are required by a lenders/mortgage comps to buy flood insurance when you are buying a home in a flood zone.

Flood zone tables are maintained and updated bgy several companies, and the flood zone report for a given area is purchased by the lender when reviewing your application for a loan. Just like a credit report is used to evaluate the loan approval, so is a flood zone report. They are part of the docs a lender uses to evaluate you.

So, here is an example house in a flood zone. Twenty years ago, it wasn’t in a flood zone. Since rivers move and shoreline erosion is actually variable and can be startingly sudden, a house that was not in a flood zone suddenly is. It might be prone to flooding every 1,000 years (as of 1985), but here in 2004 the environment has changed such (including development of the area) that it is prone to flooding every 50 years.

So, now we find that the buyer can’t find insurance - flood insurance. Why? Because the insurers calculate the risks and realize the risk is too high.

So, let’s mandate that flood insurance be available…Ok, Mr Insurer, you MUST offer insurance in area X. Well, Mr Insurer asks for 3,000 bucks a year, and this disqualifies the applicant, or makes the house virtually un-sellable.

Well, come full circle and see how the Feds back the insureres from catostrophic losses and the insurers can offer more reasonable rate.

Now…I am not saying that all homes built weren’t in flood zones originally, BUT you should be able to see how developers/buyers/insurers and lenders take advantage of the whole process and develop areas that are just begging for a disaster.

If there was a way to help people who suddenly found themselves in a flood zone, but not have others take advantage, then the free market might control itself.

A builder…a lender, etc might not build in prone areas if insurance weren’t available…but then you have local interests…tourism issues and politicians screaming because of a host of issues…

I have lived in Central Florida for nearly 40 years (born and raised) . I live right on the beach.
I have never seen a tornado.
I have been thru a few hurricanes, but very mild ones- just big storms. Didnt even lose power.
I have never known anyone that got hit by lightning or was bitten by a shark.

The worst I have seen were the fires that swept thru here in a while ago. I had to evacuate and while driving to my parent’s house both sides of the road and the median were on fire. EEP.

My part of the state is safe I guess.

Flood insurance is required by many mortgage lenders. Our old home was in the flood plain by less than 1 inch on one corner of our house and we were required to purchase it at a cost of over $700 per year! :mad:

Similarly, I live in west-central Florida, 20 mins from Clearwater Beach. No hurricane has made landfall here within living memory. The last tornado of any consequence here was in 1992. No one I know has ever been hit by lightning. We don’t get shark attacks either, but that’s because they are not numerous in the Gulf. Brush fires do happen, but not to any extent that affects me – there’s no brush left in my county, because the population has overrun it.

Also, nonpolar, concrete block houses in Florida are the norm, not the exception. Except for mobile homes, almost everyone lives and works in concrete block buildings.

My house is SOLID concrete- can’t even hang a picture without a heavy duty concrete drill bit. Would take a lot to knock this bastard down.

Is your home more expensive to build than regular wooden one?
There are also other benefits to having concrete home -no need to use AC as much as in regular home.

I can’t answer for Sass, but my house’s exterior walls are concrete, with drywall on thin furring strips on the interior. I use regular drill bits and screws on interior walls, but if I need to hang something on an exterior wall on the inside, I need masonry bits and masonry screws. AFAIK, it does not give us any sort of improvement in insulation, because concrete blocks are not solid. We keep the A/C at 78 - 80 during the summer and our power bill is still usually in excess of $300, in a small house.

The only way to get a wood or brick house around here is to have one built or to buy one that is really, really old. Or live in one of the stilt houses on the beach. Since concrete block is all we really know, I can’t judge whether it’s more expensive than it would be if conditions were reversed.

My family has been in California for 150 years and not one of them has ever been hurt or killed in an earthquake. So you can maybe understand why they’re not too worried about it.

My house is pretty old - was built in the 50s as were all the houses around me. I have noticed these older homes are quite a bit sturdier than the newer ones. These concrete houses are much cheaper to buy than newer ones on the mainland, but over here on the beachside the prices are ridiculous. Mine cost $72,000 two years ago. It has 3 bedrooms and one bath. The house next door to me ( 2 bedrooms, one bath) just sold for $125,000. Location, Location, Location !