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Guide to Making the Call on Elevating Your Manchester Area Property

A post-Sandy Q&A session helped answer some (but not all) questions about what will be required of shore property owners.

Recent public forums have helped answer questions from Manchester and Lakehurst property owners about repairing and rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy.

The question-and-answer sessions typically feature local residents, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives and representatives of the local insurance and real estate industries.

Even the panelists usually acknowledged a fair amount of uncertainty about the full ramifications of the unprecedented level of damage for the region and the process for rebuilding and recovering costs.

Here's our best shot at summarizing the considerations for property owners as they rebuild after the Oct. 29 storm. But because of the considerable amount of confusion surrounding the whole process, feel free to share information, questions and observations in the comments section of this story.

  • Find the elevation of your home. Some Manchester or Lakehurst property owners may a flood elevation certificate if they have flood insurance. Check to make sure it's not expired.
  • Find the elevation required for your home under the new FEMA flood map.  Search for your Advisory Base Flood Elevation by address.
  • See how your advisory elevation compares to Hurricane Sandy flood levels. Make sure the flood elevation on your certificate uses the same NAVD 1988 scale as the ABFE maps (or see how the scales compare).
  • What if your home remains below the required elevation? One thing appears certain: Your flood insurance premium will increase (because federal taxpayers will no longer subsidize the flood insurance program).

The following are projected National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) annual flood insurance premiums for V Zone properties with $250,000 residential building coverage:

Lowest Floor Elevation No Contents Covered $100,000 Contents Covered 3 Feet Above $2,403 $2,923 2 Feet Above $3,278 $4,048 1 Feet Above $4,728 $5,918 At BFE $6,803 $8,603 1 Foot Below $9,003 $11,583 2 Feet Below $12,074 $15,764 3 Feet Below $15,524 $20,474 4 Feet Below $17,334 $23,304 6 Feet Below $23,449 $32,019

The following are projected annual flood insurance premiums for A Zone properties with $250,000 residential building coverage:

Lowest Floor Elevation No Contents Covered $100,000 Contents Covered 3 Feet Above $376 $561 2 Feet Above $448 $633 1 Feet Above $660 $845 At BFE $1,359 $1,724 1 Foot Below $4,527 $5,255 2 Feet Below $5,924 $8,308 3 Feet Below $7,204 $10,554 4 Feet Below $9,551 $14,370 6 Feet Below $18,830 $28,535
  • Consider the resale value of homes that remain below base flood elevation. Buyers would potentially assume dramatically higher flood insurance premiums or the cost of elevating homes.
  • What resources are available to elevate homes? Flood insurance policy holders should be able to take advantage of "Increased Cost of Compliance" (ICC) funding that can pay up to $30,000 to elevate homes. In a much longer process, property owners also can apply for hazard mitigation grants. Interested owners must contact the city's Emergency Management Department, which will submit a letter to the county by Feb. 8 (the city currently has a list of about 100 owners). The county will apply to the state, which will apply to the federal government. Also: Low-interest loans (1.68 percent) of up to $200,000 (for homeowners) and $2 million (for businesses) are available through the Small Business Administration.
  • Will the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps change? According to Gov. Chris Christie's executive order on Thursday (Jan. 24), the advisory maps are adopted and nobody is "grandfathered" for the purposes of flood insurance or building codes. The final maps are expected to be complete by late summer and will likely include lower elevations and smaller "V Zones" as mitigating factors are taken into consideration. An appeals process will also be in effect when the final maps are released. Challenges from shore municipalities and from lawsuits are likely in the works.



lois lepore January 28, 2013 at 05:33 PM
what kind of limits and deductible do these quotes represent what are secondary homeowners to do when the ccic is not enough and there is no loan available....the choices seems to be walk away and leave the shell to be demo d or go bare.........
Mark Wauben January 28, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Thank you Patch for posting this story...there is an awful lot of confusion out there about what we are supposed to do about our homes that were flooded in Brick...and we are trying to figure out if its better to raise our damaged home or tear it down and put a modular home up on an elevated foundation. I got an estimate from a company that is actually too busy to actually elevate our home, but they were kind enough to give me a ballpark estimate of $50k for a 2,000 Sq. foot ranch. It seems like these large numbers are beginning to come into focus now and between what the insurance will pay and the $30k FEMA ICC grant we are coming up rather short. What now?
Robert Miller January 28, 2013 at 07:23 PM
How high were you going to raise your house for $50K? Is your house a slab like mine? Does that cover finishing (building a wall of some kind to cover ugly slab) around the house or just raising it up? Thanks for your help with this.
Pat S. January 28, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Thank you Manchester for supplying this info. If I waited until our town, Toms River, posted this guideline, we'd be into the next 100 year storm.
A-Ball January 28, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Why would anyone in Manchester raise their homes ?
Christina Weaver January 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM
To comply with the requirements that go with the classification of their property as contained in the new FEMA flood map.Failure to come into compliance means even higher flood insurance premiums. The National flood insurance program is no longer being subsidized the way it had been. IF a homeowner doesn't come into compliance then when he goes to sell no one will want to buy his house. The overall idea is too reduce the risk and spread that reduced risk over a large pool of other homeowners.
Suzanne January 29, 2013 at 03:37 AM
My house was 7 ft above flood level. We only had water in the crawl and garage which is not covered by flood insurance. Fortunately the water stopped a few inches below our floor joists, so nothing was touched in the house. Now I am 2 ft below. At a meeting with a Steven's institute professor - he said if the breaches had not occurred the water would have risen 3 ft less than it did. Now I have to pay for those ungrateful ocean front once in a blue moon owner who doesn't want their view blocked. I say take their view by eminent domain and protect our homes. Had not been for them a lot of the destruction would not have occurred.
Pat S. January 29, 2013 at 05:10 AM
The breaches that caused the damage in Ortley were the ones on the public beach.
Robert Miller January 29, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Does anyone know of a contractor who raises houses? I'm having a hard time finding one to get an estimate.
Rob P January 29, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Just completed building a home on Chadwick Beach Island. It was constructed in accordance with the then FEMA elavations of which I was given a certificate for. Classified AE zone 6' flood elevation. Now it is V zone 10' elavation. What happens now? I had no flooding with exception of my garage and crawl 15" in all.
Floodgate January 31, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Hey everyone ,heres a link to a facebook page thats keeping us informed in toms.riverand surrounding areas ,we will be fighting the maps inaccuracies and rates ,good luck to all of us http://www.facebook.com/StopFemaNow please feel free to pass this on


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