The hidden cost of owning a home on the florida coast. And the benefits of building in Villages of Citrus Hills.
Flood insurance isn’t something most homeowners think about. For those who live near the ocean or have a view of a river from their home, flood insurance is another cost of home ownership, especially in Florida.
Because of a relatively new law passed by Congress, Floridians with federally-backed flood insurance policies have been facing major rate hikes. If you are considering buying a home in Florida, bear in mind that flood insurance could add hundreds to thousands of dollars to the annual cost of owning your home. You can enjoy all that Florida has to offer, without a high risk of catastrophic flood, by living outside areas that are at a high risk for flooding, like the Villages of Citrus Hills.
How Federal Flood Insurance Came to Be
Standard homeowner insurance does not cover flooding, so until the National Flood Insurance Program was created, homeowners did not have protection against the cost of flooding damage caused by hurricanes, heavy rains, tropical storms or other weather conditions.
Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program in 1968 to help property owners financially protect themselves in the event of a flood. If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can receive flood insurance for a home, rental property, or business. Properties located in areas at high risk of flooding are required by law to have flood insurance if the mortgage is held by a federally regulated or insured lender, which includes most banks.
The flood program has been in financial trouble since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. In the aftermath, the flood insurance program paid more for claims filed during that storm than for all other prior flood events combined. The National Flood Insurance Program went into debt, forcing it to borrow nearly $18 billion from the U.S. Treasury.
In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act which requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to make changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. The legislation requires the NFIP to raise rates to reflect a true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and make changes to the Flood Insurance Rate Map.
The changes will have the greatest impact on properties located within a Special Flood Hazard Area that were built before the flood maps were drawn. These homes were previously “grandfathered” and had lower flood insurance rates, but under the new law, these special rates are going away.
How Flood Insurance Works
Most homes and buildings in high-risk flood areas are required to have flood insurance. In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. Homes and businesses in moderate to low-risk areas are not required to have flood insurance, but a lender can opt to require it as part of the mortgage agreement. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2008 to 2012, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $30,000.
If you live in a high-risk area, a standard rated policy is your only option. It includes separate building and contents coverage. Flood insurance premiums are based on:
Year of building construction
Number of floors
The location of its contents
If it is in a high-risk flood area
For newer homes, the location of the lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the flood map
The deductible you choose and the amount of building and contents coverage
A community’s flood risk is calculated by a Flood Insurance Study. Done by FEMA, the study includes information about storm tides, nearby river flow, rainfall and the rise and fall of the surrounding land. Floodplains and areas that are prone to coastal storm surge are shown as high-risk areas or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Some parts of floodplains may see flooding frequently while others are only affected by severe storms.
Flood insurance and buying real estate
Florida’s Congressional delegation has been working hard to fix the spikes in flood insurance because of fears it could slow down the state’s recovering economy. Not only are rising rates hitting Florida residents hard, but real estate agents worry it could affect property sales as well.
The biggest flood insurance rate increase is for properties that were previously “grandfathered,” or subsidized with lower rates, but were sold after the law took effect. Those subsidies have ended, which means if you buy a home in a high-risk area, the flood insurance premiums could go from hundreds of dollars a year to many thousands.
Citrus Hills is Low-Risk
The weather is one of Florida’s biggest draws, but it can also be a big risk to your home, depending on where you live. Florida is home to 37 percent of the nation’s flood insurance policies. Its massive coastline is susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes. The state is largely low-lying and flat. Heavy rains during the summer and fall can also cause flooding in city neighborhoods miles from the beach.
Citrus Hills is unlike other areas of Florida. Our community sits about 260 feet above sea level, one of the highest points in all of Florida. It is also about 15 miles from the ocean, close enough to enjoy the beach and boating, but far enough away to avoid the coastal flooding that can hit homes in beach-front communities.
Not only does the elevation and location make for a more scenic landscape, but it means Citrus Hills is a less-risky location in terms of flooding than other popular vacation and retirement destinations in Florida.
Save yourself the stress – and money. Buy in Citrus Hills.
The Villages of Citrus Hills offers residents active resort-style living at a relaxed Florida pace. Located in Citrus County, this scenic suburb is far enough away from the major cities to avoid the crime, traffic and sprawl, yet close enough to visit for their sporting events, shows and theme parks. Known as a sportsman’s paradise, the region is home to nationally-recognized snorkeling, scuba, boating and fishing spots. State parks and other outdoor recreational areas are great for hiking and biking, including the 46-mile Withlacoochee State Park multi-use path, the longest in Florida. People often say Citrus County is where you can find Florida living the way it used to be.
The elevation and rolling hills makes Citrus County and the Villages of Citrus Hills one of the more beautiful places in the state. Where else in Florida can you golf a hilly course in the morning and be at the beach in the afternoon? The elevation also makes Citrus Hills a safe bet against the elements. While no home is free of risk when it comes to the weather, picking a place where the natural landscape and weather are less threatening, yet offers many of the same amenities you’d find elsewhere in Florida, is the wisest long-term choice. When it comes to lowering risk and saving homeowner costs, buying a home outside of a high-risk flood area is your best choice.
Experience the Citrus Hills Lifestyle
We understand that seeing is believing. We invite you stop by with no appointment necessary and we’ll give you the red carpet treatment with a tour of our community, amenities and model homes. You’ll see first-hand Florida's largest private spa and fitness center, our two tennis centers, chmpionship golf courses and an enticing array of club amenities. On your visit you will learn about:
Our extraordinary collection of fully-customizable homes with prices ranging from the mid $300s to over $1.2 million.
The comfort of living on some of Florida's highest elevations.
The advantages of Citrus Hills’ club amenities and the best resident to course ratio around.
We look forward to having you visit us!