Yes. Yes we have.
Let me back up tho.
I can't say enough how grateful I am for the encouragement and prayers as we are doing our best to prepare for/plan for the likelihood of losing our home. It's awesome!
I thought I'd take the time to answer the questions I've gotten in one spot.
-Have we shopped around for flood insurance? In short, yes and no. LOL. Here's the dealio. FEMA/the government created the flood insurance program, basically taking flood insurance from the private companies and making it a government subsidized program. This is good in that people who live in flood plains/hurricane areas can no longer be told no to insurance. This is also bad. In that private companies no longer write their own flood insurance (why would they? Now it's the government's problem), therefore there is no more shopping around for the best rate. The government determines the flood plains. The government decides the rates. Wait. It gets better!
So. When I was buying the house (Justin was in Iraq. I'm going to blame stress, sleep deprivation and no husband for my complete and utter idiocy in buying this house), our 'helpful' (read: taking advantage of a naive military wife with a deployed husband) mortgage officer called at the last minute to let me know that the bank REQUIRED me to get flood insurance. Fine says I. I call the company that holds our homeowners insurance and tell 'em to get on it.
My insurance agent informs me that our policy will be over 2000 dollars a year. Yes. Really.
I say fine. If that's what gets me to closing, I'll take that and deal with it later (yes. I really did. I know. I'm stupid. Read my excuses above)
After closing, things settle and I begin doing research to see about lowering the policy.
1. FEMA bases flood coverage on zones. Our home is in an 'AE' zone. Our house is also large (3400 sqft). Large house + AE flood zone = FEMA doin' us dry. Sorry to be crass. But really. We are gettin' screwed hardcore.
Chase (our mortgage holder) requires an amount of flood coverage based upon the replacement value of our house, and where certain appliances are in our house (for example, the heater, water heater ect are all in the basement. First place to flood. Makes replacement higher) Therefore, changing to a lower coverage doesn't satisfy them.
But back to the original question. We can't shop around. Flood insurance is regulated by the government. They can screw us just as much as they please. And they sure are.
- What about refinancing with a different bank that doesn't require flood insurance?
We are looking into that. So far, no bank will finance a mortgage for a house in a flood zone without flood insurance.
- USAA for insurance.
For those that don't know, USAA is a military bank. Sort of like a credit union. Best.bank.ever. BUT...not for us in the insurance dept. Actually, they are more expensive for homeowners insurance than anywhere else. Again, our home is LARGE. That's a factor in insurance.
What else we've done:
Justin (the best man on the planet. I'm just sayin') has been talking to the village. I think the reality of homes sitting empty due to foreclosure and flood insurance is coming to their attention. If Chase takes our home, who do they think is going to buy it?? Not with the near 3000 dollars/yearly flood insurance they require! Unless someone has cash. Good luck Chase.
Anyhoo, Justin pointed out that we can't possibly be the only ones struggling. We (as in Justin - best man on the planet) has also called local politicians to see about help.
So...all of that to say. We wait and we pray. As of August, we can no longer afford to pay the full amount of our house payment. So we're giving them what we can and going from there. We will put the house on the market and either it'll sell or it won't. We will lose the house or we won't.
God knows. He'll tell us where to go and when. That's good enough for me. Sort of. LOL
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