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Realtors say FEMA’s flood insurance halt would have impacted Baldwin County housing market

(Photo: FILE / 100th MPAD)

It was a concerning couple of days for home buyers and realtors who would’ve seen a huge impact from a FEMA decision to halt flood insurance nationwide.

FEMA bowed to intense pressure from lawmakers and agreed to allow home flood insurance sales after deciding on December 26, 2018, to halt the program due to the government shutdown.

Meanwhile, Baldwin County continues its growth explosion. The area has seen increases year after year in housing sales and new residency.

But if you want to live on the coast, flood insurance is not only an option, it’s a requirement for many areas marked on FEMA’s flood map.

Jeremy Sullivan, President of Jason Will Real Estate, said it’s something home buyers have to take into account.

“Your water areas, your bays, your intracoastal canals. Mostly on the south side and on the west side. Anybody on the shore line definitely has to have the flood insurance,” said Sullivan.

But Sullivan said the formality hasn’t slowed down potential buyers one bit.

“It’s booming. We’re moving. It’s a great opportunity to be in real estate and a great opportunity for the whole economy down here,” Sullivan said.

However, the ability to get flood insurance never seemed in question until FEMA announced they would no longer sell or renew flood insurance policies due to the government shutdown.

It was a decision that drew backlash nationwide.

On Friday, FEMA officials announced they were reversing the decision.

Sullivan said it was a good idea because cutting off flood insurance would impact the entire housing market.

“It delays the whole process. Moving trucks are stopping.People can’t move from one place to another. We cant close and then when we can close, it’s going to bottleneck. Everybody’s gonna rush to a title company and everybody’s gonna rush to get insurance,” said Sullivan.

It also meant anyone looking to buy a home, or protect one, would potentially be in limbo for weeks.

Sullivan says he hopes FEMA stays the course to keep Baldwin County’s momentum moving forward.

If you have any questions regarding your flood insurance, contact your realtor or insurance provider.


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