March did not disappoint; it came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. We are now enjoying some fantastic, warm weather in Duck! We are hopeful that the worst of winter is now behind us. We are seeing signs of spring everywhere, but most notably is the increase in the number of properties that have been placed under contract in recent weeks. This is a sure sign of warmer weather on the horizon.
March was a busy month for activities on the Outer Banks. The Kelly’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was a tremendous success this year, drawing thousands of spectators despite the cold, wet weather. The Taste of the Beach that same weekend brought hundreds to sample some of the best cuisine the Outer Banks has to offer.
Although the new flood maps for Dare and Currituck Counties are not yet available, we are hearing good news. We are expecting an 82% drop in VE zone structures and a 65% drop in AE zones.
Many of you have also heard that President Obama signed into law the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. This officially amends some negative changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that were put into place by the Biggert-Waters Act in July of 2012. If you are in a flood zone and your house was built prior to the establishment of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (or FIRM) in 1978, you will still see a rate increase of 25% annually until actual risk rates are in place. For most homeowners on the northern beaches, your homes were built after the FIRMS were established. Your rate increases are now caped at 15% annually. The best aspects of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act is that once again buyers can assume flood policies already in place by sellers, and grandfathering has been reinstated. As long as your house was built after 1978 (post FIRM) and was built to code, you will be protected from rate spikes caused by flood zoning changes. We can all breath a big sigh of relief now.