Middletown forcing people to raise homes
Posted in the Middletown Forum
#1 Feb 12, 2013
Middletown forcing people without flood insurance to raise homes using low building structure values. If anyone is having the same problem leave me your contact info. we need to fight the town.
#2 Feb 13, 2013
Aren't they using your last tax assessment for the value of the home?
#3 Feb 15, 2013
Using the one before the storm.
#4 Feb 15, 2013
That seems reasonable to me. How do you think they should determine the value of the house?
#5 Feb 16, 2013
Hey Tom and Berm, some questions please. Many of the cottage like homes that were total losses were on very small lots. Lots that appered to me to be 25 ft wide and maybe 50/75 ft long. I would imagine the land value (assessed)before the storm was pretty low but its value has to be far less now if you have to raise the house to build on the lot. If the structure assessed value before the storm was 100K or less and pilings will cost 50K how are lower/fixed income people supposed to afford to rebuild? Essentially the lot is almost valueless now to these people and a buyer would have to acquire four connected lots to cost justify building a new house on pilings.
Perhaps you can give us some real life examples of the pre/post land/structure values,the rebuild costs for the pilings and the house and what the new assessment would be.....land and structure!
#6 Feb 16, 2013
I don't think you will get much sympathy from dastraw on this subject.
What you are saying Tom, is that your tax assessment for you house was too low and therefore the threshold for having to comply with the flood zone requirements is also too low.
Dastraw is a strong advocate for appealing tax assessments and getting your assessment as low as possible. He fights his assessment every year and recommends that everyone fight their assessment as he does, with a lawyer who agrees to only get paid if he can lower your assessment.
Fortunately for the township not everyone is like dastraw.
I don't think he will be likely to support someone who wants to have his tax assessment increased retroactively.
#7 Feb 16, 2013
"Perhaps you can give us some real life examples of the pre/post land/structure values,the rebuild costs for the pilings and the house and what the new assessment would be.....land and structure!"
I'm sorry Tom. I didn't realize that you were looking for a homework assignment. I thought you were looking for support to fight the township on the pre-storm assessments.
#8 Feb 16, 2013
Geez, this forum suks. Pop up ads every time you hover over any of the inane links that they put in the posts and video ads that run even if you don't go near them.
You might want to take you case here Tom:
#9 Feb 17, 2013
Arelated story that should be of interest to you alon with my comments posted over on njo.com/forums/Middletown !
36215. A related story in today's Press!
by dastraw, 02/17/13 10:27 AM
In one example, the total assessed value of the property pre Sandy was $183, 700, with the land assessed at $115,300 and the structure at $68,400. FEMA gave the family $30K. Would a family pay $ 50 K to raise the home plus another $30K plus dollars (low end) to refurbish the home? That would be roughly $50 K out of pocket if they can't get a loan! And then, what would the new assessment and taxes be?
IMHO, the land value is no longer$115K, it is $50 K less because it is not bulildable without the pilings!
#10 Feb 17, 2013
#11 Feb 19, 2013
Something for you gents to consider. A tax attorney will cost you nothing "out of pocket"!They get 40% of the first year's real tax savings that results from lowering your assessment. For example, if your assessment is $200K and you pay $4000 in taxes lowering your assessment $50K will reduce your assessment to $150K and your taxes to $3K. In the first year, you save $600 and your lawyer makes $400. Therafter, the $1000 per year is all your's. If they save you nothing, it costs you nothing!
Today on NJ online....36219.2. In today's Press, speculation is that many Silverton.....
by dastraw, 02/19/13 8:44 AM
Re: Sandy's destruction and real estate taxes! by dastraw, 02/19/13 8:44 AM
residents of Tom's River will have to knock down their existing structures and build a new home on pilings according to FEMA reqs. That being due to the inability to raise the existing structure or the high cost of doing so. For many the cost of rebuilding, regardless of method, will be prohibitive.
I recommend that all these folks hire a tax attorney to lower their assessments on both land and structure, while they try to find a buyer for the land so they can salvage some portion of their investment. Lowering their assessments will allow the owners to hold on to the land for a longer period of time while searching for a buyer.
#12 Feb 19, 2013
Let's say your house and property is assessed at $200,000 and you pay $4,000/yr in taxes.
You live on the wet side in Port Monmouth in a small home and most of your assessment is in the property value because of its proximity to the water, not the home itself.
You hire a tax attorney to appeal your assessment.
He gets your assessment lowered by by $50,000 and your taxes lowered by $1,000/yr.
But now your house which was previously assessed at $70,000 is now assessed at $50,000.
Enter superstorm Sandy.
You get 4' of water in the home.
The cost to bring the house back to pre-storm condition?
Since the $30,000 exceeds 50% of the pre-storm assessment you must raise the house to comply with the new FEMA standards.
You don't have the money to pay for raising the house so you either sell it as is or you walk away from it and cut your losses letting the bank deal with it.
If you had not had your assessment lowered you would not have to comply with the new standards. Your flood insurance would have paid for the repairs and you would still have a place to live.
Telling someone who is complaining about his pre-storm tax home value assessment being TOO LOW how to have his assessment lowered is off topic, not helpful and idiotic.
#13 Feb 19, 2013
Just in from NJ.com/forums/middletown .
36219.2.1. Cost of repairs, owner loans and flood insurance!
by dastraw, 02/19/13 4:23 PM
Re: Sandy's destruction and real estate taxes! by dastraw, 02/19/13 4:23 PM
The rebuilding rules are confusing to say the least. This is what I've interpreted them to be thus far. If there are other interpretions, or if I'm wrong, I'd luv to hear what the options are.
Even if a home is not required to be raised by FEMA there appears to be other considerations for the homeowner to be aware of. If they have enough cash to do the repairs according to local code, they will likely not qualify for flood insurance at a reasonable cost. The choice is to pay the exorbitant premiums, unlikely for most, or run the risk of a potential loss in a subsequent storm without coverage. Either way, it will likely crimp the owner's ability to sell the property and have an adverse impact on the sale price.
Anyone seeking needing a mortgage to rebuild will only get the loan if they comply with the FEMA height rules and have the appropriate flood insurance in moving foreward..
#14 Feb 19, 2013
"Even if a home is not required to be raised by FEMA"
FEMA does not require that homes be raised. That is not FEMA's function.
#15 Feb 21, 2013
This just in from nj.com/forums/middletown !
36247. What about the "poor" homeowners left in Sandy's wake.
by dastraw, 02/21/13 8:22 AM
Forget the folks on LBI and in Mantoloking, they can fend for themselves. What about the elderly, the widows and widowers, those with disabilities and anyone on a fixed income or living paycheck to paycheck?
You know those who own a one/two bedroom cottage built in the 30's, 40' or 50's that are of frame construction, erected on a crawl space on 50x50 lots that were hammered by Sandy. Those homes that may or may not have been in a flood plain, are now and had no flood insurance. Homes worth $125K with the land value around $75K pre-Sandy.
These are the folks that simply cannot afford to rebuild, what happens to them and their properties? Without pilings their lots are no longer worth $75K. Yet, they must continue to pay taxes on a $75K land assessment? Can they sell? If so, who will buy it and at what price? Considering economy of scale would suggest you would need 4 conjoined lots to make the cost of rebuilding attractive to a buyer who'd put in $100K worth of pilings and a $200-300K structure . But what does he pay for the lots?$15 to 25K from an anxious/desperate seller?
Already down, these folks get beat again. I say townsips need to suspend their real estate taxes entirely and work with builders/developers to get them a fair price for their properties and make it cost feasible for the builders to build on. You just can't let these properties fall into a tax lien situation and be picked up in sheriff sales at bargain basement prices. This is were the federal government must lend a hand, big time.
#16 Feb 21, 2013
"a buyer who'd put in $100K worth of pilings"
WHAT?$100,000 for pilings? Are you out of your mind?
What are you building the Emerald City?
"I say townsips need to suspend their real estate taxes entirely and work with builders/developers to get them a fair price for their properties and make it cost feasible for the builders to build on"
Suspend taxes entirely?
How do we run the town?
If you eliminate ratables you must increase the tax rate of the people who are still paying taxes.
Aren't you generous with other people's money Mr Conservative Republican?
How does that go? From those that have to those that need?
" townships need to..... work with builders/developers to get them a fair price for their properties"
You want the government to fix the price of a transaction between a business and an individual.
What government agency is responsible for that?
The Department of Communism?
Since when do conservative republicans like you recommend more government intervention into the marketplace?
I get a kick out of "Republicans" like you and Christie who think you can wave your hand and circumvent the laws of supply and demand.
Guess what? Builders are going to charge more for the same job than they would have charged before the storm hit and there is nothing you can do about it. You know why? They are in DEMAND.
And in a few years when there are not enough qualified superintendents and administrators in NJ because Christie capped their salaries we will have to repeal the law just like they had to do when the exact same thing was tried elsewhere. Mark my words.
#17 Feb 22, 2013
Just in from nj.com/forums/middletown !
36254. What about "alternate" and less costly building methods......
by dastraw, 02/22/13 9:23 AM
instead of costly pilings?
I saw several stories about house boats on the news and they all faired well during Sandy. Suppose we elevate structures on flotation materials like a house boat on top of a cinder block foundation. And put in four pilings to allow the upward movement of the house similar to floating docks that will allow the house to raise itself 4, 6, 9 or whatever feet according to FP specs. Of course this would be only for homes that will not be battered by waves, only rising tidal flows.
Anybody have any alternate and helpful ideas?
And rational responses only please!
#18 Feb 22, 2013
"Anybody have any alternate and helpful ideas?"
OOOH! OOOH! OOOH!
I DO! I DO!!!
So how can we build on the success of these
houseboats and transfer that knowledge to flood proof our homes?
I like your idea straw. Instead of building our houses on expensive pilings we will build our houses on boats and attach them to the ground with expensive pilings, that's much better.
Then when the floodwaters come our boathouses will simply float up and ride out the storm.
As the house rises it will become disconnected from the sewage line, the gas line, the electric line and the phone line. We won't have to worry about the gas catching fire until it rises to the top of the water. No biggie, it's a hurricane, you have to expect things like that will happen.
"Of course this would be only for homes that will not be battered by waves, only rising tidal flows."
Well Duh, of course, what kind of idiot would want his floating houseboat with no utilities tethered to expensive pilings being battered by waves?
That would demonstrate a clear lack of vision.
Naturally, the houses without utilities that are going to be subjected to wave action would have to be built on surfboards tethered to expensive pilings so that they could take advantage of the awesome waves.
And if the storm gets too dangerous we can all just start up our houses and head inland. They can put channel markers on the tops of the telephone poles so that we don't get lost leaving town.
Or we could just high tail it out of there with our our flying car-boats.
(straw, you truly are the gift that keeps giving)
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