: Jersey Shore Braces for New Flood Insurance Guidelines

Jersey Shore Braces for New Flood Insurance Guidelines

 Jersey Shore Braces for New Flood Insurance Guidelines

While Jersey Shore residents continue to recover from Super Storm Sandy, many are waiting for the federal government’s expanded flood zone maps and the inevitable push for Homes on Pilings at the Jersey Shoreincreases in building elevations along the Jersey Shore.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was planning to revise flood-elevation rules in the Jersey Shore’s coastal zones sometime next year, but due to the extensive damage caused by the storm it will issue stricter advisory recommendations sometime this week.

The rules are expected to result in construction at much higher elevations along the Jersey Shore.  FEMA is pushing the new regs because it’s concerned that rebuilding at current levels would be obsolete sometime next year.

Home in Barnegat after SandyFEMA will issue “Advisory Base Flood Elevations,” or BFEs, for New Jersey’s coastal counties this week.

The FEMA recommendations are also not law. Towns still must put any new height or building requirements into local ordinances.

However, failure to follow FEMA guidelines can affect the flood insurance ratings for the town along with the price and availability of federal flood insurance.

Following what FEMA wants can lower premiums and possibly even result in more storm-reconstruction money.

These new Base Flood Elevations will have a significant impact on older waterfront homes in Little Egg Harbor, Tuckerton, Long Beach Island and Manahawkin which were built on ground level.

Needless to say, this will inevitably affect the housing market for older Jersey Shore homes.

If you'd like information about homes at the Jersey Shore, contact Little Egg Harbor REALTOR® Laura Giannotta 609-384-6121.


Comment balloon 30 commentsLaura Giannotta • December 12 2012 03:05AM


Good morning, Laura.... there's a dear price to pay for the luxury of living along any shore.... hopefully there won't be another disaster for decades....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

Good morning, Laura. What a smart post.  Yes, this does have really big implications for all the homes being rebuilt and cost of insurance.  Congrats on the feature.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

That is BIG news for folks on the shore and we know we can count on you to keep us all tuned in as the new guidelines are developed and their effect on residents.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 6 years ago

Hi Laura... I can't wait to see these new guidelines... sure to cost folks on the water a lot more money...

Have a Happy Day



Posted by Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) over 6 years ago

Barbara - The last big one was '92, prior to that '63.  I guess better to be safe with stricter guideliness.

Debbie - Thanks, we'll have to wait and see.  Guidelines for NY are expected next week!

Sally & David - I'll keep you posted you do the same ;}

Richard & Beth - Rates were to go up next August, but we'll be seeing it a little sooner.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 6 years ago

Laura, we see this every year in different parts of the country where they revise the flood maps and the BFE. what may affect the jersey coast mores is on the new flood laws that go into effect January 1st, that increase secondary homes


Posted by Frank Laisch, "The Insurance Guy" over 6 years ago

Like Barbara said, big price for the luxury of living at the shore.  Congratulations on a well deserved Feature Laura.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 6 years ago

Laura: Congrats on the feature which is well deserved. A great post on a topic with far reaching implications!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 6 years ago

Laura, Thanks for sharing the information. You are the real expert at the Jersey shore.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 6 years ago

Frank - The secondary home price increase will definitely have an effect.

Roger - Nothing's cheap!

Anne - Thanks

Gita - Things are changing fast down here, thank you.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 6 years ago
Great information Laura! Keep us all posted as the changes evolve.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Bill -  it's going to be a tough go in Mystic Island and Beach Haven West no matter what the elevations are!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 6 years ago

Laura, Super Storm Sandy will have a large impact on FEMA's revising the guidelines. Living near the shore will have its price.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago


Our 100 year flood plain was recently adjusted and it caught a lot of sellers and buyer by surprise. I can only imagine how much your will be adjusted after the devastating storm.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 6 years ago

It's mind-boggling that some shore residents want to rebuild based on grandfathered guidelines that would not be to code in today's building requirements. How do they expect to get insured?

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) over 6 years ago

It probably will expand beyond New Jersey - insurance companies tend to spread their risk, so other homeowners will more than likely bear this as well.

Posted by Susan Thompson-Solomons, Southern MD Real Estate-Solomons Specialist (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services McNelis Group Properties) over 6 years ago

Michael - You're so right.

Richard - the Jersey Shore changes we suposed to be announced next August.

Olga - Meeting the new elevations will likely be costly.

Susan - Agreed!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 6 years ago

I live and work on Marco Island which is a barrier island in south west Florida. Fema are constantly changing our flood plain maps. In the ten years that I have lived here I believe they have been changed three times. One of the advantages has been that when I built my home the elevation requirement was 10ft above mean tide and if I were to build now I would only have to build at 8ft 3 ins about mean tide. When this reduction  in height was made I received a reduction on my flood insurance premium. If I were to build again now I would opt to build at the highest elevation that I could afford. Not what the city required or Fema required but just for peace of mind. I believe the people affected by Hurricane Sandy  should rebuild at the highest elevation that they can afford it will bring them peace of mind and an improvement in their real estate values. 

Posted by Susan Shaw (Premiere Plus Realty Co.Marco Island, FL) over 6 years ago

I feel sorry for you as a realtor and all of the homeowners in the future because this is goingn to affect every single home sale in that area from here on out.

Posted by Morris Massre, Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida over 6 years ago

WE have been seeing this along our rivers that have been flooding over the last few years.

Unlike the sea, the rivers are a bit more controlable and if we would stop pushing them in we would have less flooding.


Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 6 years ago

Oh boy. After this latest hurricane season, no wonder they are redoing the flood maps and guidelines.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 6 years ago
Laura, To be honest I think it makes good sense to build on the side of caution. When ever a client finds a property they want to see I always check the flood plains first...flood insurance can be a real burden.
Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 6 years ago

Laura, I'm sure living on the shore will get more expensive as risk premiums get adjusted into Fema guidelines and insurance premiums.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 6 years ago

Susan - I believe an update to the elevations are long overdue and in the long run will help the Jersey Shore housing market.

Morris - Just one more thing we have to think about...people will always want to live down the shore!  It just might be a little more expensive in the future!

William - Agreed!

Erica - these updates were to come in August 2013, but since we're rebuilding now FEMA pushed up introduction.

Nick - Couldn't agree more!

Lloyd - As I've said, it will be more expensive, but people will still buy if they have the $$!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 6 years ago

Unfortunately, the trying times are still ahead of us in some areas.

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) over 6 years ago

Well, as our climate continues to change, we have all had to make adjustments in building trends. Good for all involved.

Posted by Nan Jester, Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery (Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL ) over 6 years ago

That might occur, however, the increase may not be as high as you might perceive. The elevations might be increased to account for the flood insurance ratings and perhaps increased premiums, so speculating in advance of FEMA isn't a challenge just yet. For example, if a storm occurs about once every 50 years or more, what would the rating have and the impact to homeowners? It might be just slightly higher depending on the forecasting frequency of the perils or hazards to the affected properties.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 6 years ago

As a Cape May homeowner - Bookmarked!  We were pretty much spared by the storm, but sure these rules will still affect us.  Thank you!

Posted by Jana Holmstrup (Jana Holmstrup - CEO - Kings Mortgage Services, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Hi Laura, our local agent in Florida says it will affect the whole East coast.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 6 years ago

It is good and bad.  The costs will be high and another storm may never occur in our lifetimes, but over the long run it may th eprudent thing to do.

Posted by Rob Renk, AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors (Center Street Lending) over 6 years ago