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Those insane waterfront buyers

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis March 10, 2014 10:14 AM

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I'm no global warming fanatic, but if Hurricane Sandy is any indication of what's in store for the coastline, spending big money for a house perched on the Atlantic is just nuts.

Yet amazingly, people continue to shell out big money for modest homes whose main attraction is a front-row seat on one of the biggest environmental catastrophes of our time, rising sea levels.

All of which brings me to this excellent piece by Beth Daley of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting that details the countless millions spent to rebuild the same homes over and over again along the New England coastline.

One of her top examples is a home in Scituate that the federal government  has paid to rebuild multiple times since the Blizzard of 78.

The National Flood Insurance Program has doled out more than $750,000 to the various owners of the Oceanside Drive home over the past three decades, NECIR finds

But the buyers here seem as crazy, if not more so, than the feds here.

The Scituate vacation house changed hands a couple times before 1999, when, despite its history of ocean storm damage, it fetched $465,000.

That's bad enough. But what followed in 2007 was even more unbelievable, when a Florida couple paid $1.2 million for the storm-tossed Scituate home.

All told, there are 534 properties on the New England coastline that have been out in a rather telling category by the Federal Emergency Management Agency -  "Severe Repetitive Loss" - Daly's story notes.

What a ridiculous waste!


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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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