Rising prices make buying homes in flood-prone areas more diffic - WSMV Channel 4

Rising prices make buying homes in flood-prone areas more difficult

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

This month marks the seventh anniversary of the devastating 2010 flood in Nashville.

Since then, the city has bought hundreds of homes in flood zones to prevent further loss of life and property, but rising property values could make it tougher.

May 2010 doesn’t seem that far away for longtime Nashville resident Robert Anderson. His home on Delray Drive filled with five-and-a-half feet of water.

“If I got flooded more than once, I believe I’d be willing to get out, wouldn’t you?” Anderson said.

Blocks of demolished homes are slated to become green spaces for communities. Metro Council recently approved using a nearly $1 million FEMA grant to buy up five more home that were flooded several times. Three of the homeowners accepted.

“Property owners are offered a fair market value. So we have an independent appraiser appraise the homes, not taking into consideration that it’s in a flood zone or has flooded in the past, and we make our offer based on that,” said Sonia Allman with Metro Water Services.

Rising property values in Nashville are making this process more challenging. It means using more grant money to buy fewer homes.

“We hope that we don’t have to slow down. We hope that funding remains available and we’re able to continue pursuing these homes we’d like to remove from the flood areas,” Allman said.

Since May 2010, Metro has spent $34 million to buy out 249 homes. The money is mainly from federal grants and, more recently, city funds.

Residents in the flood-prone areas say they think it’s worth it.

“If they can put something in that area, in that land, that property, to prevent that from happening again, I say do it,” said Tekoa Boyd.

Metro Water officials said they also want to remind homeowners and renters to buy flood insurance. When the 2010 flood happened, they said many people did not have it because they didn’t think they needed it.

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