NEW 2012 FEMA Flood Maps

FEMA’s New Flood Maps May Mean
Higher Flood Insurance Premiums

Important information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs) which integrate the statewide hurricane study will be discussed.

With the adoption of the new DFIRMs for the islands of Maui and Lanai scheduled on September 19, 2012, a property’s flood risk may change and consequently so will the requirement for federally mandated flood insurance, as well as construction standards. Flood insurance protects property owners from the financial devastation caused by floods which includes losses to buildings and their contents. The coverage applies whether the flooding results from heavy or prolonged rains, coastal storm surge, tsunamis, blocked storm drainage systems, levee dam failure, or other causes. Different types of policies are available depending on your flood risk.

If you live in a high-risk area, flood zones A and V, you will need a Standard Policy. Most mortgage lenders will require that you have such a policy before they will approve your loan.

For those outside of the high-risk area, zones X or XS, flood insurance is also available, usually at a lower cost. A Preferred Risk Policy can cover both a home and its contents. While you are not federally mandated to have flood insurance in a low-to-moderate risk area, it does not mean that you will never need it. Large floods often extend beyond the boundaries of high-risk areas and smaller floods occur outside high-risk areas as well. In fact, a quarter of all flood insurance claims come from properties located in low-to-moderate risk areas.

Properties currently within the low-to-moderate flood risk areas may be able to be grandfathered into a lower insurance premium if flood insurance is obtained prior to a property’s re-classification into a higher flood risk. You may log on to to view flood insurance premiums. Please contact your local insurance agent for specific information.

The public may view the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DIRMs) by visiting the Hawai'i Flood Hazard Assessment Tool website,

Should you have any questions, please contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR, Coldwell Banker Island Properties (808) 298.8448,

Maui Real Estate Stats – January 2012

49 homes sold at a median price of $408,000. By comparison, there were 54 homes sold in January 2011 with a median price of $495,414. This is a 9% reduction in sales volume and an 18% reduction in median price when comparing January 2012 to January 2011.

88 condos sold in January 2012 with a median sales price of $339,500. 87 condos sold in January 2011 at a median price of $295,000. This is a 1% increase in volume and a 15% increase in median price when comparing January 2011 to January 2012.

8 land sales closed in January 2012 at a median price of $330,000. This compares to 9 lots sold at a median price $300,000 in January 2011.

The Maui Real Estate market continues to be impacted by Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties (REOs). Of the 49 homes sold, 18 were REOs or Short sales. This is approximately 37% of the sales volume. By comparison, 47% of January 2011’s home sales were REOs or shorts. Of the 88 condos sold last month, 27 sales were either REOs or Short Sales. This is 31% of the transaction volume. This compares to January 2011, where 37% of the condo sales were REOs or short sales.

The numbers comparing this January with last January were fairly comparable. Bank owned transactions were down and short sale transactions were up slightly, probably in response to ACT 48.

Overall market conditions have not changed drastically.

My continuing advice to buyers and sellers remains the same. Buyers will find that this is a good time to buy as there are some well priced opportunities. Keep in mind that the best opportunities are attracting strong competition. Buyers should be prepared to act quickly and with strong offers when pursuing the best opportunities. Patience may be needed as inventory is beginning to wane. Buyers should be pre-approved for financing prior to submitting offers. Sellers in this market will need to keep their pencils sharp. Those who want to sell quickly should look closely at recent comparable sales and price and list at/or below those numbers. Please contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR (808) 298.8448, if you have any questions or just want to chat about Maui Real Estate and/or any buying or selling opportunities.