>In Which the Government Intrigues Me

26 May


I’ve never given much thought to those signs from Fate or Life’s little omens that are supposed to help you make decisions. I believe in coincidence and chaos.
But here I am, at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and looking at some paperwork supplied by FEMA.  Yes, that FEMA; a 200 year old government agency that no one had ever heard of until their disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Our house is in a floodplain and in the ten months since we bought the place, I’ve seen the back yard flood twice.  The first time consisted of a few inches of standing water all over the yard and stopped just shy of entering the house.  The second time the water mark reached ten inches in one corner of the yard, picking large planter boxes up and moving them around as it drained over the next few days.  A year before we moved in, the previous owners were awarded $20,000 from their insurance company for flood damage.
FEMA has a large Mitigation Grant (which Charlotte has access to), to purchase at-risk properties within floodplains as it is more cost effective to demolish these homes rather than continue to pay for damages.  We did not know about this program; the City contacted us.
For all of the unhappiness and mental unrest I’ve experienced in Charlotte, I must say there is something quite satisfying about the possibility of this house being destroyed.  The whole process is long (up to a 18 months, if approved) and gives us a great deal to think about, but this is how it works:
  • Once your property meets the criteria (floodplain, flood history, past damages, etc), house is independently appraised
  • Storm Water Services (City of Charlotte) makes an offer to purchase the property
  • Home is demolished (sometimes burned to the ground as training for the fire department) and the land will forever remain as an open space and may be used as a wetland
In the last ten years, Charlotte has demolished nearly 200 homes, many attached to the same creek that our house is near.  There is no harm (or fee) in learning if our house meets the criteria, so this may be something we explore.
Just yesterday I was talking with friends about feeling “stuck”; purchasing a house does guarantee your commitment to an area.  Within an hour, my husband was walking through the door telling me about an “interesting phone call from the City”.
Quite the coincidence.

Posted by on 26 May 2010 in Charlotte, Happy Thoughts, The House


8 responses to “>In Which the Government Intrigues Me

  1. LJ ♥

    26 May 2010 at 12:06

    >I find that life has a funny way of working things out for the best. Amazing, isn't it?

  2. sarah

    26 May 2010 at 12:15

    >Wow, if only the government would buy our house in Florida. Perhaps I should dig a ditch from the lake nearby? I wonder if on-purpose flooding counts…

  3. Kim

    26 May 2010 at 14:24

    >That is quite the coincidence.

  4. JenJen

    26 May 2010 at 14:32

    >hmmmm. It's a sign!

  5. Red Shoes

    26 May 2010 at 17:01

    >Gawd… why don't they do this to half of New Orleans!?!?! That whole fukken place is a flood zone!!!I'm sure you guys have flood insurance in addition to your homeowners… no?~shoes~

  6. magnolia

    26 May 2010 at 17:31

    >wow. talk about the universe working in weird ways…

  7. Kelly

    26 May 2010 at 21:20

    >Weird and wonderful! Keep us posted!

  8. Girl Interrupted

    28 May 2010 at 01:11

    >Whenever anything happened that made me unhappy and miserable my Grandmother always assured me that "everything happens for a reason". As I get older I'm beginning to believe it more and more. I find it rather comforting in a vague sort of way.


Let me have it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers

%d bloggers like this: