Nashville and The Flood
Parts of Nashville have always been in the flood zone but since the flood of 2010 it has become more important to know where the floods occurred in the past and which homes are in the current flood plain zone.
Video Of the Nashville Flood in 2010
These videos was created by a friend of mine, Mike Deppisch, who is a talented local photographer.
Knowing that a home is in a flood zone is very important because you'll find that the insurance companies will ask for a higher insurance premium. This is mandated by the mortgage holder ie the banks who say that you will have to have flood insurance...or you will not get a mortgage. The flood premium may actually put the monthly payments to a level that exceeds your approval limit.
The flood of 2010 created a number of homes that were damaged by flood water to the extent that the home owners were forced to move out and sell the property or claim on their insurance. This did allow contractors to come in and renovate the properties to sell again.
This is something you should be aware of and the Realtors of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Elite will be able to research the history of the home and determine wether the home was previously flooded, if it's not declared in the property disclosure.
Water might be pretty essential as far as life itself is concerned, but unfortunately for homeowners it also has the potential to diminish their home’s value. Both commercial properties and residential homes can have trouble with water damage, leading to increased maintenance costs, and if not remedied, a lower property value.
So what’s the best way to protect against water damage? Ideally, you would ensure that essential components of the building envelope - which enclose the property - are waterproof. In addition, you will also want to make sure that excess water is not allowed to accumulate anywhere in the home. Finally, ventilation and plumbing systems need to be kept well-maintained to ensure they are operating efficiently at all times.
Preventing water intrusion
If you’re just moving into a new home, it’s well worth hiring an InterNACHI inspector to check the following crucial elements that will prevent water getting into the home:
Flashing & sealants: the flashing, a thin strip of lead or other metal placed around windows, doors and on the roof, is important as it helps to prevent water getting in where two different building materials join together - for example, brick and wood. It’s necessary to ensure that caulking and sealants are applied correctly to prevent water intrusion in these places, and they should both be kept well maintained.
Ventilation: All of the vents in the home should be kept in good working order, with appropriate hoods and an exhaust to the exterior of the home.
HVAC systems: In commercial buildings, these are usually much more complex. You’ll need to check for leaks in the water supply line, as well as air handlers, pumps and other components of the system. In addition, it’s important to keep drain lines clear of any obstructions, while ductwork should be well insulated so condensation doesn’t appear in the building.
Humidity: For most buildings, relative humidity should be kept at somewhere between 30-50%. Tell tale signs of high relative humidity include wet stains on the walls and ceilings, condensation on windows, and a damp, musty smell.
One of the best things about living in Nashville is the people. Even as homes are destroyed and loved ones lost, an amazing sense of camaraderie has taken over Nashville. Residents are pitching in to help one another, and many of Nashville's most high profile natives are using their fame to bring attention to the crisis in Middle Tennessee.
Reba McEntire donated $100,000, as did Vince Gill and his wife Amy Grant. Gill also headed “Working 4 You: Flood Relief with Vince Gill & Friends,” which featured stars like Keith Urban, Alison Krauss, and Naomi Judd, and raised $1.7 million. During the telethon, Taylor Swift called in, and donated a whopping half a million dollars to relief efforts. There was also the Clear Channel Cares Radiothon on May 4th, that raised $240,000. Participants included Ricky Skaggs, Martina McBride, Charlie Daniels, and the governor of Tennessee.
Another telethon is set for this Sunday at 8pm on GAC (Great American Country Television), called "Music City Keep On Playin' - A Benefit for Flood Relief." This event will feature Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Rodney Atkins, Kellie Pickler, and Dierks Bentley, and will be held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Jerry Seinfeld just announced that for his show in Nashville, proceeds will be split between the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Pop singer Ke$ha, whose hometown is Music City, will be holding her own benefit concert on June 16th at Limelight, with 100% of the profits going towards flood relief. She's also donated 1,000 pounds of pet food to a local animal shelter.
One of the biggest fundraising efforts is coming up on on June 22nd at Bridgestone Arena. Organized by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, "Nashville Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Recovery" will feature Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, and more. Tickets are priced between $25-$75, with proceeds going to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
In a personal, hands-on effort, the Tennessee Titans football team pitched in by sending a busload of about 80 people (players, coaches, and employees) to neighborhoods in West Nashville, in order to help with the cleanup efforts. Team owner, Bud Adams also donated $200,000 to the cause, and had that amount matched by the NFL and NFL Players Association.
Kenny Chesney has also helped out, by taking video of the flood, and talking about the devastation on Twitter, and on television with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
With damages estimated to be over $1.5 billion dollars, Music City needs all the help it can get. To donate, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Retune Nashville is a new non-profit organization that recently formed in order to help the hard working musicians of Nashville—a lot of whom have lost instruments, performance spaces, and homes during the flood. Many of these musicians were uninsured, and have now lost their primary source of income.
To help, Retune Nashville is collecting water-damaged instruments, and reconstituting them as art pieces. They will exhibit the finished art pieces and auction them off, with all money going to "directly benefit Nashville’s working musicians through Music Cares Nashville Flood Relief and The Nashville Musicians Association Flood Relief Fund."
Retune Nashville is currently accepting donations of instruments and related parts like strings and gears. They're also looking for committee members and people to spread the word about their mission. For updates on their progress, see RetuneNashville.org.
As they so beautifully sum it up on their flyer, "Together, we can bridge Nashville’s music and art communities to help those in need and to celebrate the city’s kindness, creativity, history, and resilience."
As most of you already know Nashville and it's residents have been severley impacted by flooding on a scale that is still being evaluated.
The full implications of the devastation to home owners and builders alike is going to slowly come to light as the stories about the affects of the flood start to come through.
The biggest impact is obviously being felt buy the home owners who lived in areas that were deemed safe from flooding and as a result didn't need to carry flood insurance. The problem for these people is how do the deal with total loss. Who do they turn to for help and support? What they really need is financial aid to help them through the tough times until they can at least renovate and repair their homes or find new accommodation.
The question of who is financially responsible for the devastation is a tricky one because the floods were an act of God and as such don't seem to come under any other form of insurance. Not having flood insurance isn't something any of us think about...especially when we are told that we don't need it. People rarely buy flood insurance on the off chance!
I think that most people feel that the homeowners who lost their homes need to compensated in some way and be giving a way out of a desperate situation. Wether its from local donations, the Government or aid from other sources these people deserve help.
There is also another sector of people that have had their lives impacted in an unforeseeable way. people may become homeless even though their homes weren't effect directly by the flood! Image if you have had your house on the market, then a buyer comes along and you negotiate a deal and "sell" them your home. Now you can go out and put an offer on another home. If you then come to terms you are locked into buying that home. if the home is then flooded what happens to the home you are selling? As far as I can see there is no reason to stop the sale. The buyers have probably sold their house so they need a home to move into.....that means unless the seller had a clause in the contract that says..."i will not close on the sale of my house if the house I am buying is flooded" means that the seller has to close. Obviously they can't buy the flooded home. That contract can be voided quite easily as its not in the same state or better when they contracted on the house. That means the seller has to move out and then find another property...quickly!
So...scenarios like that will start to come to the surface and public attention...so keep checking back. One of the team agents, Melissa Tanner, has been in touch with the state, the Governor and the Whitehouse trying to find answers about how to deal with the tax extension and homes that were under contract and now that they can't close the effect of the tax credit deadlines etc.
Flood Damage Will Increase Demand
In a cruel twist of fate, Mother Nature may be responsible for kick starting the construction business in Nashville and also contributing to the increase in property values of homes in Nashville and the surrounding communities.
Much the same as Florida suffered natural disasters that wiped out a lot of the homes in certain areas in the late 1990s and early 2000's, the simple laws of supply and demand came into play. As the amount of available housing was removed due to the devastation associated with the hurricanes the demand for homes suddenly increased. The difference in Florida was that most people had to cover their homes with flood and wind insurance. In this respect there is a big difference because the majority of people and homes affected in Nashville were not required to carry flood insurance.
The Un-named flood and Katrina Comparisons
Probably the best comparison in recent years to a natural disaster in the US is the effects of the flooding in New Orleans caused by hurricane Katrina. Nashville's devastation is more localized than in New Orleans and as a result the experiences of the change in real estate demands won't be quite as comparable but lessons can definitely be learned.
The number of homes in Nashville that have been rendered temporarily uninhabitable will increase as the waters recede and the authorities become more aware of the full extent of the damage. As a result, the demand for rental homes will increase while homes under go renovation but so will the demand for residential homes. The homes that have been "totaled" have occupants that now will need to look for a home. These people will now add the demand for homes in areas that suffered no impact from the flooding.
As the demand is artificially increased, the end result will be that the supply of homes in desirable areas will be relatively reduced, and as a consequence the value of these homes will increase.
Investors and Property Values
Also, as in New Orleans, the short term loss of homes will appeal to investors who have the time and money to invest in rehabbing the damaged homes and will probably be able to purchase the homes at a price that will enable them to turn a good profit. As the homes then sell, and peoples flood memory recedes, the areas will then be seen to recover and property values increase as the public starts to buy the rehab homes.
Long Term Flood Effects in Nashville
The loss of jobs and businesses directly associated to the flood may be relatively easy to assess but the impact of the peripheral effects may be felt for years to come. Lost jobs means a loss of disposable income spent by the workers who lose their jobs and the satellite industries that rely on businesses that demand their products such as Opryland Hotel that looks like it will be closed for the next 3-4 months for renovations.
The flip side of the flooding is that the job creation in the construction business and the resulting influx of out of state workers needing accommodation and housing may add to the demand for homes in these unaffected areas, and add to the slow economic recovery that the US is experiencing.
I'm sure there will be lots of economic studies carried out to assess the impact of the 2010 flood and in may be years before the total damage can be realistically estimated but until then we will be able to monitor the short term effects by keeping an eye on the real estate values in Nashville and the surrounding areas.