The floods of June 2013 left parts of the town of High River and the city of Calgary almost completely destroyed. The damage in High River was devastating, with some residents not able to even step foot in their damaged homes for over a month. While some homeowners are indicating they will probably never be able to go back to their previous homes, others insist that they have no intentions of leaving the place they live and love. No one can accuse Albertans of giving up easily. The weather might have been bad, but there is good news on the horizon. Help from the government and insurance providers is available, and as a High River mortgage broker with many clients in the area, Mortgages By Candice is here to assist you with several great ways to get started — whether you choose to rebuild, flood-proof or relocate.
A New Flood Zone
The government has been quick to assess the situation so homeowners can begin to receive assistance expeditiously. Because the force of the water was so powerful that the river actually changed its course in some places, a new flood zone map has been proposed, which of course includes portions of High River and Calgary. New legislation coming this fall will prevent municipalities from approving new construction in flood zones. For many of the affected areas, June’s flooding has drastically changed the course of development for generations to come.
People who choose to rebuild in flood zones will still receive assistance for June’s disaster, but, in an effort to discourage rebuilding in high-risk areas, the government has said those people will not be eligible for aid for future flood-related catastrophes. Plans are already being made to make use of land that may no longer be used for residences. Some suggestions are repurposing for flood mitigation and for public recreational uses like parks, hiking and cycling paths and picnic areas.
For some residents of the new flood zone, rebuilding elsewhere might be their best option. The province has also said it will help homeowners who choose to relocate, and this can even include the purchase of land on which to build.
In areas on the edge of flood zones, determined to be “flood fringes”, flood assistance will be available as long as homeowners flood-proof their homes. The plan allows for an additional 15 per cent compensation for this type of work, which would include precautions such as elevating homes off the ground, creating barriers and back-flows and other measures.
How Can a Broker Help?
No one should have to wait to rebuild (or relocate if necessary). While government assistance will be coming available to help people recover from the flooding, and many were covered by their home insurance policies, the process of obtaining this aid could take considerable time. If you were affected by this disaster, now is the time to meet with your Calgary or High River mortgage broker to explore all of your options. At Mortgages By Candice, we are offering a free financial review for anyone hit by the floods. Contact us today to learn more.
Refinance a High River Mortgage
Traditionally, people refinance when their financial situation changes — such as a salary increase or a change in careers, but refinancing after a natural disaster can also be a highly effective way to help you get a head start on rebuilding or flood-proofing your home while you wait for insurance to reimburse you or government assistance to come through. Refinancing can help you lighten the burden by lengthening the duration of your mortgage. As a High River and Calgary mortgage broker with extensive and long-term relationships with multiple lenders, Mortgages By Candice can help you find the best possible mortgage to meet your needs. You might even find that mortgage rates have dropped since you bought your home.
Consider a Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan is another way to convert your home’s untapped potential into cash for flood proofing or rebuilding. With a mortgage home equity loan High River and Calgary homeowners can borrow as much as 75 per cent of their home’s value as either a lump sum or in the form of an account like a credit card, only at lower rates. With the latter option, interest only accrues on the funds you actually use. Let your broker do the legwork of finding the lowest possible rate, leaving you free to start the process of rebuilding.
Pulling together in tough times is what Albertans do. Whether you decide to rebuild your home or relocate to a more protected location, your mortgage broker can offer choices. Contact Mortgages By Candice today for a financial review and learn more about how refinancing or obtaining a home equity loan can help you put the dark days of June firmly in the past where they belong.