In 2007 I purchased a beautiful home by the Stillaguamish River. I thought I was doing everything the right way. I saved 20 percent for the down payment and didn’t purchase more home than I could afford. I was not required to get a flood elevation certificate by my lender, which I later found out was required. The zone the home is in was called a “Special flood area,” now it is called a “Critical flood area.”
Flood insurance for the previous owner had been $700 a year, mine started at $1,500 a year. In less than two years, it climbed to $1,879 a year. Eventually, my family and I would be at risk of losing our home due to escalating payments.
It turns out that the home is below county mandated flood elevation, which was not disclosed when I purchased. The house would, of course, not even be sellable in this condition. I have been fighting the County for almost a year and a half to get my home elevated to a safe level. I wished to do this legally, with all necessary permits. The personnel at the County were less than helpful, continuously demanding huge fees for unneeded things and sometimes outright lying to me.
I finally decided that I needed help and called Mary Margaret Haugen and John Koster’s office, but they were unable to help me. I contacted Aaron Reardon and within a week I started seeing results. If it hadn’t been for Mr. Reardon, I am certain that the County would have drained me of as much money as they could and my home would still not be safely raised.
To anyone thinking of purchasing your dream home by the river, think twice. You could be purchasing someone else’s problem, and a long and financially draining battle. Thanks to Mr. Reardon and his staff, the red tape has been cut and my home is finally being raised. I know I will feel so much more safe and secure when this project is done. Mr. Reardon is the only elected official who called me back personally. He cared, and did not treat me like a number. Some other County employees could learn something from that. After all, aren’t they working for us?