Friday, June 13, 2014

Texas home falls into lake, some lessons?


The saga of a ritzy home collapsing into a Texas artificial lake because of a cliff collapse certainly will carry some lessons for the rest of us.
  
  
I lived in Dallas 1979-1988 and I don’t recall any stories that the land around these lakes could be unstable.  I recall some of the large ones, like Possum. 
    
An incident like this has some particular relevance to someone living in an inherited (or trust-owned) home, where the location was not preselected for safety.   For example, if I had inherited a home on the Gulf Coast, or in a wildfire-prone area, I’d have to set up a backup plan, with the idea of finding an extended stay play quickly, and the ability to store my own work (media, content) in other, safer locations.   Insurance doesn’t always cover these losses (and what’s covered gets complicated, as does flood insurance).
    

There’s an additional concern in this particular case in Texas, because it seems that the underlying land is itself lost to collapse, as it falls into a lake. (I don't know if title insurance policies can cover this kind of hazard.)  Similar concerns would exist with sea-level rise, or changes in beaches or topography after major coastal storms.   I wonder what happens to land value when a home is lost to a sink hole (as in Florida); if the sink hole is filled in, can the home be rebuilt with insurance?   Maybe no one is immune from homelessness if the circumstances are bizarre and unforeseeable enough, or result from hostility. 

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