Make NYC real estate sellers disclose flood histories

Photo By Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

As a business owner and member of the Red Hook community, I have poured my life into my business, as well as a lot of financial commitment. As is the case with many New Yorkers, my life, my home and my business were rocked by Superstorm Sandy.

My business has been located right on the pier in this waterfront community, for 30 years. Sandy devastated my business and the road to recovery has been very tough. I decided to sell my home and move closer to my storefront for the ease of being located close to my business. It was one less thing I had to worry about.

However, as I was getting ready to buy my new house, I found out inadvertently that during Sandy, my home had been flooded with six feet of water and had been extensively damaged. This information about my property’s history is just as important as any termite damage or mold that it may have had, so why was I not told outright?

In New York, realtors can pay a small fee to avoid disclosing a property’s flood history. They are able to hide the fact that a property has been damaged in the past, which can lead to uninformed financial decisions. When buying or renting a house, space for a business, or any other kind of property, it’s simply common sense that you know as much as possible about that property before investing in it.

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