Avalon and Sea Isle Take the Prize for Lowest Flood Insurance Rates in Cape May County

Did you know that flood insurance premiums can be reduced by up to 45%?   If a municipality participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) program, it can earn flood insurance discounts based on the community’s voluntary efforts to reduce the risk of property damage due to (coastal) flooding.    Ratings are based on a point system.   There are 10 levels, 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest.  With each level achieved, 500 points is awarded which equates to a 5% discount.  The highest rating in Cape May County is a level 3 that only 13 communities in the entire country have achieved.   Those two successful communities are Sea Isle City and Avalon.  Both  have been awarded a 35% discount for flood insurance.   The average cost of flood insurance nationwide is $700 per year.  In Cape May County, West Wildwood has the highest at $1,110 per year.   The lowest is Sea Isle City at $490 per year.  Sea Isle and Avalon deserve a round of applause.   The discounts not only mean cheaper flood insurance and safer communities but less worry and stress.   Their building codes require homes to be elevated to avoid damage to personal and real property.  Both Sea Isle and Avalon add at least an extra foot to the county’s required base flood elevation.  If you live 2 or 3 hours away, this is a big relief.   For more detailed information, go to:


For more information specific to Sea Isle go to:


FEMA defines base flood elevation:


For more information specific to Avalon go to:


Flood insurance is purchased through FEMA’s  National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).   This government run program keeps flood insurance affordable.


Here are some interesting facts about homeowner’s insurance (fire, liability and personal property insurances).


Staging properties for sale in Sea Isle City

These photos are of a home I listed for sale where I did the staging as part of the service I provide my clients.

Staging a property to list for sale is tantamount to pricing it properly.     A well staged property becomes a home that a perspective buyer can see themselves occupying.    Any time and money invested into preparing your property to be listed usually brings you the return of more money and a quicker sale.

I offer to do the staging for my clients but if you’d rather do it yourself, here are some suggestions I  recommend:

  1.  The number one thing to do is to de-clutter.     Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house.  Keep accessories and objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1 – 3 items.  In general, a de-cluttered home helps a buyer mentally “move in” with their own things.  Rearrange or remove some of the furniture in your home.   Thin out overcrowded rooms to make the rooms appear larger.  If there is artwork you are taking with you, remove it and replace it with something else.
  2. Extra cleaning focus should be on kitchens and bathrooms.   All personal items should be stored away leaving only a few personal items on the counter.  Keep toilet seats down in the bathrooms because it looks better.  Put kitchen and bathroom rugs away unless they are decorative.  Remove trash from cans and containers.   Included in the deep clean if needed are carpets, windows, sliders, ceiling fans and trim.  I recommend hiring a professional cleaner.
  3. If there is anything cracked or broken, fix it if possible.
  4. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in the living area or any room that needs it.
  5. Be sure there are no odors!  If you have a grade level bonus room, you may need to get a humidifier to remove the moisture that causes an unpleasant odor.
  6. Curb appeal is very important.   Take whatever steps you can to make the exterior look its best.  Tidy up plants, shrubbery, etc.    Repair broken items if possible.  I suggest power washing if there is build of black stuff on vinyl which is quite common at the shore especially on the soffits.
  7. Make sure all your lights work and any safety issues are addressed.
  8. Where ever possible, a little decorative touch is nice such has a centerpiece on a table.    Find great ideas at Home Goods or Cape May Wicker.
  9. Lastly as a helpful exercise to test your efforts, take a look at your property through the eyes of a buyer as though you have never seen it before.  You will notice if there is a anything left to be addressed.    Good luck!