Readers Respond: Rebuilding at the Beach?

HCN Thursday raised the question: Is it wise to rebuild damaged or destroyed beachfront houses, in the face of unrelenting natural forces that are likely to reshape the coastline in coming years or decades?

HCN readers offered the following responses:

"I live on the upper Texas Coast. In recent years we have been visited by two storms: Rita and Ike. Both storms left a trail of debris for miles and miles. Anyone who owns beach front property must understand that the property and the home that is built on it are temporary. It may be 40 to 50 years permanent, but it is still temporary. Back in the day folks would have what they referred to as a beach camp. We didn’t put a whole lot of money into them, and if they were washed away by a high tide or storm of some kind you and some buddies would go back and shore it up and rebuild. We did all this because we knew it was temporary.

"If someone is going to build a fancy, expensive home on the beach, they have to make sure that they can afford to be able to let it float off into the surf. Folks in other parts of the country have different natural disasters waiting in line to strike, and those people realized this when they bought or built. They make sure they have food, generators, batteries and all that one should have to weather the situation.

"So, if the question is should someone rebuild; they should first ask the question, 'How much can I afford to loose?' "
— Hank Landry
United Unlimited Sales

"I have no problem with people having homes on the beach, but they should be responsible for the proper insurance to cover any loses.

"If they feel they can go without insurance, and a storm wipes out their homes, then they should be responsible on their own to rebuild, with no government support. 

"People should have the right to build were they want, but if they decide to build in an area that is prone to floods, mud slides, earthquakes, etc, then they should have insurance to cover those kinds of loses and not expect other people to bail them out.
— Steve Johnson

"Rebuild at your own expense and risk."
— Paul Gilpin

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- 4:16 PM says

I live on Florida's East Coast on a barrier island within 100 yards of the mean high tide line and carry government floor insurance. Anybody living close to the ocean and not carrying flood insurance is a FOOL ! Build where you want but don't save money by not having flood insurance and then cry & moan "POOR ME !" when a flood happens.

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