Two months after floods wiped out hundreds of homes in Cedar Rapids, dozens of "For Sale" signs are popping up in the city’s water-damaged neighborhoods. Many homes are being offered for just a fraction of their value. Janice Klein had lived in her house since she was eight-years-old — her parents bought the place nearly 65-years ago. Klein says she’s made the decision to sell and she’s far from alone.
Klein says, "You see so many other (houses) for sale, it makes you wonder because other people are going to think, ‘They’re all for sale, what’s going to happen to this neighborhood?’" Repair costs are too overwhelming for Klein and many hundreds of others in Cedar Rapids. Before the flood, her house was worth nearly $90,000. Now, she’s asking for about 25-thousand and it’s still not selling.
Klein says: "I’ve had calls, but they never seem to call back. I figure at this stage of my life, I can’t afford to go into debt to do this and it’s really more house than I need now." While many people want to move on, realtors like Roger Stigers say people should be patient.
Stigers says: "Personally, I would hang on a little while and see what happens because we don’t know if the city will come along and buy it. What’s FEMA going to do for me?" But many flooded-out homeowners in Cedar Rapids and elsewhere in Iowa are facing a Catch-22 situation, as they have to continue paying mortgages, taxes and upkeep on houses where they can’t live — in addition to paying rent wherever they’ve ended up.