More than a dozen homes for sale along stretch of A1A in Vilano Beach

Homeowners dealing with beach erosion, drainage issues after major hurricanes

By Brittany Muller - Reporter

VILANO BEACH, Fla. - While driving along A1A in Vilano Beach, beautiful homes can be seen along the coast, with the beach just feet away.

But homeowners have been dealing with beach erosion and drainage issues after taking hits from major hurricanes. Some are putting their homes up for sale because of those issues and the headaches they cause.

On Friday, News4Jax counted 13 homes up for sale within a 5-mile stretch along the coastal highway. 

READ: Aerial view shows Northeast Florida coastline mostly spared by Hurricane Dorian
WATCH: Sky 4 surveys limited Dorian damage on St. Johns County coast

Claudia Crawford put her North Vilano Beach home on the market three months ago. She has owned the house for 20 years and it's been used as rental, but she said she just can't do it anymore knowing all the risks that come with living there. 

"Most of the damage has been to the dunes," Crawford said.

She said she has made the necessary upgrades to her home, but now is the time when she wants to simplify her life and not worry if her home will survive yet another hurricane.

"I’m up on pylons, so I don’t think the house would fall, but I’m just tired that every time there’s a bad storm or hurricane coming around, wondering if this is the one," Crawford said.

After Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Crawford said she had to get her stairs rebuilt and, when they were rebuilt, the sand went up to the first step. The sand is now 1 foot lower.

"I think a lot of people feel the way I do. (There are) a lot of people at the ocean and they want this. They know the risk and those are the people who are buying them," Crawford said.

Crawford said that south of her house, she saw many homes that were marked uninhabitable after Hurricane Matthew. 

"I just don't want to do it anymore. That's all," she said. 

Though houses are going up on the market left and right because of the beach eroding, construction can also be seen in Vilano Beach. 

"People want the beach and I think, if they build right, (it's) secure," Crawford said. "In many ways, that is the case, but we saw some new houses fall into the water."

Crawford told News4Jax that there are buyers who are interested in her home despite knowing the risks of living on the beach.

She said the county sent out an email before Hurricane Dorian, saying the beach renourishment project was suspended until after the storm. 

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