The Impact Of Flood Zones

Dated: 08/03/2014

Views: 5543

Just because your dream house is not next to a beach or a river doesn’t mean that it is not at risk of flooding. With climate change and the increasing unpredictability of rain, flood zones have become increasingly important.  Buying a home in a high-risk flood zone can mean a dramatic increase in insurance costs, as well as more difficulty selling the home in the future.
What to look for:
Enter the property address into FEMA’s map database, or ask your REALTOR to use their research tools to look up the flood zone maps. Many maps are currently being revised, but existing ones can offer some insight into historic risk.
You should also talk to the local authorities about conditions in the area.  People know which streets typically flood and which don’t.  Also, be sure to ask the seller about any flood prevention measures they’ve taken, like installing French drains or a sump pump.  
What it could cost you: 
Depending on the flood zone, insurance premiums can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually. You can get more information on what your flood insurance might cost at the Floodsmart.gov website.  
What to do about it: 
If your dream house is located in a region at increased risk of flooding, assess the pros and cons. You may find that the seller is more willing to negotiate, but you also have to factor in both the increased risk of damage to your belongings and the ongoing extra costs of flood insurance.  

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