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Sarah Conway

CNE, RAA, TAHS
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene - Lake Conroe
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What to know about Flooding and Home Buying

August 30th, 2017



If you are looking for a new home in the Houston area, you must always consider flooding! I’ve spent the last 48 hours glued to the TV, watching thousands of people getting rescued from flooding. It is heart breaking to witness. Flooding into your home is devastating, both emotionally and financially.

So, what can you do to improve the odds that this doesn’t happen to you?

  1. Look at the elevation of the home & surrounding homes. When you are viewing a home, look to see if it’s below the surrounding homes or above. When rain hits the house, where does it run off to? Is there adequate drainage on the site and surrounding sites? If the home sits at the bottom of the hill, this may be more risk than you want to assume. Remember, it’s not enough to just be out of the ‘high risk zone’. Everyone has flood risk. Per FEMA, 20-25% of all flood claims come from homes located OUTSIDE of the high risk areas. These claims are usually due to storm sewers backing up and neighboring properties draining onto lower homes. ALWAYS look for drainage when viewing a home.
  2. Check the FEMA flood maps. Both Montgomery County (http://gis.mctx.org/apps/floodplains/) and Harris County (http://www.harriscountyfemt.org/) have flood maps online. They are easy to use. Is the property in the hazard area or close? The most common FEMA Hazard Zone (aka… ‘flood zones’) in this area are the AE  and A zones. X-500 is not considered a ‘hazard zone’ but there is still a certain amount of risk.
  3. Ask the owners and neighbors about ‘close calls’. The seller only needs to disclose if there was flooding into the property or site. They do not have to disclose if water ever encroached on the neighborhood street or around the subdivision. Asking the neighbors is a great way to get information. (This is where having a knowledgeable Realtor is priceless!) 
  4. Lastly, research online for flooding news. Often you can find past flooding events of the area through news coverage. If the property is close to a known hazard area, make sure you have double checked the above action items.

Remember, once you’ve had water in your house, the chances of it happening again are high. Furthermore, your property value will be drastically impacted. Therefore, it is prudent that you take time to do this research before purchasing a home.

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For national FEMA Flood Zone information, here is the national map…. https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search

http://www.sjra.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/flood-plain.png

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Want to know more about flood insurance? Shay Hulett with Nationwide recently provided me with the following rates. You can email him @ HULETTS1@nationwide.com

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Here is a quick snapshot of preferred risk rates, such as a Flood zone X

Coverage Options and costs

Bldg & Cont

Building

Contents

Premium

$20,000

$8,000

$171

$30,000

$12,000

$209

$50,000

$20,000

$271

$75,000

$30,000

$316

$100,000

$40,000

$349

$125,000

$50,000

$366

$150,000

$60,000

$389

$200,000

$80,000

$425

$250,000

$100,000

$450


Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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Sarah Conway is a broker associate at BHGRE Gary Greene- Lake Conroe. She is also a real estate certified appraiser, which gives her unique insight to the current market and trends.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene - Lake Conroe
14602 FM 1097 West, Willis, TX 77318   Get Directions
Phone: (936) 856-5590
Fax: (936) 856-1070
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