Buying a House in Flood Zone? Read This First!

buying a house

In the last 40 years, the amount of flood insurance policies in the US has more than doubled. More and more homes sit in flood zones and are at risk of damage or complete destruction, particularly as natural disasters seem to get more powerful and numerous every year.

The truth is, though, that every home exists in a flood zone. What’s important is knowing which zone it is.

Having your house in flood zone A means you are at greater risk than having a house in zone B or C.

If you are planning to buy a home anywhere in the country, you should know what flood zone it’s in. This will determine if you should have flood insurance, as well as the likelihood of experiencing any serious flooding.

Keep reading to learn why flood zones are important, and what to consider when buying a house inside of one.

What are the Different Flood Zones?

FEMA categorizes flood zones into four main categories; zone A, B, C, or X. Zone A contains many subcategories, all of which represent higher-risk flood zones.

Zones with only a moderate risk of flooding are in Zone B. Zone C is generally located at a higher elevation, and therefore possesses a minimal flood hazard. Zone X can either be considered moderate or minimal when it comes to flood risk.

Should You Be Buying a House In Flood Zone A?

Buying a house in a high risk flood zone isn’t ideal, as there’s a good chance you’ll eventually experience some damage. However, most flood zones are in coastal areas, often located right on the water. As you may well know, these are sought-after destinations.

But when your home is located in the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), there’s a fair chance that the home is going to be flooded at least once during the course of a 30-year mortgage.

Even with this risk present, however, getting a mortgage for a house in a flood zone is possible. Lenders will simply require you to have flood insurance in place, which provides them with security.

The problem with buying a home though is that sellers don’t always have to disclose if a home has ever experienced flooding before. On top of that, they might not let you know if the home is even in a flood zone.

You’ll have to find this information out for yourself before signing any papers. Read this article to learn more about flooding and insurance when buying a house.

Understand Your Policy

If you are seriously considering that waterfront property, make sure to understand the ins and outs of flood insurance. If flood insurance is required in your zone, it’s likely going to be expensive. Consider if the property is worth shelling out the cash each month on your premium.

Also, make sure you know how much your insurance company is going to pay, and how much you’ll have to pay if you ever experience flooding. If you’re going to be in the home for many years to come, there’s a good chance it will happen to you. So be prepared.

Consider Fresh Water

Is it possible to live on the waterfront without having a house in flood zone A? Yes, but it means not living next to the ocean.

You’ll likely be looking at properties overlooking a lake or river. When looking at these properties, consider properties on a bluff, high above the surface of the water. If heavy rains come, you don’t want the surging river to wash your house away.

Looking for more tips like this? Check out the rest of our blog today to keep reading.


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