Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by Michelle Wood

Posted by Bill H on December 28, 2007 at 20:15:30:

That is the new National Fllod Insurance requirement for the area…OR…You get to build the house up on pier post pilings so that the ground floor is at least 33 feet above sea leavel.

I went through Hurrican Katrina on the Gulf Coast and for the very first time in my life I have seen where a 4,000 sq ft house was lifted up off of 8 foot pier post pilings and floated down the street about half a block and deposited in the street when the water receeded.

Not just one but almost all the houses in one sub-division were this way. Prior to Katrina it was a very nice subdivision with boat docks alongside the home, golf courses, all the amenities…afterwards…two words…A DISASTER!

I also saw a four lane concrete bridge completely lifted up and all the sections moved off the piers and over into the water…nothing left of the bridge except the pier posts.

NEVER underestimate the hydraulic pressure of water.

Good Luck,
Bill H

Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by Michelle Wood

Posted by Michelle Wood on December 27, 2007 at 13:45:48:

Is a good rental bad to purchase in a flood zone? Or does it not matter when the purchase price is much lower than the appraised price of the property? Does a house being in a flood zone mean a bad investment? Why?

Re: Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on December 28, 2007 at 08:28:17:

if you’re a newbie, I’d consider passing on this one.

  1. FEMA flood maps are being revised in some areas to expand the flood area due to increased building and more run off.

  2. Some areas in the flood zone could see more severe or more frequent flooding in the future for same reasion as #1 above.

  3. Flood insurance rates are drastically increasing, somebody told me that their rate went from $350 to $2000 and there are lots of exceptions and exclusions to the policy.

  4. If the price is lower now due to the flood zone, it will almost certainly be lower when you go to sell either short term or long term.

  5. In one town near here after the flood the town using Federal funds bought 100’s of properties for the purpose of demoing them and not allowing new building. It a park now and they used eminent domain for the owners unwilling to sell. They vacated the streets and cut off and capped the utilities and basically turned it into open green space, because of repeated flooding.

  6. Be clear on the flood zone and flooding specific to the property. I have some properties that are in the flood zone but where the house is on the property is not in the flood zone by elevation. Therefore no flood insurance is required since the house is not in the flood zone though part of the land is.

  7. Local zoning ordiance may prohibit, building, rebuilding or expansion of a house in the flood zone. I’ve run into that and the only remedy is an expensive attorney, and a possible lawsuit.

  8. I built a new house in the flood zone but built it with no basement (basements are standard and typical here) and elevated the house 2 feet out of the flood zone. With grading its very hard to see a 2 feet grade change on a 2 acre lot. This site was on the edge of the flood zone and a distance away from the water, which was also not on the property.

  9. I used to own a property that was across the street from the river. The banks were 17 feet high and years before I owned it there was over 3 feet of water in the house. The river crested something like 25 feet above its normal level.

  10. I’ve cleaned up the aftermath of flooding, its not a pretty sight. Everything imaginable, that’s not tied down and even some of that can end up in your house including raw sewage and dead animals. The stench is indescribale.

  11. If all this is not enough to dissuade you, then you should be proactive in relocating the furnace, hot water heater, washer and dryer to a high level and non flood level of the house. If the first flood floods but the second doesn’t then those fixtures should all be on the second floor. There was a bar that was near the junction of the river and a major tributary, that was often flooded. They rebult the place all block on the outside and all ceramic tile floors and walls on the inside. The refrigs and freezers were all on wheels. They built the place for the next inevitable flood. Like the the Boy scouts say “Be Prepared.”

Just Another Factor to Consider - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on December 28, 2007 at 07:52:50:

I’ve got a few properties in flood zones. I carry flood insurance, which is expensive. But my purchase price reflected this negative factor.

In heavy rains last summer, NONE of my houses in the flood zone got water. But, as is always the stinkin’ case, two properties accross thr street DID get water. and they were not in the flood zone. and I did not have flood insurance on them.

Re: Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by William Bronchick

Posted by William Bronchick on December 27, 2007 at 14:14:51:

So long as you have flood insurance you are fine. Almost everything in my city is in some kind of flood zone.

Re: Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on December 27, 2007 at 15:53:54:

Hi Bill:

Be glad you live high up. On the MS Gulf Coast you have to be 33 feet above sea level to get flood insurance. Average land here is about 16 to 20 feet above sea level.

Good Luck and Have a Very Nice and Profitable New Year

Bill H

Re: Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by William Bronchick

Posted by William Bronchick on December 28, 2007 at 09:50:02:

Good point! The corollary to what I said is also true - don’t ever buy a house in a place you can’t get insurance for it, whether it’s flood, hurricane, landslides, etc.

Re: Rental and Flood Zone - Posted by Lee Allen

Posted by Lee Allen on December 27, 2007 at 17:21:15:

What happens if you are not above 33 feet. Do you have to get the government flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program?