Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flood Plain Considerations

Consideration ought to be paid to a seller's disclosure requirements as well as the potential need for flood insurance.

In the last half a dozen years the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has redrawn almost all of the flood plain maps across the country.  Properties that previously were not in a flood plain have now been reclassified to be located within the flood plain.

Realtors have a responsibility to disclose flood plain status.  Their first step should be to identify if the property is located near a lake, river, or stream.  They should ask their sellers if they have received updated information from FEMA or from their local county governement.  Realtors should encourage all parties (buyers and sellers) to contact their local zoning administrator or building inspector to verify the flood plain status of a property.

Of course, Realtors should apply common sense when inspecting a property for sale.  If there is standing water nearby, then the property may be subject to flooding.

The best course is to address flood insurance issues prior to a binding accepted offer.  When in doubt, you should check it out.

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