Author Topic: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone  (Read 3800 times)

sonnys

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Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« on: September 23, 2014, 12:03:53 PM »
Hello all,

I am looking at a new construction property and noticed that the community is approximately 250-500 feet away from a AE flood zone due to a creek.  The FEMA map was recently updated in 2013.  From what I have seen, that area is not known to flood historically.  Does anyone have any experience with purchasing close to a flood zone?  I am worried about a major hurricane causing flooding and then FEMA rezoning the property... I am not sure how often that happens.

Thanks,
Sonny

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 12:18:50 PM »
Extreme weather events are increasing.  Also, the construction itself may increase the risk of flooding (less permeable ground, so more run-off) even if well thought-out and well built.

You could check the planning permission for conditions and requirements relating to flooding, but that is not foolproof.   Also, if construction is still going on, you could try to find the construction engineer for the project for discussion of what's been done and whether it is adequate - would the construction engineer buy here?

Personally, I'd avoid any building in a flood zone if I had other options available.

unpolloloco

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 01:30:33 PM »
How much higher is the proposed location than the edge of the flood zone?  Distance doesn't matter (much!)

sonnys

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 02:18:21 PM »
Unfortunately the FEMA map does not show elevation.  I wish I knew as well...

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 02:29:14 PM »
Around us, it really comes down to what the BFE (Base flood elevation) is for the specific house - that's the lowest elevation that any part of the house is at.  Some houses are built up on small mounds to help raise the BFE and each incremental foot of difference between the BFE and the AE causes a big decrease in flooding potential and corresponding drop in flood rates. 

We own properties in AE 10 and AE 13 zones, and it wasn't a big deal (though the first one made me nervous waiting for the elevation cert as I knew we couldn't get insurance at a reasonable rate unless we were significantly above the AE #).  Just got an elevation cert done in pre-purchase and our BFEs are several feet above these. 

I assume with new construction you could request build-up on a mound if you're really concerned or get a site elevation study done before construction begins. 

You also want to look at what the community is doing to prevent flooding in the first place.  Does it participate in the CRS so you'd be eligible for discounts on your premiums?  How is storm run-off handled?

sonnys

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 04:26:45 PM »
So would you recommend getting that done even though the property is not in a flood zone?  As I mentioned, it is close to a flood zone AE but not in it.  I will ask the builder if they have elevation
 details for the creek and the property.  The construction has already begun so I can't request for it to be built on a mound.  There is no basement so that should help with the base elevation.  Thank you.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 04:37:51 PM »
Elevation certs can be done pretty cheap - ours were around $100 outside of a full survey.  A full survey will include an elevation cert.  Could be worth it to know the elevation for peace of mind so you know what the elevation is in comparison to the BFE of the AE zone near you. 

unpolloloco

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 08:36:25 AM »
FYI - you can probably do some elevation estimation via Google Earth.

AJ

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 08:55:34 AM »
Elevation certs can be done pretty cheap - ours were around $100 outside of a full survey. 

Was this to have a new survey completed, or just to get a copy of the existing survey? We recently paid $1150 to have an elevation survey completed on our house. Perhaps is varies by region.

Having owned in a flood zone, I would say avoid it if you can. If you're getting a screaming deal then it could be worth it though.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Purchasing New Construction close to AE Flood Zone
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 09:26:10 AM »
It was to have
Elevation certs can be done pretty cheap - ours were around $100 outside of a full survey. 

Was this to have a new survey completed, or just to get a copy of the existing survey? We recently paid $1150 to have an elevation survey completed on our house. Perhaps is varies by region.

$100 got someone out to the property to measure the elevation of the structures and fill out an official form saying what the elevation was to use for finalizing the quotes for our flood insurance.   

I believe the properties we had full-surveys done for were around $300-$350 each.  That staked the boundaries and plotted the lot and buildings on a diagram and also gave us the official elevation forms. 

These were all for suburban type flat-ish properties all lots < 0.5 acres.  No basements.  Maybe it's more expensive if you have a basement?  Or if your property is big?  With lots of hills or outbuildings?  I don't know.  $1150 sounds really expensive, though.