What is my flood zone? | Flood Factor
I have recently attended a FEMA training. By the way, FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency. Perfect timing, since I have been getting a lot of questions lately about flooding here in the greater Houston area. Questions like What is my flood zone? How to find out if a property has flooded before? Do I need flood insurance?
This is a timely topic since hurricane season is here. I want to share what I’ve learned with you.
So let’s start right now.
If you are new to my channel, welcome. I talk about all things real estate, neighborhood tours, and tips that are useful to first time and experienced homebuyers, home sellers, landlords, and renters who are looking to relocate here in the greater Houston area.
Watch until the end of this video so you can get free access to my hurricane preparedness kit.
Before we start, a disclaimer that the video is for educational/ informational purposes only. I do not work for FEMA nor I am a licensed insurance provider. Contact your insurance provider if you have additional questions regarding coverage and to confirm your respective flood zones.
Let us now dive into our questions for the day.
Do you know that just 1 inch of water can cause $25K worth of damage to a home? Do you know that homeowner’s insurance policies typically do not cover floods? Floods can result from storms, melting snow, hurricanes, drainage system backups, broken water mains, changes to land due to new construction and many more. So it is really crucial to get a better understanding on the flood zone of your property and why it is wise to purchase flood insurance.
Question #1 What is my flood zone? I get this question all the time.
There are most likely 3 options that you can use to determine your flood zone. First option is to check the FEMA website (fema.gov). FEMA stands for federal emergency management agency. They have a tool that you can use and all you need to do is to plug in the property address.
Second option is to contact your Realtor or Real estate agent. They have a tool that they use to most likely know and determine if the property is in a flood zone. I will show that tool to you shortly.
I will also share you another exciting tool that you can access for free, so stick around and watch till the end. Third option is to contact your home insurance provider. They will be able to assist you and provide you details as to the flood zone of the property.
Question #2 How to find out if a property has flooded?
There are two ways to find out. First – by requesting your Realtor to provide you a copy of the seller’s disclosure.
Usually the listing agent will upload this document in MLS and your realtor will be able to download it. If it is not available, then your realtor can request a copy of it.
The seller’s need to disclose this fact, but if the sellers owned the home and has no knowledge of the flood, then another way is to get in touch with your insurance provider and request them to check the claims history.
There are times there are not able to do this and will need an elevation certificate.
Another way, is for the sellers or owners to call their own insurance provider and request to run a CLUE report of the property.
CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Evaluation. It will provide the claims history up to 7 years. Only the owner of a property or an insurer can request a C.L.U.E. report. The request must come from the property seller/owner if you’re representing the buyer
Lastly, do I need flood insurance?
As stated previously, home owners insurance policies do not cover flood. If a property is in a special flood hazard area or high risk flood area, then lenders must require the buyer to purchase flood insurance as a condition of their mortgage loan.
Flood insurance can help with recovery regardless of whether there is a presidential disaster declaration. In the event of flood, federal disaster assistance such as FEMA, including federally funded grants or loans from the US Small business administration, offers very limited help following a flood loss. Such assistance is only available when there is an official presidential disaster declaration.
Flooding can happen anywhere and at any time. In order to protect your properties from flood damage, I highly recommend to purchase flood insurance, most especially if you know if your property is located in a SFHA (special flood hazard areas).
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Again, this is Jennifer Yoingco. You are my priority for anything real estate and your guide to Greater Houston real estate living. See you in my next video. Bye!
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**Jennifer Yoingco is a full time licensed Texas REALTOR (#648293) with Texas Home Group. She has been helping first time home buyers, experienced buyers and sellers search homes for sale, houses for sale in the greater Houston area (serving Houston, Tomball, Spring, The Woodlands, Cypress, Conroe, Magnolia, Sugarland, Richmond, and the surrounding cities). She negotiates to the clients’ advantage by using cutting edge digital marketing technology. She is teamed with marketing professionals who can showcase the home to the best advantage. Contact her for any real estate needs. Email: [email protected] (832)286-8636**