• Phyllis Staines

5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know About Flooding

By: REBAC Staff Posted: 01/04/2021

Flooding is the most common and expensive natural disaster in the U.S. It affects homeowners in every state, including properties that aren’t on coastlines or interior waterways. If you’re interested in buying a home or already own one, here are five facts to know regarding flooding.

1. The cost of flood damage can add up quickly.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home.

Even if your home’s lowest levels are unfinished spaces, your furnace, water heater, washer and dryer, and other expensive appliances often located in a basement could be damaged.

Additionally, water inside your home ofter triggers mold issues, which is hazardous to your health and can cause structural damage to your home if left untreated.

2. FEMA flood maps only tell part of the story.

Since FEMA flood zone studies are expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming, they do not include two-thirds of U.S. stream miles, half of the coastline, or inland areas where heavy rainfall can cause flooding.

To view and download FEMA’s flood zone maps, visit

3. New mapping tools are filling in some of the gaps.

New flood simulations use high-resolution topographic maps and advanced modeling techniques to understand where water flows during heavy rainfall and spring thaws.

For example,® now includes a risk visualization tool developed by the First Street Foundation called Flood Factor. It behaves similarly to the site's other mapping filters, like Schools, Noise, and Crime. The tool also displays FEMA’s flood zone risk score for individual properties.

Bear in mind that these models don’t always know the precise location and elevation of buildings on a property. But they can give you an indication of whether further research is warranted on a home’s flooding risk.

4. It’s up to you to do your due diligence.

If you’re concerned that a home has a flooding problem, do your homework and enlist the help of experts who can help you make an informed purchase decision. In most states, sellers must disclose any known flooding issues. But specific disclosure requirements vary, and buyers should do their own due diligence.

Your Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) can help you identify local flood experts and other helpful resources. While your buyer’s rep is an excellent source of other resources, they cannot offer flooding advice since this is beyond their area of professional expertise.

5. Consider flood insurance, even in low-risk areas.

If you buy a home in a FEMA-designated high-risk zone, your lender will probably require you to purchase flood insurance. The current owners may be able to transfer their policy to you, providing uninterrupted coverage from one owner to the next.

Even if flood insurance isn't required, you might want to buy a policy anyway since most homeowners insurance policies do not include coverage for flooding. Plus, flood insurance is relatively inexpensive in low-risk areas.

Flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program and private insurers. also provides additional details on understanding flood risk, flood insurance, and other useful resources.

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Property information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and has been made available by the Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and may not be the listing of the provider.  Equal Housing Opportunity Broker.  License #BK660013

DMCA Notice (opens a PDF document):

IDX Listing Page Disclaimer (opens a PDF document):

We are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability. We aim to adhere as closely as possible to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0, Level AA), published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines explain how to make Web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly to everyone. While we strive to adhere to the guidelines and standards for accessibility, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website and we are currently working to achieve this. Be aware that due to the dynamic nature of the website, minor issues may occasionally occur as it is updated regularly.  If you have any comments and or suggestions relating to improving the accessibility of our site, or if you have a disability that is preventing you from experiencing this website, please call (904) 476 - 7653. Your feedback will help us make improvements.  Thank you.