“Is my property in a flood zone?” That’s a question that concerns both homeowners and home shoppers—and not just those near large bodies of water. So that’s what we are talking about today. Ready? Lights, Camera, Action!
HEY! thanks for checking out this video about Flood Zones.
My name is Ashley Jurney and I am a realtor with Town Realty in Charlottesville Virginia and we want to help YOU move smarter… You can learn more about us by visiting our website TOWNCVILLE.COM.
“Is my property in a flood zone?” That’s the question…
In fact, there are a little over a dozen flood zone classifications. Those rankings, determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and represented on special maps, are based on the estimated frequency of storms that will cause flooding in an area. So while you may not live in the Gulf Coast (one of the U.S. regions most vulnerable to hurricanes), your property may still be part of an area that’s been deemed at high risk of flooding.
So how do you find out if your home is in a flood zone, and what type of flood zone it is? The answer is on the map. . .
How to find out if your property is in a flood zone?
Most homes in high-risk flood zones are near a body of water. But regardless of your location, there are a few ways to determine your home’s flood hazard status. The best place to start is with FEMA’s Map Service Center. Simply enter a property’s address on the FEMA Flood Map Service Center website, and a map showing its flood zone hazard will pop up. Zones B, X, and C are at the lowest risk, while high-risk zones start with either an A or a V (V zones are coastal areas) on the map. Zone AE, for example, has a 1% probability of flooding every year, also known as a 100-year floodplain—a low flood hazard.
Keep in mind when looking at the FEMA map that it’s possible that only part of your lot—and perhaps not your actual house—may be in the flood zone. Aside from FEMA and flood maps, other resources include tax record databases and title searches; both will indicate a property’s flood risk. You can also ask your real estate or insurance agent.In Charlottesville a lot of homes that are close to the Rivanna are at a high risk so if you are looking in those areas make sure you double check with your realtor to check to see if the home is in a potential high risk zone.
As a buyer, you should research the property and flood maps to see if it’s in a flood hazard area. If you’re obtaining financing, the mortgage company will investigate the most updated flood zoning as well. Or have your real estate agent check. In Charlottesville a lot of homes that are close to the Rivanna are at a high risk so if you are looking in those areas make sure you double check with your realtor to check to see if the home is in a potential high risk zone. Flood maps are updated periodically, based on new developments and FEMA-funded flood-control projects within a given floodplain, so be sure you’re checking FEMA’s most current information. If the property is found to be in a flood zone, the mortgage company will require flood insurance.
How much is flood insurance?
The federal government offers subsidized flood insurance to property owners through the National Flood Insurance Program. The amount you pay for your policy is based on such factors as year of construction, building occupancy, number of floors, location of contents, flood risk, location of the lowest floor (in relation to the Base Flood Elevation on a flood map), and your deductible. The average cost of flood insurance through the NFIP is $700 per year. Of course, the amount you pay is all based on your property’s flood risk and where you are in the floodplain, as specified on the flood insurance rate map. If you are in a high flood-hazard zone, flood insurance can be significantly more expensive—as high as $6,000 per year.