Buying a home requires a lot of time and research. Buying a home located in a flood zone requires even more! Before you purchase a home in a flood zone it’s important to make sure you take the necessary precautions to gather all the information you need. Keep reading for our guide on what steps to take before and after purchasing a home in a flood zone.
Steps to take before purchasing a home in a flood zone:
1. Contact your local city planning office to determine if the home is in a flood zone and then identify what zone it is located in. You should also be able to determine if flood insurance is available for this the location during this step.
2. Order a CLUE report for the location to identify what losses the home has had in the last 7 years. Items covered in this report include date of loss, loss type, policy number, claim number, and the insurance company involved.
3. Ask for a Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS), which will require the seller to disclose any floods during their stay in the home. Many states require this type of reporting, but if your state does not you’ll have to request it.
4. Have the home inspected by a trustworthy inspector to identify any past or potential problems related to flooding. The inspector will also be able to advise on how to fix the issues and help determine how severe of a problem they are.
5. Purchase flood insurance at least 30 days before you move into the new home. Many policies take 30 days before they kick in, so the early purchase will keep you in the clear. Find more details about flood insurance from Zillow.com.
Other things to consider after purchasing a home in a flood zone:
1. When you go to sell your home, the potential buyer is going to go through the same process you went through. Expect them to be hesitant and assume they will want to see a full list of reports.
2. Although you can’t control the weather, you can minimize damage to your property by adding remediation equipment. Consider installing a high-quality sump pump as soon as you move in.
In the end, it really boils down to determining what amount of risk you are willing to live with in your new home. Homes in flood zones may never experience a flood, but the potential will always be there. Consider this guide before you make the final decision and please contact us if you have any questions about this topic or any other. We’re available anytime by phone at (317) 259-6000 or through our website contact page.