One question that should be on your mind when Buying a home is “Is the house in a flood zone?” My guess is that if you own a house that is in (or even very close to) a flood zone, your insurance company and/or mortgage company will have broached this subject with you already.
If you are currently looking at houses, you need to be aware of the clues that can signal you are near a flood plain. One has to do with sewer manholes. Regulations say that the top of the metal lid of a sewer manhole has to be at or above the 100 year flood elevation. So if you see something like the photo on the right, you should take note. Other clues are bamboo, bridges, flat grassy meadows, streams and creeks and horse farms (great uses for flood plain).
Here is THE search tool to search by address to see if you are in one of those FEMA shaded areas called the 100 year flood zone.
If you find that the house is in a flood zone, it is not the end of the world but there are issues to be considered. Trusted real estate advice and coaching definitely come into play if you still want to proceed. As a former registered Professional Civil Engineer, I have more experience that most real estate agents when it comes to flood zone issues and how they affect the use of real estate. Please let us know if you ever have any questions.
Curious about what houses look like that have been reconstructed after a flood? Check out some photos at our blog post Floods and Homes in a Flood Zone.