Buying a New Property: Is it Flood-Prone or Not?

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Imagine this: You buy a brand-new house with your hard-earned money. And then, after a few months and a super hurricane, your dream house is all gone. All because of the floods.

When you’re planning to buy a residential property, you don’t just look at the exterior and interior design of the house. You don’t just inspect the structure and see whether it is durable or not. You also examine the area. Is it safe? Is it flood-prone? Is it safe from erosion?

Protect Your Investment

Now, why is this important? It’s because the United States has had a pretty infamous history regarding disasters. Unfortunately, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 90 percent of US natural disasters are caused by floods, especially in flood-prone areas.

And according to the agency, one inch of this floodwater can already cost you $25,000 in property damage. This damage usually comes from hurricanes, mudflows, extreme rainfall, and other natural disasters. To top it all, the agency noted that the yearly cost of damage due to flood in the US went as much as $17 billion.

Now, you wouldn’t want to be a part of those numbers. So if you are going to pick a new residential property, make sure that it is not within a flood-prone community. Or as much as possible, there should be flood-mitigating techniques within the area.

And it is your responsibility to choose wisely for your family.

Flood Maps Are Important

The good thing is that the Federal Management Agency has a department that focuses on flood maps. The FEMA Flood Map Service Center provides information on flood-prone communities. These flood maps are also available on their website.

Say you are looking into property listings, and some potential residential properties have caught your eye. You don’t have to go straight to the property to see if the area is flood-prone. The easiest thing to do is to visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center website and look for the flood map search bar. You can enter the exact address or the city or suburban. You can also type in the exact longitude and latitude coordinates for accurate description.

The flood map determines whether your exact area is low, moderate, or high risk. High-risk areas have a 1 percent or higher chance of flooding, also known as the base flood.

With such flood maps, you can gauge whether the property is worth buying by just typing in the address. You can also compare different areas to have options in choosing which community to live in. As they say, no one can avoid natural disasters. But you can control and manage its impact by avoiding flood-prone communities.

And FEMA’s flood maps are here to help. As long as you know how to read these maps, you’re good. And if not, you can also call the agency’s hotline numbers for inquiries.

Consider These Tips


There is no better way but to be wise in buying your own property. You don’t just rely on your broker. As a buyer, it is your responsibility to research and inspect areas and properties. Here are some tips that can help you in choosing your new residential location:

  • Check if the community has implemented mitigating techniques for stormwater: Managing stormwater is essential in preventing floods from natural disasters. This process involves controlling stormwater runoff from parking lots, rooftops, and driveways. This will not only cause flooding but will also encourage channel erosion. Both of which, of course, may lead to property damage. As a property owner, you can implement your own SWPP plan within in your property. You can hire professional services to ensure no stormwater runoff can damage your area.
  •  Do your own research: And by research, it doesn’t mean just checking the Internet. You can check property listings, flood maps, and other available resources online. Still, the last and confirmatory thing to do is visit the site. You can also talk to the broker to give you more background on the area. Why not ask around the neighborhood about their experience during typhoons and other natural disasters? This will give you an idea of how flood-prone the community is.

You wouldn’t want to lose or damage your house just because of floods. Ensure you know the area you are planning to settle in, and avoid those flood-prone areas. Natural disasters are acts of God, and no one has a say in that. But you can surely beat the floods by doing your research and by reasonable flood control and prevention plan.

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