It’s a strong sellers market right now, as everyone knows, but there’s still opportunity for buyers who are willing to do their homework. 

With recent flooding events in Puerto Rico, Houston, and Florida dominating our news feeds, the stigma on properties in an unfavorable flood zone has Increased. These properties are taking longer to sell and are taking big hits on price. 

People are afraid of:

1: Property damage or loss

2: Expense of flood insurance premiums

3: Resale challenges 

For the savvy buyer, these properties are a great way to get a great deal, and stay dry at the same time. But you have to do your homework:

  1. Make sure you ask for an elevation certificate to verify the zone. Also, it’s the only way to get a real quote from the insurance company. 
  2. Which zone is it in? If it’s in a Velocity zone, that’s another conversation. But if it’s just in an AE zone, do some more investigating before you pass it over. 
  3. How much of the structure is in the zone? Sometimes it’s only the corner of the structure or even the corner of the deck! In terms of actual flood danger, these properties are the lowest risk, and typically have the greatest potential for remedy (rebuild a deck, appeal the zone, etc)
  4. Where are the utilities? If they are in the basement, sometimes if you move them up a level or two, that will take the house out of the flood zone. 

Before you go making a decision about a flood zone property, get all of this information verified with your insurance agent, who along with an engineer and a savvy Realtor will be the team you need to take advantage of this buyer opportunity in a sellers market. 

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.