Flooding is one of the most common disasters that happen in the USA. However, some areas are more prone to flooding and experience this more frequently than others. If you are a homeowner, would you have chosen this particular flood plains in the first place?
But what if you bought the property, never really knowing it was in a floodplain until the last moment when the flood water has already reached your home? This has become the unfortunate norm among those who bought properties in non disclosed areas because a lot of real estate agents do not really specify this in their listings.
Now, why is this a problem? Should this be changed?
What is a Floodplain?
According to National Geographic, a floodplain is an area of flat land that is typically near bodies of water, both natural and man-made. These would include rivers, streams, and dams. These areas experience flooding every once in a while and usually will experience it faster than any other areas.
Normally, floods happen during extreme rain and hurricanes. Rivers and streams overflow and dams are filling up fast. In order to avoid a more catastrophic outcome, the dams are opened slightly so water will flow up and there’ll be more room for more rainwater.
The flood easily reaches the properties which, in turn, often creates severe damages.
So why are there still many people living and buying homes in these flood prone areas?
This comes down to two reasons: first off, a great deal of the population has been living in these parts since they were children. They get used to the flooding and even see it as a once-in-a-while event.
Another reason is that there are actually agents who do not tell up front that the area is prone to flood. Since buyers are oblivious, they’d buy the house and get the surprise of their lives when the water comes in.
This should not be a norm and there should be stricter rules when it comes to selling properties in these areas. Household owners should be well aware of their surroundings in order to help them prepare for whatever disaster will come.
Should I Buy a Property in This Area?
The answer to this question is rather subjective. There are many people that will still buy these properties while a good deal will not – which is totally understandable.
Know that you’re likely going to pay more if you want to live in a flood-prone area, typically because you’ll have to pay for more insurance. This happens even when the flood risk is low.
If you are buying a property, it is best to know what are the risks you’re possibly facing. Your agent might not say but you can do your own research. You can normally search for it, just as long as you’re neighborhood has already been established. If the area is a rural address or a still under construction, it might not have been evaluated yet.
Lastly, be sure you are always prepared. Learn how you can minimize the damage as well as create a plan for your entire family when the worst comes.