Everything You Need to Know About Building in a Flood Zone

Building in a Flood Zone

You may be thinking, did I just read that correctly? Why would anyone build in a flood zone? While building in a flood zone is not for everyone, but over 40 million people live in flood zones. It can be worrisome since natural disasters can cause a lot of damage to your home, your finances, and even your loved ones. Building and living in a flood zone is possible if you take the correct precautions and prepare for any downfalls.

With most things, preparation makes for less hiccups in the future. If you are thinking about buying land in a flood zone to build and potentially live on, you will want to get all your ducks in a row…before they float away.

Getting the Correct Insurance

Just like preparing when you buy a car, it is important to get the right insurance and understand what the plan entails. Flood insurance is a great way to protect your house and the contents inside from any damage that is caused by a flood. You can decide what you want to protect with your flood insurance and that will determine the cost you pay each year. Some people decide just to protect the building itself while others want to make sure that everything in their building is protected as well.

If you are receiving a loan from a bank or other lender, then the United States requires flood insurance if the property is in a flood zone. There is no getting away from it and it is for your own good. You may believe that you can withstand a flood, but you will never know until it hits you and you may end up regretting not being prepared.

With that being said, it is important to be informed of the 100 Year Base Flood Elevation. This means that a flood has not taken place in the area in at least 100 years. If your property falls into this category, you may be able to get the insurance fee waived. Even though it is extremely rare for a property in this category to be affected, there is no guarantee that it could not happen!

Are There Different Types of Flood Zones?

The short answer is yes, there are four different types of flood zones, and it is important to know the difference between them.

Each zone is represented by a different letter. The first one you should know about is the V Zone. Why is this the one we are talking about first? Well, that is because the V Zone is the most severe. In this zone, there is a high risk for flooding, and it is the most hazardous of the four zones. Most of the time, properties in this zone are ocean front lots. Flood insurance is required in these places.

Secondly, there is the A Zone. This is also high risk for flooding, but it is in a different category than the V zone because it consists of properties near a lake, river, streams, or other wetlands. Flood insurance is also required in the A zone.

Next, we have the X Zone which is a minimal risk for flooding. If your lot is in this zone, then you are not required to get flood insurance.

Lastly, the D Zone means that the flood risk has not been determined for these properties. Flooding is definitely possible in this zone, so it is highly suggested that you get flood insurance, but it is not mandatory.

What Do I Need to Know About Hurricanes?

Hurricanes are natural disasters that can cause severe flooding. If you are in an area that has been hit by a hurricane in the past, then you should think about getting flood insurance. Some people may think they are safe from any type of flooding if they are not in a flood zone. However, if a hurricane hits your area, you are without a doubt, at risk.

Research ways to flood proof your home in case of a hurricane or tropical storm, and you will find some tips and tricks.

Can I Build a House in a Flood Zone?

Imagine you have found your dream property. Everything about it is perfect, beautiful terrain, ready to be turned into your dream home. But wait, the only major issue is that the dream property is in a flood zone. So, what do you do? Although, you may have to face some boundaries, you can make it happen as long as you take the right steps.

What are the most important things you need to build in general, let alone in a flood zone? You will need to have access to the property deed. The deed will prove that the ownership of the property has been transferred from the seller to the buyer. Another thing to look for, is the Base Flood Elevation data, so that you can know the details when it comes to flooding.

Be sure to obtain a permit before construction begins in a flood zone. Having a special permit is required because it ensures that the project meets the regulations and requirements for the community’s floodplain management ordinance. Once you have your permit, investigate and learn about flood insurance. Plan on what you want to be protected and talk with an insurance expert to take the right steps.

Contact the local floodplain manager to determine if there is already an Elevation Certificate on file for your property. If not, you will want to hire a land surveyor, engineer, or an architect to complete an elevation certificate before you plan to make any developments.

Options When Building in a Flood Zone

The most recommended option for building in a flood zone is using structural elevation. For example, building the home on stilts will protect you from flooding.

You also have the opportunity to receive a permit to fill the area with soil to raise it above the Base Flood Elevation. Do not do this without a permit.

Talk to your builder about how to make the building flood proof. Is it possible? There are techniques that can make the water drain away from your home and an experienced builder will know how to proceed.

Now you know, building in a flood zone is far from impossible and many people have done it and are very happy they did! If you take these tips into consideration and follow the right precautions, you can be like the other success stories!

Discount Lots has a couple properties that are location in a flood zone. We want to assure people that it is not waste land. You can turn a property into your dream with some help and if you follow the steps above, there is not a lot that can stop you!

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