This is probably going to be the dullest blog post I’ve ever made in a decade of blogging.
Seeing all the news about the hurricane and flood insurance has it on my mind I guess.
It is a boring topic but there are some important things to know about it.
In Lexington, we don’t really get flooding. Our basements sometimes fill up with water when we have two feet of rain in a short period. Some intersections might have a foot of water in them. People who back up to a creek might have their backyard under water. That is about the worst. We don’t have a river in a heavily populated area. We are too far from the ocean. It isn’t a wide spread problem here.
But we still have several houses that require flood insurance. These are mainly ones that back to a creek. In the past 12+ years as a realtor, I am guessing I see about 1 in 20 houses where the seller has checked on the Disclosure that the house is in a flood plain and requires flood insurance.
Almost always, I suggest that my buyers don’t even look at the house. Why? Most people don’t understand what flood insurance is, how it works or what it means. When people don’t know how much, if any, water to expect and they don’t know what it will cost, most buyers move on. It scares them, and when you are scared, you normally retreat. So, being in a flood plain and requiring flood insurance is a stigma for most buyers.
There are two exceptions where I can feel good about rubber stamping my approval on purchasing in a flood plain:
- When the house is in a higher price range. An extra $100 a month to a buyer in the sub $150k price range is a big deal. The buyer considering a $500k house isn’t as worried about the extra $100 a month or whatever the insurance will cost. To them, it is just a fee to have the nice view that often comes with backing to a creek or pond.
- When the lot is just soooooo worth it. I sold relatives of mine a house in a flood plain. It is never fun to pay for it and occasionally deal with a creek that just can’t stay within it’s banks…..but any other time they have a huge, wonderful backyard that backs to a picturesque creek. It is so beautiful back there that we were all silent when we first saw it.