Does that creek behind the house flood?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

This is a great question to ask and is a big concern for a lot of buyers. The same creek that you see as a beautiful feature can also be a horrible risk. Now, first of all having a creek behind the house doesn’t always mean the house will flood every time there is a big rain. The fact is only about 25 of the homes along a creek such as Johnson Creek and Butternut Creek actually flood. (Those are just the ones you hear about on the news.)

Does that creek behind that house flood

Now, the best way to find out if a property has ever flooded is to call your insurance company. They will have a record of any claims ever made against a property. Now, if the owners never filed a claim, there are signs of damage that come with flooding to look for. (Cracked foundations, water stains and a sump pump)

Now, the other thing to consider when buying a water front property is that if you have this worry now, the next buyer that you try to sell to may also have the same worries. It is something to consider as it will limit the buyer pool on any given home that could possibly be in a flood plain.

If you are looking to buy a water view property, give us a call we will gladly help you through the process.


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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Todd - it's a tough question that needs to be asked and investigated. We have natural hazard reports here in CA that include if the home is in a high risk flood zone. Of course flooding can happen where it has never occurred, and not be a problem when one think it might. Due diligence for the buyer. Checking with the insurance company is an important thing to do.

Mar 07, 2011 03:59 PM #1
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Todd~  Most buyers don't realize that the price for flood insurance can be cost prohibitive!  Even if there isn't a creek close by, it is amazing how many home are in a flood plain! 

Mar 07, 2011 04:00 PM #2
Joni Bailey
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Great points. The price for waterfronts that are in flood plains usually reflect the fact. If it seems too good to be true, there is almost ALWAYS a reason why!

Mar 07, 2011 04:00 PM #3
Deb Jamail
HomeLife Southern Properties - Galveston, TX
Galveston County Real Estate


Good points.  If you live near water, chances are better than not that someday it may flood!  As you point out so your homework before buying!!

Mar 07, 2011 04:02 PM #4
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Todd -- good points for your buyer to consider.    I like the way you phrase it to the buyers -- if it is a concern for you, then it may be a concern for the next buyer.....that's such a good way to look at so many situations with a property.

Mar 07, 2011 04:41 PM #5
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

I love it when you said, "your flood insurance company."  Most of us don't have their own "insurance company." 

Mar 07, 2011 04:46 PM #6
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Todd, good point to have them call their insurance company and see what the reports have been.  I would hazard a guess and say yes, most creeks will flood to some extent.

Mar 07, 2011 05:15 PM #7
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I always ask how often rather does it flood. There are so many variables when it comes to wetlands...

Mar 07, 2011 05:24 PM #8
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond
Todd, I have many a coastal town here that has half the homes in a flood plain...also, the new FEMA maps that came out in 10-2010 increased some of those areas...However, buyers should be well aware that many people do Not put in flood claims because they don't want that history noted and should make sure a home inspector does their due diligence to check on any water's a huge problem here..we had the Flood of 2010 that wreaked havoc here.
Mar 07, 2011 10:57 PM #9
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Todd, we have some similar issues around here.  Those that want waterfront property must assume some of the inherent risks that go along with that property.

Mar 07, 2011 11:19 PM #10
Virginia Gardner
Roy Wheeler Realty Co. - Charlottesville, VA
Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia

Very nice way to promote your excellent services, Todd

Mar 08, 2011 12:33 AM #11
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX

"This is a great question to ask and is a big concern for a lot of buyers."


It is a great question. A question that splits the Experts from the Fools and Profesionals.

I've written extensivly about the diffrence between Experts and Professionals.

Professionals know and ask all the questions.

Fools ask and answer the questions.

Experts know one subject.

Always get the experts answer even though you may know the answer! Always!


Mar 08, 2011 12:45 AM #12
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Todd - This is excellent advice and I would assume most home owners would file a claim if their home flooded.

Mar 08, 2011 01:24 AM #13
SentriLock Blogger
SentriLock, LLC - Cincinnati, OH

Great advice Todd! I plan to tweet/fb this out today.

Mar 08, 2011 01:40 AM #14
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

Good advice, it is alway best to ask these questions up front.

Your Friend in Charlottesville

Mar 08, 2011 02:05 AM #15
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

I had a home a number of years ago in Newcastle on May Creek. I had to prove to the home insurance company that I wasn't in a flood plain... Yes, it's true my property backs up to the creek, but it was in a ravine that was about 30 feet deep. I took pictures. In my explanation I wrote, if we do flood a lot of north Renton will be washed down the hills and into Lake Washington! I one that one! They decided I didn't need the coverage.

Mar 08, 2011 06:10 AM #16
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Todd, good points, however I think the problem lies from not buying a water front property, but the water shows up anyway....

Mar 08, 2011 06:42 AM #17
Christina ONeal
At Home Real Estate Group - Ripon, CA
Realtor - Ripon California

Great suggestions for the buyer to think about with just being near water.  I love that you know how many have had flood issues.  (it shows you really know the area). 

Mar 08, 2011 03:27 PM #18
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