Flood Plain issues cloud many North Carolina real estate transactions.
More often or not, all responsibility for determining whether a property was in a flood plain fell to the Buyer, and there was little remedy in the Contract if the property was determined to be in a flood plain.
Now, the 2008 revision of the Offer to Purchase and Contract brings some clarity to the Seller and Buyer.
In Section 6, the Contract requires the Seller and Buyer to agree that disclosure has, or hasn't, been made that any portion of the property is within a Special Flood Hazard Area.
Let's say the Seller has not disclosed that the property is in a Special Flood Hazard Zone. If the Buyer discovers between Contract and Close that any of the permanent improvements are within a Special Flood Hazard Zone according to the current FEMA flood map, or the Contract is subject to a loan condition and the Lender will require the Buyer to obtain flood insurance, the Buyer may have the right to terminate and receive a refund of all earnest monies.
This seems like a reasonable compromise, and good documentation to avoid surprises. It will place a little more responsibility on the Listing Agent to perform due diligence prior to listing, and offer the Buyer some peace of mind.
NC Floodmaps offers information in all other counties.