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Flood insurance on Lake Sinclair

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

Well, one of our deals has hit a snag.  Surprise Surprise.  This time it's flood insurance.  I've been posting about this issue for a couple of years.  In 2008 FEMA mapped Putnam County.  The maps are perhaps (how can I say this nicely) a little LESS than accurate.

It's a catch 22.  You can't avoid lender flood insurance without a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) after you submit an Elevation Certificate to FEMA for review(this is a lengthy process).  You can't get flood insurance in the amount you need from your insurance company unless you provide an Elevation Certificate putting you in the flood zone.  So for a buyer it usually means delays in closing.

And for those sellers out there who own their homes outright, no mortgage and don't have or have to have flood insurance, if you are thinking of selling you may want to consider the LOMA anyway because your buyer just may be getting a mortgage and trust me on this, he can't get it without knowing if the property needs flood insurance or not.  And the "flood cert" ordered by the lender is wrong wrong wrong more than 50% of the time because they just might be looking at those Less than accurate maps.

Today I talked with a seller and explained the new lender was requiring flood insurance even though the seller and I both know that his house is clearly above the "magic" number that puts it out of the flood zone.  The insurance company for the purchaser will not issue flood insurance unless it is IN the flood zone.  So our alternative is to get the Elevation Certificate (in the sellers name) and have him apply for the LOMA) which typically takes 60 to 90 days.  BUMMER. 

This seller was already paying for flood insurance after his own current lender made him two years ago.  Could he have NOT paid it these past two years and NOT had a problem at closing?  WHY yes!

If you live on Lake Sinclair and are currently paying for flood insurance you MAY NOT NEED IT.  It is worth the cost of an elevation certificate, a few photographs and applying for a Letter of Map Amendment to get your property removed from the flood zone.  Call me and I'll be happy to explain the process a little better if you don't understand what you need to do.

Or just call a local surveyor and get started.  Out of the approximately 100 people I've assisted with getting started on this process only ONE owner still has to have flood insurance.  And even if you don't have a mortgage and are not paying for flood insurance if you plan to sell your home, you should address this issue now.  The seller I talked to today wishes he had known how to take care of this issue, and we'd be closing on Monday.

PS- it's not my seller (we represent the buyer on this property)

Also if you need to have a surveyor issue a "Certification letter" for your property or dwelling several are now doing this for less than the price of a full survey.  This is a list of local surveyors from our "preferred" list.

Edwin Thompson 478-414-1241

J.E. Smith 478-452-1182

Ogletree and Chivers (Philip Chivers) 478-453-3454

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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


Broker License # 169695  Lane Realty License # H-11420

Real Estate Instructor License # 355089

Call me today for all your Lake Sinclair real estate needs.

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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Tammy: I would think if sellers could stop paying a premium for their flood insurance, they would be very happy to meet the expense of an elevation certificate.

BTW: I was looking at your photo in yesterday's blog thinking to myself how much WORK those babies must be!! I mean, somebody has to even cut those little tiny fingernails!!! Cute, though.

Oct 18, 2011 03:42 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Hi Elizabeth- these days I only want the kind I can give back to the mama and daddy when they need that work.  :)  I like the hold them while they are happy and sleeping kind.   And I think so many home owners are completely unaware of the LOMAs and think when they get that letter from their lender they have to just pay.

Oct 18, 2011 04:27 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Unless the ice caps melt and it rains for another 40 days/nights . . . you may be on to something!!  Elevation certificates . . . hmmmm . . . makes sense to me! 

Oct 18, 2011 10:11 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Carla-  I don't see that occuring... the ice caps melting... at least in my lifetime.  LOL 

Oct 18, 2011 10:35 AM
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hi Tammy, as lakefront specialist myself, the FEMA regulation and its updated map can be a big hurdle in the process especially if it does not require flood insurance prior to the selling process. How much is the elevation certification in your area? Thanks T.. M

Oct 18, 2011 11:34 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Runs $300 ish... depends on if you want them to mail the paperwork, take the photos ect.... Haven't seen one more than $400 though.

Oct 18, 2011 12:16 PM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Tammy, its no wonder we make the big bucks!  This was such a thorough and helpful post.  Much better for sellers and buyers to be aware of potential issues long before they are immersed (pun intended) in the lake property buying process.

Oct 19, 2011 01:13 AM
Robert Hammerstein -
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Tammy - You are doing a great service to your customers and potential clients in the future. Elevation Certs certainly makes sense to do on a lakefront property.. Good luck and much more success to you.... Great ideas to pass along...

Oct 19, 2011 07:11 AM