@Patricia Kennedy just wrote a post on "Do you understand flood planes (plains)" ? In the comments, an ActiveRainer asked, "Can you give us a place to start when wanting to obtain a flood plain map for our area?" In answer to that, Yes: I'd be glad to. Obviously, living on and working in the lake area, this is a question I deal with on a regular basis.
To determine if your own property, your listing or the house your client is considering buying is in a flood plain, use this link:
Once there, enter the property address you want to know about in the search box. This will take you to an overall view of the specified property. Once here, click on the "Interactive Map". Re-enter the property address in the search box here and it will give you a close up map of the property and tell you what flood zone it is in.
Now then, is your property of concern in a SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area) ? If that is even a possibility, you NEED to be sure and you then have two options. The first option is to use local resources. You can contact your local clerk's office and ask to see their FEMA maps. If you have a working relationship with a quality appraiser, a quick phone call may get the answer. Most have topographical map information on area properties and can easily answer a "yes it is" or "no it isn't" in the flood plain question.
The second option is a little more involved. You can use this link:
to get a list of, . . . . . you guessed it; . . . . . flood zone determination companies.
(Gold Star for your correct answer) Some are specific to one area or the other of the country while some are nationwide. These are the companies most lenders use to determine if the property used as collateral on the loan is in a flood plain. For a nominal fee, they will certify the property one way or the other.
One additional side note. Don't let a SFHA designation immediately close the door to doing a deal. Prime example; my sister-in-law who lives next door. Though her property shows as being in the flood plain as a whole because she has lake waterfront, her house is well above (nearly 100 feet) the actual flood plain by elevation. We got a certification on the property showing the "residence" was NOT in the flood plain and she was exempted. A simple waiver based on the certification allowed the loan to proceed without delay.
As we have seen this past week in South Carolina and in past incidents around the country, people frequently say "I had no idea we could have a flood like this" Unfortunately, floods occur most anywhere and being aware and prepared in advance is critical.
Serve your client well and know the answer to this important question in regard to every property transaction before they ask. It only takes a minute or two to find out. Sharing this information with your client could literally mean the difference between life and death.
** SPECIAL NOTE: For those of you who haven't read it yet, please go to my blog of 10-05-15 titled "Help, if you can !" In that blog I gave the web links to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. We just had volunteers leave from here headed to a two or three week deployment in South Carolina to help those folks. Those trucks don't run on empty ! They are fueled up and loaded up with supplies that cost money. As the blog asked, please . . . . . "Help, if you can !" Thank you.
Deanna Early is a Nationally Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. She is the residential loan originator for American National Bank and Trust. She provides home mortgages, construction loans and lot loans. She does both purchase and refinance loans.
Her website is www.DeannaEarly.com
Please contact her for your financing needs at (540) 721-2349 or by email at "email@example.com"