Wet springs and flood insurance

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

This is the wettest spring I can remember since 1993. I also remember a pretty wet spring in 1999. I remember it distinctly as my wife and I were enjoying our first spring in our new home. It had been pretty wet all spring and early one morning in late may, the clouds let loose with nearly 4 inches of rain in less than two hours. I had awoken early that morning and had gone for a walk. We lived on 5 acres in the country and I loved taking early morning walks along the country roads. I got back home before the rain started and had laid down for a quick nap in the living room. I had fallen asleep pretty well when the rain started in earnest. I had enjoyed listening to the rain hitting the window above the couch for a while, when I decided it was time to get up and start the coffee. Well I never got the coffee started because as my shoeless feet hit the floor with a squish, I knew something was amiss.

 You see, we lived in a slab home at the bottom of a 150 feet long driveway that at that moment was doing its best to act like a small tributary and our garage, kitchen and living room were acting like the river basin to catch the swiftly rising water. We were lucky in that we were home at the time and had the good sense to open the two back doors of the house so the water coming in under the garage door and front sill plate of the home would have an escape route out the back of the house. If we had not been home and those doors remained shut, the buildup of water in our little three bed ranch home would likely have risen at least half-way up the walls and caused much more damage.

I was a 2nd year Realtor at the time and had just closed the previous day on a sale of one of my listings. It was a hard sale as the lender had determined within the last week before closing that one corner of the back deck of this home was in the 100-year flood plain and had require the buyers to put flood insurance on the home. The buyers had argued to no avail with the lender, and finally relented and paid the hefty premium at closing for their first years flood insurance. That wet may morning, while I was tromping around in two inches of muddy water on my beautiful now-really-off-white carpet, those new homeowners were watch the rising creek waters behind their ranch on daylite, finished basement begin to lap at the bottoms of those daylite windows. When all was said and done, they had over four feet of water in their basement. They lost their carpet, furniture, water heater, furnace, many personal belongings still in moving boxes, and had to cut out and replace all of the drywall up to chest level. Along with that hefty premium of $800 they had to shell out the day before at closing, they had to come up with another $1,000 deductible, but for $1,800 total, they got all restored to like-new condition and have been thankful they lost that argument with the lender ever since.

There is a reason flood insurance is required and when our buyers want to complain about having those high premiums to pay, help them understand the consequences of not having that coverage. Or tell them to find a house on a hill!

Comments (1)

Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs
I bought flood insurance 10 years ago when we had about 20 inches of rain one day. I am a believer. It only cost $300 per year. We are in a Hurricane zone and have never sold a home where the people did not buy.
May 08, 2007 04:07 PM