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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Floodplain Living: What You Need To Know

So you have finally found your dream home. It’s the ideal size, is in the perfect location, and it is styled exactly how you have always dreamed your home would be. In every single way it is perfect, and then the realtor drops a bomb - it is on the floodplain. That’s one thing no one wants to hear when buying a house, after all, floodplain means that the property is at constant risk of flooding, doesn’t it? 

The fact is that one in six homes is located on a floodplain, so it’s a much more common occurrence than you would think. In the US, flooding is the most common natural disaster to impact homes, which is why it is taken so seriously. Admittedly, it may not seem all that appealing buying a home on a floodplain, but it is a lot more common than you probably realize. 

The question is, what does it mean if your home is on a floodplain and what is the impact, aside from the risk of flooding, of course? For everything that you need to know, have a read of the below guide. 

Flooding isn’t only linked to weather 

There is a common misconception that flooding is only linked to the weather and to storms and torrential downpours of rain. However, that isn’t the case - flooding can be caused by all sorts of things, such as from poor water division from a new construction project close to your home. The fact is that just because a property has flooded before, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will flood again. It might do, but there is never a guarantee that it will do, just like there is never a guarantee that any property is safe from flooding, regardless of where it is located. The fact is that something as simple and unexpected as a clogged storm drain could cause your home to flood at any point, but you cannot live in fear. 

Getting insurance could be an issue 

Getting insurance when your home is located on a floodplain could be an issue. You will be able to get insurance against everything apart from flooding, but you may struggle to get protection against flooding, from your homeowner's insurance, that is. However, most people can’t get flooding insurance as part of their normal policy. Instead, they have to take out special flooding insurance because flooding is such a common problem and has such a widespread impact. It may come at an additional cost but it is one that it’s worth paying for, so that should your home flood and end up needing help from specialists like RestorationEze, you don’t have to pay out yourself, you have insurance to cover the costs. Every homeowner should invest in flood insurance, just in case flooding occurs - regardless of where your home is located, flood insurance is vital. 

The entire property may not be at risk 

The fact is that just because a property is on a floodplain, that doesn’t mean that the whole property is at risk of flooding. There are always certain flood risk zones - you can check these out online - so the entire property may not be at risk, it could just be one part of it. It could even just be a corner of the garden that’s on the floodplain and not the property itself, so it’s worth taking the time to determine exactly where the floodplain is located. If this is the case, it will make your home and flood insurance cheaper, so it is definitely something that is worth doing. 

Adapting could be the answer

The reason that a lot of people refuse to move to a property that is on or near a floodplain is because of the worry that comes with doing so. However, if the property is adapted to be more flood proof, this can reduce the worry that you feel. For example, simply by swapping the downstairs flooring from concrete flooring means that it won’t be damaged, should the place flood. Or, moving the electrical sockets up higher, instead of having them down low, could help to protect them, should the property flood - a lot of homes that are on floodplains have sockets that are located higher up on the walls for this reason. Some homes that are built on floodplains are also adapted to be raised off of the ground so that if a flood occurs, the chances of it impacting the property is low. Properties can be adapted to be flood proof, and it is important to realize that. Today, many people choose to build houses on floodplains because the land is cheaper and combat the risk by putting their properties on stilts. By having a property that is raised above the ground and above flood level, you can live happily on a floodplain without being impacted too severely by flooding. 

Understand the risks 

It is vital that before you consider making an offer on a property that you understand the risks that come with it. Take the time to research the property and how many times it has flooded in the past 100 years or so. It could be that it has only ever flooded once and it wasn’t a severe flood, or it could be that it floods every single year without fail. By understanding what the risks are, you can determine whether you are willing to take these risks for your dream property or whether you would prefer to continue looking elsewhere. Take the time to think things through and then do what feels right for you and your family. 

So there you have it, your guide to floodplain living. Hopefully, the tips and advice above have told you everything that you need to know about life on a floodplain. The fact is that no one wants a house that floods, but just because a property is on a floodplain that doesn’t mean that it will flood, it depends on a range of factors, from which are of the plot is at risk to how the property is built.