Whiteboard Wednesdays #11 — Asheville Real Estate Flood Zones
In an area like WNC with sometimes unpredictable rains and fast-flowing mountain streams, flooding is a reality of life. But, while we may come to accept this, it can make buying a house a bit trickier.
It’s not always obvious that a home lies in a floodplain, but it’s critical to know that it does in order to properly prepare and insure your home. By educating yourself about where floodplains lie, you can make an informed decision about whether to purchase a home and, if you do, about the insurance you need to purchase and the steps you need to take to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. Here are three things to keep in mind when purchasing a home that may lie in a floodplain:
- Check – You can find out whether a home is in a floodplain in a few different ways; most easily, you can consult your county’s GIS system or FEMA’s online system. This will specify not only if the home is in a floodplain, but also what type of floodplain it’s in, helping you to better assess the associated risk.
- Insurance – Insurance costs can be significantly higher for homes in floodplains, so it’s important to be prepared for this expense. Make sure you understand your policy and what it does and doesn’t cover. It may also be a good idea to document all of your belongings if you have a home in a floodplain, to substantiate any insurance claims you may need to make in the future.
- Raw land – Generally, if you’re planning to build or move a mobile home onto a piece of property in a floodplain, you will first need a floodplain survey and will then need to meet certain requirements according to the results of that survey.
To find out more and to determine whether your home lies in a floodplain, visit http://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/stormwater/flood_info.htm, https://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/Depts/GIS/Default.aspx, or https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home!