If you are planning to buy a home, you will need to consider a wide variety of issues that may affect your transaction. While you may be focused on obtaining financing and meeting all of your requirements before your home closing date, you should also take the time to determine whether there are any issues with your new home that you may need to consider. The potential for flooding is one issue that is often overlooked. By understanding your risks and the options available to you, you can take steps to prevent financial losses in the future.
Understanding Flooding Risks and Flood Insurance
Determining whether a home is at risk for flooding is not always an easy task. Some homes are located in high-risk flood zones identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but these zones are not always kept up to date. Even if a home is not located in a flood plain, flooding can still occur due to heavy rain or other weather conditions. Other issues unrelated to weather, such as clogged storm drains, water diverted by construction, or a broken or malfunctioning sump pump can also lead to flooding that may cause damage to a home.
To address the potential risks of flooding, homebuyers can consult with several different types of experts and officials. A city or municipality will have a floodplain manager who can look at whether a home is in an area with a risk of flooding and offer advice about solutions to prevent flooding damage. A floodplain manager can determine whether a home has an elevation certificate that compares the elevation of a home’s lowest floor with the base flood elevation in the area. If a home does not have an elevation certificate, a buyer can work with a land surveyor or engineer to perform a survey of the home and identify flood risks. Buyers will also want to make sure their home inspector can identify water damage from previous flooding in a home and determine whether there is a risk of flooding in the future.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for flooding. Because even small amounts of flooding can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage to a home, buyers may want to consider purchasing flood insurance. This type of insurance may be required if a home is in a high-risk area, but even if there is a low risk of flooding, it can often be a good idea to maintain a policy that will provide coverage for any flooding damage that occurs. Depending on the risks of flooding for a home, flood insurance may cost between $700 and $1,000 per year.
Contact Our Grayslake Real Estate Lawyer
At Newland & Newland, LLP, we provide home buyers with legal help and representation. If you believe flooding is a risk in your new home, we can help you determine the best ways to address this issue in your purchase contract and during your home inspection. We will work to make sure you are protected against financial losses as you move into your new home. Contact our Waukegan real estate attorneys today by calling 847-549-0000 to arrange a free consultation.