In many parts of the country, property and flooding go hand in hand. Even minor flooding caused by a thunderstorm can have serious financial and health consequences, so it’s important that homebuyers in Minnetonka understand a property’s potential flood risk prior to investing. Advance Survey & Engineering is here to help.
Consult FEMA Flood Maps
FEMA flood maps are one of the most useful pieces of due diligence available to homeowners. And whereas decades ago these maps were only available in hard-copy form, today they can be viewed online in FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center. All you need to do is enter the address of the property you’re interested in, and the map will confirm whether the property/neighborhood is flood-prone or not.
Keep in mind that FEMA’s maps undergo periodic revisions, so you may need to consult the Flood Center a couple of times in order to get the most current analysis. Also, these maps represent an assessment of an area, as opposed to an accurate report of an individual property – so you’ll still need to do some onsite legwork and research. Pay special attention to any dams or reservoirs near the property, as these are significant factors that influence “flood potential”.
Consider Purchasing a Flood Insurance Policy
The majority of homeowners’ insurance plans don’t include flood insurance – even for regions that could be characterized as mid/high-risk. It’s also interesting to note that over a 30-year period, a homeowner living in a low-risk flood zone is still five times more likely to experience a flood than a fire. With these facts in mind, the fact that the average flood insurance plan costs only a few hundred dollars per year could be money well-spent, depending on where your property is located.
Before purchasing flood insurance, read the full policy and understand what’s included – and more importantly, what’s not. For example, flood insurance usually doesn’t cover things like temporary housing, a flood elevation survey, or mold/mildew damage.
Have The Property Professionally Surveyed
A flood zone elevation survey, such as the type provided by Advance Surveying & Engineering, is an invaluable asset for establishing a property’s flood risk. As mentioned earlier, flood maps frequently change, as does the criteria for determining risk level. A qualified, licensed surveyor has the tools and expertise to determine whether or not the property has been accurately designated to accommodate a flood zone.
A professional survey also includes creation of a Flood Elevation Certificate, which a homebuyer can use when determining the need for flood insurance. For example, if the desired property is designated by FEMA as being in a flood zone, but a survey confirms that the home/structure is in fact positioned above the flood elevation level, the buyer can ask for the property to be removed from the flood zone. Doing so alleviates the need for flood insurance.
Our Surveys Provide Peace Of Mind
In addition to a flood zone elevation survey, our surveyors near Minneapolis provide a range of engineering services, from construction and topographic surveys to easement descriptions and final plats. Contact us today and enlist our expertise for your next project.