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Old 12-18-2008, 07:56 PM
 
324 posts, read 901,989 times
Reputation: 104

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come on, those fema maps/new flood plains were very controversial. the dialogue took several years. there were fema map specialists conducting meetings/taking input over two years ago, all the city councils were discussing the adoption or non-adoption of the new elevations, it was discussed ad nauseum. once they were adopted fema had a huge public info campaign telling everyone that the flood plains had changed, that if you were in the flood plain (now or in the past) you had until Sept. twenty something to buy flood insurance at a reasonible rate, any new polices after that day would cost significantly more. house's in the flood plain were bought (thru extended negotiations) along onion creek and maybe graveyard point on travis by the county commissioners (travis co) to move folks outta the new flood plains. it is a stain on both realtors that you were not informed
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:52 AM
 
11 posts, read 26,603 times
Reputation: 19
I would like to interject just alittle info here for everyone so when you are going to buy a home, build a home or all of a sudden need to get flood insurance you will hopefully have some info to start with. There are a lot of different stakeholders in the Program. And when I say Program I am talking about everything from flood insurance to community ordinances to FEMA to lenders. One of the most important things is that everyone who is part of the Program has a specific set of rules or guidelines if you will. For some these guidelines are in the form of ordinances or congressional acts.The hard part is everyone does not always know the other partners part and one guideline may be in a complete 180 from another’s guideline. This is probably the most difficult part for the homeowners because they may go to a community official who says “you’re not in a flood zone” but their lender may still require flood insurance. Or you may have someone who has never had to pay flood insurance but when they go to sell their home the prospective buyer may need to get flood insurance.
So here are something’s to keep in mind:

I. Communities that participates within the National Flood Insurance Program agree to adhere to certain Federal minimum standards. One of which is that the Finished Floor of a home will be built at a height that is at a minimum equal to or greater than the base flood elevation. This does not mean someone will not have to pay flood insurance. The 180 of this is that if someone applies to FEMA for a LOMA or LOMR, FEMA will look at the lowest adjacent grade, which is the lowest point the foundation hits the ground. This may include your deck if you have one or even your basement if you brought fill in on the lot to raise the elevation to build. This is a huge difference because you could actually have your foundation in the floodplain but still be able to get a building permit.

II.Despite what a lot of people think the statement on your appraisal for the flood zone is not a Standard Flood Hazard Determination and may not always match the SFHD your lender obtains for your loan to determine if flood insurance is required.

III.Lenders cannot use elevation when determining whether flood insurance is required for a loan. The determination is based upon the graphical location of the structure when plotted onto the Flood Insurance Rate Map.

IV.If your lender does not require flood insurance, that does not mean you’re not close to a flood zone. You could have a flood zone 5ft from your home and not know it.

V.Your flood insurance requirement at the time you close your loan is not, and I stress here is not, necessarily your status for the life of your loan. Somewhere at closing you signed a document that states that at any point during the life of the loan if your determined to be in a SFHA you will be required to get flood insurance and if you don’t get it on your own the lender will get it for you. So please if you are told you need flood insurance go get it on your own it will be a lot cheaper.

VI.If your lender informs you that you’re in a flood zone you can always dispute the findings with your lender. They will have their flood zone determination company recheck the certification and if it still comes back in a flood zone you can request an exhibit showing those findings.

So there are a few things, granted not everything, that I hope may help some folks out. This can be pretty convoluted for someone who has never dealt with it and very frustrating. But typically there is always an avenue to pursue it is just getting there.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
28 posts, read 95,567 times
Reputation: 29
Its also worth pointing out that 26% of flood claims come from folks who are not in a higher risk flood zone. If you remember hurricane IKE, this got alot of people into coverage issues.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Round Rock
189 posts, read 291,034 times
Reputation: 74
Cool Follow Up

I just wanted to thank the forum members again for their help and comments. The holidays came and went with last time visitors to our "B&B" then the flu arrived....good times and very bad times. We are just now recovering.

As for the flood insurance, we received a letter from the insurance company about applying for an exemption, can't remember the acronym, but we'll get on that process as soon as possible.

We knew we didn't want to own another house in Houston and Austin is where 2 of our children live, so the Austin area was our first choice. I wanted west, but since we will still have to work in Houston, Round Rock was most accessible and the golf course sold my husband....Sigh, my dream house in Briarcliff will always be my "if only" place.

As out of country buyers we tried to research areas as best we could; potential flood areas were not on our radar for this area at all. I remember asking my agent about Onion Creek; there were some nice golf course older houses that were appealing to us. However at the time (last spring) there seemed to be an inordinately large number of houses for sale in the neighborhood. I asked the realtor about this and he did not know why there were so many homes on the market. Subsequently I stumbled on a Statesman article about flooding in the Onion Creek area and home buyouts, so I did have some knowledge that flooding could be a problem. That said, it was not too bright of us to take the realtor's word on the status of the creek that runs on the other side of the tee box behind our house.

There's not much else to do or say, but it's a lesson learned and anyone looking to buy (if there's anyone left ) be aware and remember what we forgot. The realtor works for the seller not the buyer. I know there are good realtors, we've had a few, but as a buyer, well, be assertive.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:28 AM
 
Location: West Round Rock
433 posts, read 1,016,887 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennibc View Post
It doesn't matter whether the agent is young or not, he is still taking in 3% of that sale price. That three percent could have been 7000K or higher. For that kind of money he or she should be expected to do more than just drive you around to look at houses and help you fill out some forms. He should have specialized knowledge, like where to find out whether a prospective home sits in a flood plane or he or should be keeping up with current events -such as if a particular area is under review for new flood maps.
That criteria would eliminate about 90% of the realtors out there.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,738 posts, read 5,383,644 times
Reputation: 1666
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbnj07 View Post
That criteria would eliminate about 90% of the realtors out there.
Fortunately for us we found one of the 10% that acts like a true professional! Of course, this is the third house we will be purchasing and of the first two buyers agents we dealt with, one was marginal and the other downright crooked. We've learned what to look for from our past mistakes.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:30 PM
Status: "Cool front coming...almost time for Chili !" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Austin, near 4 Points
1,922 posts, read 2,302,694 times
Reputation: 1236
Quote:
Originally Posted by UKjay View Post
I just wanted to thank the forum members again for their help and comments. The holidays came and went with last time visitors to our "B&B" then the flu arrived....good times and very bad times. We are just now recovering.

As for the flood insurance, we received a letter from the insurance company about applying for an exemption, can't remember the acronym, but we'll get on that process as soon as possible.

We knew we didn't want to own another house in Houston and Austin is where 2 of our children live, so the Austin area was our first choice. I wanted west, but since we will still have to work in Houston, Round Rock was most accessible and the golf course sold my husband....Sigh, my dream house in Briarcliff will always be my "if only" place.

As out of country buyers we tried to research areas as best we could; potential flood areas were not on our radar for this area at all. I remember asking my agent about Onion Creek; there were some nice golf course older houses that were appealing to us. However at the time (last spring) there seemed to be an inordinately large number of houses for sale in the neighborhood. I asked the realtor about this and he did not know why there were so many homes on the market. Subsequently I stumbled on a Statesman article about flooding in the Onion Creek area and home buyouts, so I did have some knowledge that flooding could be a problem. That said, it was not too bright of us to take the realtor's word on the status of the creek that runs on the other side of the tee box behind our house.

There's not much else to do or say, but it's a lesson learned and anyone looking to buy (if there's anyone left ) be aware and remember what we forgot. The realtor works for the seller not the buyer. I know there are good realtors, we've had a few, but as a buyer, well, be assertive.
Thanks for the update UK Jay.

Backing up to a tee box is a good thing.....hit 'em straight.
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