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Old 01-26-2010, 07:37 AM
 
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My husband told me we received a letter saying that our home in Bedford has now been reclassified into a Flood Zone and we will need to take out flood insurance...

Anyone else effected by the Corps of Engineers decisions to enlarge flood zones in areas that HAVE NOT FLOODED...

I know this enlarging of their previous scope is due to the massive flooding several years ago when some of those shallow creeks/overflow water ways jumped their boundaries and did real damage...and some people were really POed because they had no clue flooding was possible...
We have had high water in the creek/rain channel behind out house many times over the 20+ years the house has been there, but it never came out of the creek bed...even during the torrents when it rained every day for a month.
How is this likely to affect the value of that home--anyone know?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Default Word of caution

we got letter from our mortgage company about our Bedford house--
it is now declared to be in a flood zone--requiring flood insurance

nothing from the city--nothing from FEMA directly to us--

tried to find out why since the house has not moved, the creek/rain channel behind the house has not moved, the house has not flooded -- even in the bad, bad rains several years ago
why now...
can't get an answer from my city engineer who says that FEMA decides that (but he was nice and spent time talking to me--said he had gotten lots of calls)
called FEMA and the person they gave me to did not know how to work the mapping system FEMA has on line to check your flood zone status--how great was that...
supposed to get someone to call back with more specific info
I have looked at the current FEMA zone map and the one from 2002 which the new one replace and frankly I can't tell a difference AT ALL between where the lines run....
no one came out and did a survey
They apparently just decided based on some calculations (of what specifically I can't find out) that our house is now in flood zone
and many of the people on either side of the creek behind the houses...

very frustrating
expensive and who knows if it is really necessary
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Resale can be a bit more challenging... I just went through this with a buyer I was representing. It was going to raise his insurance premiums anywhere from $400 - $1000 per year versus buying a home out of a flood zone. That's not to say it's impossible to resell - it's truly personal preference of the buyer and whether or not they're willing to pay the premium. It's funny you mention this because the owner that was selling the home had no idea his property had been rezoned into a flood zone... he did not have flood insurance and his mortgage company in 2004 did not require it when he bought the home... we found out after making several inquiries since there is a drainage ditch behind the home. The owners have never seen the water rise above the top of the ditch! Go figure.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
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How much is flood insurance?

This does sound pretty odd. Please keep us updated. I'm sure lots of us live on or near creeks.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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someone with my ins agent is trying to see if some of the information about our particular circumstance can be used to reduce insurance--
normally insurance that I guess is on a level with what we have for the house now is 4K --
but there are ameliorating circumstances that might reduce the payments

I got copy of the new FEMA map with our house on it from the Bedford Public Works person I spoke with today--it is weird--the line of flood plain makes a chevron type mark into our garage--other wise the house still would have been outside the flood plain line near as I can tell

why a house with a level foundation would have a triangle (basically) of flood plain come into the middle of your garage--not a straight line across all of it and the yard--which again--we are talking where something slopes but all of it slopes the same way---toward the ditch--
I don't get it and the person I talked to at FEMA was less thank knowledgeable--did not know how to use the maps--did not know anything about why MY house vs other was now in flood plain vs a year ago when it was not...
have to call someone there about the maps and try to contact the head of the dept (which is the person the Bedford guy referred me to--he was not available when I called) trying to find out what they did with their figures that made OUR situation different...
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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was that house in Bedford--you describe our house perfectly--until our son wanted to move back in when he found out he was getting a divorce--we were planning to put the house on the market--did a big remodeling job to get it ready...

the city public works guy told me 3 neighborhoods in Bedford had homes affected
I just think it is criminal that FEMA and the city are not mandated to SEND YOU A LETTER telling you this--I knew FEMA was reviewing the records but every time I called the city--3 times more than a year ago--I got
we dont know anything, FEMA is in charge of this, but they did not refer me to anyone with FEMA specifically--
today the guy with the city said that they might have done something to alter the channel of the ditch which might have affected the flood zone...
I can't see any difference to the maps--the current one and the one from 2002--except some areas are now marked AE which means their flood zone height is known--
our ditch is still marked A -- which it was before--but the ditch does not come into my garage--which is where the flood line is showing--
they did not come and shoot a new topography map, come and survey MY property, do any kind of water flow/velocity test when there was water in the ditch...
and the funny thing is that I think they are more worried about the storm drains at my intersectin in the front of the house and the corner behind us than the creek itself--because the rain flows into storm drains and then into the creek...
so they are thinking (I assume) that the storm drains wont be able to process the run-off water into the creek--and the water will back up from there...
IF there is nothing blocking where the water needs to flow--past my house into a large piece of undeveloped land--then I won't have a problem--
BUT the city does not want to condemn the land--someone owns it and has tried to sell it--they would really be pissed if it was labeled as unbuildable--
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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Hopefully they've done far more research than you know.

A house we rented for a year during 2006/2007 by all general accounts shouldn't have any flooding issues, yet the 'perfect storm' indeed caused problems.

The summer of 2007 when it rained almost non stop for days on end and the ground was completely saturated, we got a two flash floods with over 5 inches of rain in less than an hour on two separate days. The ground could not absorb it. The drains were full and flowing, so they couldn't handle that amount of rain that quickly either. The water had no where to go but on top of the ground, heading down hill. When it landed on the street below us, it had no where else to go. They had about 2 feet of water in the street. As that particular street had had issues before, they had cut down the street to much lower level in order to keep the water out of the houses, and none of those took in water.

When that street was full, it backed up into our street and one house over, in the intersection it was over my knees when I walked out into it. (rain had stopped and the water was just sitting there waiting to find an opening to flow into)

The house we were in was higher than the other side, which did get water in many of the garages and some houses. On top of that, all the rain from the houses/streets behind us came flowing down through the yards about 3-4 inches deep. It flowed around the house and filled our porch, but thankfully didn't go through the front doorway. But as soon as it hit the side of the garage, it went under the side and into the garage. Had we not been home and able to constantly sweep it out, we probably would have had at least 2 inches of water in the garage.

So, while under normal circumstances there would be no worry about flooding, this particular set of circumstances indeed caused it to flood, even though it was for less than an hour each time. After it quit raining the system worked exactly as it should have and the water went on it's way. It was a true flash flood.

We moved shortly after all that, so I have no idea if it affected the insurance or not.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:03 AM
 
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during the storm that you mention--the water of the run-off creek behind our house never left its banks--we had no water from the street come up into our yard or either side--

I understand what you mean--and frankly I think they are more worried about the sewer capacity than the creek after what they saw during that storm---
but I can't see some of the "logic" behind their decisions....

this house is on a corner--4 way stop intersection
the house across the street to the left (facing north) had line come up to exterior wall of garage--the house to the left of it--at a higher elevation (even if only less than a ft maybe) had the line come up to the inside the garage...

on the map that the Public Works guy gave me-- for the houses that are to the right of my house--only two houses--my next door neighbor and the house next to them were included--even though the houses further down the creek are lower in elevation, and closer to where the water pools before crossing into Colleyville and a larger creek watershed area which is noted for flooding when there is just some heavy rain--not "flash flood" or month long rain--there at gates across the road that are used to close road to traffic when the rain is hard/fast...

I just think it was done in a very arbitrary manner--the public works guy told me there was no specific water flow survey done with surveys and computing the flow of water run-off...
so their decision is going to affect my ability to sell this house at some time in the future--
the question is "would you buy a house in the flood plain"==
99% of people are automatically going to say no...
talked to my RE person last night about this and she agreed that it really harms the value of a house--but there are so few houses in this situation that it is difficult to say what the real damage is...
10--25%, 50%--
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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I'm assuming you've looked into getting a LOMA? Normally a surveyor can get you an elevation map to submit to FEMA and they can revise the map, I did this with a property in IL that at the top of a 50' hill, but was otherwise in the floodplain, they amended the map to exclude my property. You should really fight this determination if you can. Like you said, it really will lower your property value, especially if your neighbors aren't included in the map.

Here is a link to the FEMA process:

http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/ot_lmreq.shtm
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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I think they have decided that the elevation is not the only factor in play--I think the storm drain situation--where they are located in the community, how much run-off they can handle, and where they drain to--has made as much impact as the elevation

if they have raised the elevation height because they think the storms drains are inadequate to handle the runoff in certain areas and that inadequacy might lead to flooding of homes in immediate area
then we are screwed--
because I don't think we WILL have the height to be out of flood plain
we aren't on the high ground in our subdivison
but for what it is worth--the houses that are down stream from me on my side of the street--not all of them had their property on/inside the revised limit from what I could tell from the portion of the map the Public Works guy printed for me...
that is what I don't understand...
if everyone on my side of the street below me also had their property changed I would not necessarily be happy but I could see some logic...but that was not the case...
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