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Old 07-10-2018, 09:20 AM
 
2,616 posts, read 2,533,885 times
Reputation: 4261

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Easiest solution: don't buy a house that has ever flooded. There are thousands and thousands that have never flooded. Sellers are required to disclose flood history.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Texas
65 posts, read 27,875 times
Reputation: 114
Look for a house that is elevated above the street. Most of the better master-planned developments are built that way.

If you are not in a floodplain and your front walk/driveway slope upward 2-3 ft to the level of the home slab, it is very unlikely that water will ever enter the home. Make sure the back yard drains properly out to the street also.

Last edited by Birdman03; 07-10-2018 at 09:29 AM.. Reason: spacing
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh N. Hills / Houston-Clear Lake
8,156 posts, read 26,416,529 times
Reputation: 4395
You can start with this before you buy a house:

Harris County Flood Education Mapping Tool

Then see if a home you like flooded during Harvey. If it didn't flood then it probably won't flood at all. Probably being the key word... But there are notorious parts of town that flood regularly you can avoid. The local news shows them year after year and I wouldn't be surprised if the national news starts jumping in on that.

We personally didn't have street flooding during Harvey but we were stranded in our own neighborhood for a few days as the streets around us were flooded and everything was closed. Have a hurricane supply kit for that.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,693 posts, read 2,835,177 times
Reputation: 6079
You can buy supplemental flood insurance that covers far above the 250K max. You can essentially get it up to the replacement cost of the house (or near to it) as long as you are willing to pay for it. That's what we did because we live in a floodplain in the Clear Lake area. I'm of the opinion that that flood insurance should be a requirement, certainly for anyone who lives in an AE area like myself.

Having said that, the best strategy is to mitigate your flood risks to begin with.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:27 AM
 
13,723 posts, read 25,291,765 times
Reputation: 8657
Quote:
Originally Posted by txdemo View Post
Easiest solution: don't buy a house that has ever flooded. There are thousands and thousands that have never flooded. Sellers are required to disclose flood history.
(Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results)
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:24 AM
 
14,806 posts, read 18,801,729 times
Reputation: 11772
I bought where I'm high and dry
only thing that I'm fighting is the socialists that want to raise my taxes to pay for their stupidity of buying where their house can flood.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:20 PM
 
85 posts, read 131,645 times
Reputation: 118
Okay, I think it's time for a reality check about flood insurance. Yes, I certainly am in favor of having it, but it is not the panacea that some people seem to believe it is. Also, many people don't seem to realize that flood insurance does not work like other kinds of insurance that people are more familiar with like homeowner's and auto.


The bottom line is that the costs of a flooded house will likely be much higher than many people realize, and flood insurance will only pick up part of the tab - in some cases, a horribly small part of the tab.


1. Just because your flood policy limit is a certain amount does not mean that this amount is what you will get for a settlement. A flood insurance adjustor will examine your home/damages and determine the pay-out. In some cases, the payouts will be quick, trouble-free, and high enough to actually cover all or almost all repairs. But in many cases, the pay-outs will be grossly low-balled, and trying to get more from the insurance company will be a nightmare that can go on for months often to no effect.


2. "Remediation" of the house in the immediate post-flood period is essential to keep mold and rot from proliferating in Houston's climate. This means having flooring, drywall, etc.. ripped out; house dried our with fans and dehumidifiers; and anti-mold treatments. This will probably run $6.00 - 8.00/square foot or more. Flood insurance will pay for most - not all - of this. The remediation cost is deducted from your overall insurance settlement for "building" repairs; leaving that much less to repair the house.


3. With a few very limited exceptions that apply to very few people in a few circumstances, flood insurance does not cover many expenses AT ALL - including:
a. Temporary housing costs while the flood repairs are being done.
b. Storage of household goods/furnishing while repairs are being done
c. Mover's costs to bring household furnishings to and from storage
d. Flood-related damage to ancillary property structures (e.g., fence that was "washed-out') or
landscaping (e.g., shrubs or bushes uprooted by rushing water)


4. After a catastrophe like Harvey, the demand for home repairs, contractors, building materials, city/county building permits and inspections, etc.. was and continues to be extraordinarily high. Repairs will typically take much longer than usual (think many months) - which is not only stressful but increases the costs in Item 3 above.


(And this is not even considering the risks of monetary losses from crooked fly-by-night contractors and scammers).


5. The top-limit FEMA flood insurance coverage for "contents" (household furnishings and personal effects) is $100,000. Wow - sounds like a lot. But go through your home/garage and add up the cost to replace everything with brand-new. You may be very surprised. For most middle to mid-upper class Americans, the cost to replace everything will be a lot more than 100K.


6. In the bizarro FEMA world of flood insurance, there is no such thing as "full-replacement value" payment for "contents". Everything is depreciated according to FEMA-mandated formulas, depending on type of item, original cost, and age of the item. So for many items, the insurance payment will be much lower - as much as 50% or more than the actual replacement cost. Also, flood insurance makes no allowances for the extra value of art works, antiques, etc....(On the other hand, within policy limits, flood insurance will pay 100% of the cost to restore flood-damaged items).

7. Flood insurance may not stay "cheap" in flood-prone areas like Houston and other parts of the Gulf Coast, even with all the subsidies and other political aspects of FEMA. Also, auto insurance companies paid gigantic sums to repair and replace Harvey-damaged vehicles. I will not be surprised if auto-policy hikes will be a side-effect of Harvey as the auto insurance companies try to protect themselves against the increased risks in flood-prone Houston.


8. During Harvey, many thousands of homes flooded that had never flooded before, including many that were outside of flood plains (as least according to the current maps). There is absolutely no guarantee that a house that has "never flooded before" won't flood in the future.


9. The most amazing thing post-Harvey is how everyone seems fixated on just "flooding". Some hurricanes cause relatively little flooding but tremendous wind-storm destruction and other such damage.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Woodlands, TX
1,170 posts, read 594,698 times
Reputation: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bre_payne View Post
Me and my boyfriend are from the DC, Maryland and Virginia metropolitan area. But because we hate townhouses and realized how expensive for a young couple in the DMV we are looking to move out of state. We both fell in love with Houston. In the next 2 to 3 years we will be in the market to buy a home. We are a young Black couple Who will also be starting a new family in the next 4 to 5 years. I have family that already lives in Houston (the Katy area to be specific) and I am intrested and living in either the Katy area, Sugar Land area, or Sienna Plantation area. One of the things that concerns me about Houston is the flooding issue. I'm aware that there is flooding insurance, but I've also heard rumors that flooding insurance doesn't completely cover you in the event of major floods like Harvey. I guess I want to understand more from the residents that live in Houston how they deal with flooding . I would think it would be detrimental to constantly repair your home.

Use this website for research. Best I have found. Overlays Fema maps and other info over a Google like map. Lots of cool features.

Just plug in addresses of homes you are looking at.

FloodTools.com

Basically stay away from any place red or orange. The darker orange or actual red, the more chance of flooding.

Last edited by Texas Minded; 07-11-2018 at 05:32 PM..
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:10 AM
 
2,616 posts, read 2,533,885 times
Reputation: 4261
Quote:
Originally Posted by imback View Post
Okay, I think it's time for a reality check about flood insurance. Yes, I certainly am in favor of having it, but it is not the panacea that some people seem to believe it is. Also, many people don't seem to realize that flood insurance does not work like other kinds of insurance that people are more familiar with like homeowner's and auto.


The bottom line is that the costs of a flooded house will likely be much higher than many people realize, and flood insurance will only pick up part of the tab - in some cases, a horribly small part of the tab.


1. Just because your flood policy limit is a certain amount does not mean that this amount is what you will get for a settlement. A flood insurance adjustor will examine your home/damages and determine the pay-out. In some cases, the payouts will be quick, trouble-free, and high enough to actually cover all or almost all repairs. But in many cases, the pay-outs will be grossly low-balled, and trying to get more from the insurance company will be a nightmare that can go on for months often to no effect.


2. "Remediation" of the house in the immediate post-flood period is essential to keep mold and rot from proliferating in Houston's climate. This means having flooring, drywall, etc.. ripped out; house dried our with fans and dehumidifiers; and anti-mold treatments. This will probably run $6.00 - 8.00/square foot or more. Flood insurance will pay for most - not all - of this. The remediation cost is deducted from your overall insurance settlement for "building" repairs; leaving that much less to repair the house.


3. With a few very limited exceptions that apply to very few people in a few circumstances, flood insurance does not cover many expenses AT ALL - including:
a. Temporary housing costs while the flood repairs are being done.
b. Storage of household goods/furnishing while repairs are being done
c. Mover's costs to bring household furnishings to and from storage
d. Flood-related damage to ancillary property structures (e.g., fence that was "washed-out') or
landscaping (e.g., shrubs or bushes uprooted by rushing water)


4. After a catastrophe like Harvey, the demand for home repairs, contractors, building materials, city/county building permits and inspections, etc.. was and continues to be extraordinarily high. Repairs will typically take much longer than usual (think many months) - which is not only stressful but increases the costs in Item 3 above.


(And this is not even considering the risks of monetary losses from crooked fly-by-night contractors and scammers).


5. The top-limit FEMA flood insurance coverage for "contents" (household furnishings and personal effects) is $100,000. Wow - sounds like a lot. But go through your home/garage and add up the cost to replace everything with brand-new. You may be very surprised. For most middle to mid-upper class Americans, the cost to replace everything will be a lot more than 100K.


6. In the bizarro FEMA world of flood insurance, there is no such thing as "full-replacement value" payment for "contents". Everything is depreciated according to FEMA-mandated formulas, depending on type of item, original cost, and age of the item. So for many items, the insurance payment will be much lower - as much as 50% or more than the actual replacement cost. Also, flood insurance makes no allowances for the extra value of art works, antiques, etc....(On the other hand, within policy limits, flood insurance will pay 100% of the cost to restore flood-damaged items).

7. Flood insurance may not stay "cheap" in flood-prone areas like Houston and other parts of the Gulf Coast, even with all the subsidies and other political aspects of FEMA. Also, auto insurance companies paid gigantic sums to repair and replace Harvey-damaged vehicles. I will not be surprised if auto-policy hikes will be a side-effect of Harvey as the auto insurance companies try to protect themselves against the increased risks in flood-prone Houston.


8. During Harvey, many thousands of homes flooded that had never flooded before, including many that were outside of flood plains (as least according to the current maps). There is absolutely no guarantee that a house that has "never flooded before" won't flood in the future.


9. The most amazing thing post-Harvey is how everyone seems fixated on just "flooding". Some hurricanes cause relatively little flooding but tremendous wind-storm destruction and other such damage.
Also, don't forget cost of tetanus shot.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Houston
1,105 posts, read 849,185 times
Reputation: 1174
The people I know whose homes flooded live near streams ("bayous") that are major drainage arteries. The ones whose homes didn't flood live away from such streams. So ... I think that one can mitigate the risk by researching before buying a place. If you look at maps of areas inundated previously, you can see that the affected areas tend to parallel the streams. In my case, I am not affected much because I live in a high-rise, which also happens to be in a neighborhood that is not affected too much. The street by me does fill with water at times, but it drains rapidly ... such that driving in or out is only affected for a very short time. The main thing that does bug me is power outages, but that problem seems to have been solved by pruning a neighbor's tree that would touch our power lines.
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