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Old 09-12-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Hello,

I am looking to buy two properties.

1) Lehigh Acres: Storm Surge Zone: E
2) Cape Coral: Storm Surge Zone: A

Can anyone advise if I should purchase flood insurance for these properties. Also is it possible to know based just on the information above?

Thanks,
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Florida Space Coast
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Flood ins is a good idea
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Yes but is there a difference between Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres as far as one is more likely to flood than the other. Also the tax information show different storm codes. Do these show which would be more likely to flood?
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral, FL USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alan View Post
Yes but is there a difference between Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres as far as one is more likely to flood than the other. Also the tax information show different storm codes. Do these show which would be more likely to flood?

Over all Cape is more likely to flood than Lehigh during a hurricane, but it depends on where, how, and direction of the storm. Red Cross is pulling out of Cape Coral for shelters and moving them to Lehigh.

But not to carry flood insurance, in my opinion, a foolish idea.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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Yes, we always carried flood insurance while living in Florida no matter what the zone. The more likely your property is to flood, the more expensive the insurance.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Anyone have any idea what the storm surge ratings given to the two houses mean? These were taken from tax data. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
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Here is a link to the flood zone explanations.
Flood Zone Definitions (http://www.floodinsights.com/floodlookups/floodzon.htm - broken link)

Flood Hazard: check before you buy
Did you know that floods can occur even if you don’t live near a river, lake, or ocean? Areas most prone to flooding are barrier and offshore islands, areas near rivers, creeks, or canals, and low areas including those with elevations of less than 10 feet above mean sea level.

If you are looking to buy a home in the state of Florida, you need to check the flood hazards before you buy. One place you can begin is the FEMA web site at: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info.shtm. It will provide you with general flood information, flood insurance, and flood maps.

Another way to find out about flooding before you commit to buying a home is to check with the local county emergency management department. You would want to check with Lee County. http://www.leeeoc.com/pages/default.aspx and/or http://leegis.leegov.com/ Click on Special Flood Hazard Areas link.

If the property you plan to purchase is within a flood zone, you can purchase National Flood Insurance through a property insurance agent. If the property is located in a flood plain, flood insurance is required when you obtain a mortgage. Flood insurance is available on homes, condos, and mobile homes and most enclosed buildings.

Last edited by TamRE; 09-12-2011 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:57 AM
 
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Thanks Tamre,

I checked the link you gave me. Many different flood rates but it seems different from the ones that the Lee Country official property data shows. That's the storm surge information.

Have you come across that information before? When buying / selling a house do you have a way to find out for the buyer / seller what the flood zone information is?

I thought the Lee county information would be enough but can't seem to find a definition of the storm surge letters.

Thanks,
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Flood Zone A you probably will be forced to buy flood insurance if you get a mortgage.

Most important is to know what the required elevation of the home(Base Flood Elevation-BFE), based on the flood zone map. For example, there should be a number near the A....maybe 12 or 13 feet or 10 feet~. Different properties in A zone can have different required elevations. The FEMA maps specify the requirement. I don't know about the E zone you mentioned. V zone is also flood zone and is usually the most flood prone areas such as the beach.

If you are in a A zone with required 12 feet elevation. This means the lowest level of living area of the home must be at or above 12 feet. For every foot above 12 feet, you get a break on flood insurance premium. There is a survey for the home called an Elevation Certificate. This tells the required elevation and also shows the elevation of that actual home, as measured in the survey. The garage can be lower because it is not official living area.

Older homes that were build before the FEMA flood rules,or built to older FEMA flood rules, could possibly be BELOW the required elevation. These get tricky with insurance and could cost $4000 year to insure. But some that were built before a specific date can actually get real cheap flood insurance, I think. That is why I say it is tricky for the older ones that are below BFE. Homes built 1975~ and newer generally meet FEMA BFE requirements, as a rule of thumb.

You might ask about seeing an Elevation Certificate the confirm the home is at or above BFE.

I heard FEMA has recently changed some mappings. This might make some newer homes be below BFE, if FEMA made the required elevation higher with the new map changes. So you want to check FEMA maps too. They have dates on them. An insurance agent is skilled at knowing elevations and they can access the maps, as they use them to quote flood insurance. So another tool is to contact an agent and give address of existing home and see if they can accurately quote the flood insurance. I don't know if the agent has access to the ACTUAL elevation of the home, which would be on the Elevation Certificate. I know they have access the the REQUIRED elevation, which is in the FEMA maps.

FYI...these elevations are above sea level. 13 feet means 13 feet above sea level.

IMO, stay clear of any home that is below BFE for first floor of living area. The county checks all this as part of new homes being built, so new homes are not able to sneaking in below BFE. The ones that are below BFE were either built BEFORE the rules started or they were built to old FEMA maps that have since changed.

Last edited by sware2cod; 09-13-2011 at 07:22 AM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral
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The elevation of Lehigh Acres is 23 feet. I wouldn't worry about flood insurance there.
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