The Facts About Buying a House in a Flood Zone

The Facts About Buying a House in a Flood Zone

Are you considering acquiring property in a flood zone? Don’t panic! This isn’t necessarily a poor real estate purchase.

In fact, you may never actually experience a flood! This type of house simply comes with a specific feature with which you must contend. Here’s how to prepare. 

Consult a Practical Interactive Map

As you know, a severe flood can extensively damage a property, sometimes making it uninhabitable while the rebuilding work is carried out. This can be expensive as well as inconvenient. This is why residing in a flood zone is not to be taken lightly. Nonetheless, one must remain mindful that this is all a question of risk assessment.

The first step is to visit the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques’ website to see if the house you wish to purchase is indeed located in a flood zone. The Ministère’s interactive map is extremely precise and not only makes it possible to know if the property is in an identified flood plain, but also shows its true flood risk level.

With this data in hand, you will have a better idea of what you are getting into by buying this property.

Do You Due Diligence

Your RE/MAX broker can inform you about your desired property’s characteristics. Do no hesitate, therefore, to ask any questions and discuss your concerns regarding the flood zone with them.

As an extra measure, why not talk to some of the neighbours yourself? For example, inquire if the area has flooded before and what damage they suffered. Besides, the current owners are required to disclose any water infiltration or flooding that may have occurred through the Declarations by the Seller.

And most importantly, don’t forget to have the house inspected before you go ahead with the transaction.

Purchase Solid Insurance Coverage

Also take the time to talk to your insurance company about what kind of protection they can offer you.

Some insurance providers exclude flooding and other natural catastrophes from their contracts, so make sure you are well protected if you do decide to purchase a home in a flood zone. Some companies do sell policies that include flood coverage, but these are, of course, likely to be more expensive than regular insurance.

Sometimes, this difficulty is reflected in the property’s listing price. This may thereby still be a worthwhile real estate acquisition, despite the high insurance costs.

The Cottage: A Sound Investment

As you read this, you may be wondering about cottages, often close to a body of water, and very desirable for this reason. Indeed, this type of property remains a brilliant investment as there are a great number of people on the look out for a getaway surrounded by nature. You will therefore have no difficulty reselling it, at a profit, if you eventually decide to do so.  

Certain points, however, must be checked to ensure you are making an informed purchase. For example, is the cottage elevated in relation to the water? Is it at the far end of the lot or on stilts? These are the right questions to ask to correctly evaluate the flood risk.

In short, having a house in proximity to water does present a flood risk, but this is not an inevitability. Besides, there are various levels of flooding and sometimes minor water damage can be prevented and contained.

The important thing is to gather all the facts before you sign the promise to purchase, which goes for any real estate transaction. Keep in mind that buying property in a flood zone doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be under water one day. Just think of all the families that have been living near a river or lake generation after generation without any issues. Now, you just need to decide is this is something you are willing to take on.

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.