Decisive Action You Can Take if Your Land is In a Flood Zone

Decisive Action You Can Take if Your Land is In a Flood Zone

From the video:

Are you feeling lost after finding out that you have land in a flood zone? Don’t worry! Your land still has uses, and you can try to get your property removed from the zone. In this video, Felicia describes the removal process and how you can still make use of your land.

Why do Flood Zones Affect You When Investing in Land?

Flood zones are areas that are at risk of flooding from nearby bodies of water, such as rivers, streams, and coastlines. These areas are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are divided into different risk categories based on the likelihood of flooding.

Flood zone

A flood zone is an area that is at risk of flooding from nearby bodies of water, such as rivers, streams, and coastlines. These areas are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are divided into different risk categories based on the likelihood of flooding.

A flood plain is a flat or low-lying area adjacent to a river, stream, or other body of water that is at risk of being flooded. Flood plains are typically formed by sediment deposited by the water body over time, and they are often characterized by their flat, low-lying terrain.

Flood zones and flood plains are related, but they are not the same thing. Flood zones are designated by FEMA and are based on the risk of flooding, whereas flood plains are physical features of the landscape. A property may be located in a flood zone but not in a flood plain, or it may be located in a flood plain but not in a designated flood zone.

When investing in land, it is important to consider the flood zone because it can affect the value of the property and the cost of insuring it. Properties in high-risk flood zones may be more expensive to insure, and they may also be less desirable to potential buyers because of the risk of flooding. In addition, properties located in high-risk flood zones may be required to meet certain building and development standards to reduce the risk of damage from flooding.

On the other hand, properties located in low-risk flood zones may be more desirable and may command higher prices due to their lower flood risk. However, it’s important to note that even properties located in low-risk flood zones can still be affected by flooding, so it’s always a good idea to research the flood history of a property before making an investment.

What to Do If Your Land Is In a Flood Zone?

If your land is located in a flood zone, there are several steps you can take to protect your investment:

Obtain flood insurance

If your land is located in a high-risk flood zone, you may be required to purchase flood insurance to protect against flood damage. Flood insurance can be expensive, but it is an important protection against the potential financial losses that can result from flooding.

Consider flood-proofing measures

There are a number of flood-proofing measures you can take to protect your land and any structures on it from flood damage. These may include elevating buildings, installing flood barriers, and using flood-resistant materials in construction.

Review your development plans

If you are planning to develop your land, it is important to consider the flood risk and take steps to minimize the risk of damage from flooding. This may include choosing a site that is located on higher ground or designing structures to be more resistant to flood damage.

Monitor flood conditions

It is important to stay informed about flood conditions in your area and be prepared to take action if a flood warning is issued. This may include moving valuable items to higher ground or evacuating the area if necessary.

Work with officials

Local officials, such as city planners and floodplain managers, can provide valuable information and guidance on how to best protect your land from flood damage. It can be helpful to work with these officials to develop a plan to reduce flood risk and protect your investment.

Try to revise the flood zone designation

If you feel that your property won’t suffer flood damage, or that it was wrongly designated, you can try to have the flood map revised.

There are several steps you can take to potentially have your property removed from a flood zone:

  1. Get a copy of the flood maps: You can obtain a copy of your flood map from your local floodplain manager or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  2. Review the flood map: Once you have a copy of the flood map, you should review it to ensure that it accurately reflects the elevation of your property. If you believe the map is incorrect, you may be able to submit documentation (such as a survey or topographic map) to support your claim.
  3. Submit a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F): If you have documentation that supports your claim that your property is not in a flood zone, you can submit a request for a LOMA or LOMR-F to FEMA (more information below).
  4. Consult with a professional: If you are unsure about how to proceed or if you need assistance with reviewing your flood map or submitting a LOMA or LOMR-F request, you may want to consider consulting with a professional (such as a surveyor or an engineer) who can help you navigate the process.

It’s important to note that it can be challenging to have a property removed from a flood zone, and there is no guarantee that your request will be approved. However, by following the steps outlined above and working with a professional, you may be able to successfully have your property removed from a flood zone.

revising flood maps

If you plan on building on your land, and don’t want to pay for the flood insurance, you have to try to revise the flood map before you start building.

If you’ve brought in fill dirt to your property (for building), this could be an opportunity for you to revise the flood map. Don’t forget to get your permit before you fill!

What is a FEMA letter of map amendment (LOMA)?

A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is a letter issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that amends the effective National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). A LOMA is used to remove a property or a portion of a property from a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and to reclassify it as being outside of the SFHA.

A LOMA is based on the results of a professional elevation survey of the property, which determines the elevation of the property relative to the base flood elevation (BFE) in the area. If the elevation of the property is higher than the BFE, the property may be removed from the SFHA and reclassified as being in a lower flood risk category.

Obtaining a LOMA can be beneficial for property owners because it can potentially lower the cost of flood insurance and make the property more attractive to potential buyers. However, it is important to note that a LOMA does not change the flood risk of the property, and the property may still be at risk of flooding even if it is removed from the SFHA.

A LOMA costs around $500 to submit, and can take upwards of 60 days for a response. Make sure you do your homework ahead of time so that when you need to submit your application, everything is done correctly!

Can I build on land in a flood zone?

florida homes built in flood zones
Florida homes built in a flood zone

It is possible to build on land in a flood zone, but there are certain restrictions and requirements that you must follow. These restrictions and requirements vary depending on your location and the specific flood zone in which your land is located.

If you are considering building on land in a flood zone, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your home is safe and compliant:

Check with your local building department or floodplain manager: You’ll need to obtain any necessary permits and follow any specific building codes or regulations that apply to your area.

Obtain elevation certificates and flood insurance: You may be required to obtain an elevation certificate to show that your building is at or above the floodplain, and you may also be required to carry flood insurance.

Elevate your building: In some cases, you may be required to elevate your building above the floodplain in order to reduce the risk of flooding. This can be done by building on stilts or by using fill dirt to raise the elevation of your building site.

Use flood-resistant materials: When building in a flood zone, it’s important to use flood-resistant materials and techniques to help reduce the risk of flooding. This can include using waterproof sealants, installing flood vents, or building with flood-resistant materials such as concrete or brick.

It’s important to note that building on land in a flood zone can be more expensive and time-consuming than building on land that is not in a flood zone. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional, such as an engineer or a floodplain manager, to ensure that your building meets all necessary requirements and is safe and compliant.

I hope you found this helpful! There are many different types of flood zones, and they aren’t all the same. Hopefully now you understand more about the different flood zones that exist and what they mean for your land investing decisions.

Do you want to start your land buying journey?

Compass Land USA can help you with your land investment! Call or Text us anytime at (313) 349-0434 😊


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