How To Check If A Home Is In A Flood Zone

Dated: 03/20/2017

Views: 2560

How To Check If A Home Is In A Flood Zone

Flooding Is No FunWhen looking for a home, you need to fully understand all costs involved. You could have your heart set on a specific home, pay for a home inspection, get through P&S and then get submarined just prior to Commitment by finding out the home is in a Flood Zone and the additional monthly expense makes the home unaffordable. 


There are actually 18 different flood zones, and if the home you’re considering is in a flood zone, the type of flood zone will greatly impact the cost of insurance. For example, a home in a Zone C or Zone X will have little to no cost of annual insurance. You can read about the different flood zones here: http://www.floodmaps.com/zones.htm


There are 3 ways to check if a home is in a flood zone:

  1. Ask the Seller as part of your Due Diligence on the home. A good agent will investigate this as part of the process of a pricing analysis on a home… and yet we know that not all agents are created equally. If the Seller currently has a mortgage and the home is in a flood zone, the lender will require the owner have flood insurance.

  2. Contact your insurance agent. If you’re not able to get an answer from a Seller (especially if the Seller has lived in the home for a LONG time or the Seller owns the home “free & clear”), your best resource is your insurance agent. 

  3. Visit FEMA’s Online Flood Map Service Center. If you go to https://msc.fema.gov/portal, you can simply type in the address of the subject property and see what FEMA has to say. I would caution that the online mapping service IS NOT DEFINITIVE as I have seen maps returned that show a home is not in a flood zone yet the Seller is paying for flood insurance as may be required by the current lender.

Here is a sample walk-thru for a property I sold on Beaver Dam Road in N. Easton, MA.

  • Go To FEMA's Flood Map Service Center

FEMA Flood Map Service Center

  • Enter the address, verify the location on the Locator Map down below, and select to "View Map"

Verify the location in the Locator Map then download the map

  • Inspect the map to see if a designated flood plain is noted.

FEMA Flood Zone Map


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