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:

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, 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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