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Posted by
Alan Hester

How do I avoid homes with flood damage or should I?

I'm nervous about homes that have flooded during Harvey. I see some for sale with obvious flood damage. My understanding is that this type of information must be disclosed. Is that true? How can I determine what areas were impacted?

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How do I avoid homes with flood damage or should I?

By Alan Hester   
Posted on Feb 03, 2018 in Topic: Home Buying
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I'm nervous about homes that have flooded during Harvey. I see some for sale with obvious flood damage. My understanding is that this type of information must be disclosed. Is that true? How can I determine what areas were impacted?

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  • Thank you everyone for your responses. I know of certain areas to avoid like River Plantation and Timber Lakes that flood during a heavy rain storm. I lived in the Houston area my entire life and Allison, Tax Day and Harvey are the examples of flooding I had in mind. You\'ve helped alleviate my concerns.
    about 8 months ago
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Asked by: Consumer
Posted: 9 months ago
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Rhonda Ferris
about 9 months ago
#1 AWARDED - BEST ANSWER
Hello Alan,

I understand you concern about purchasing home that may have flooded. It almost seems that no area in Houston wasn't effected by Harvey. Deciding to purchase a home that once previously flooded is totally a personal decision. It is impossible to determine if a property will flood again, just the same as it is impossible to determine if a property that has never flooded will flood in the future. I feel that it is everyone's best interest to contact their insurance agent and probably should get flood insurance.

Yes, a seller must disclose if a property they selling has flooded in the past. Form TAR 1406, "Seller's Disclosure Notice", Section 3 asks, "Previous flooding into the structure;" and "Previous flooding onto the property". This is something that the seller must complete. If they don't answer those two questions I would inquire as to why they didn't. Could they lie, of course but I am not going to go into that understandably. There are a some seller's that are excluded from providing a Seller's Disclosure Notice such as foreclosed properties. In this case I would ask the neighbors. If they are not nice and don't want to answer your question then you probably don't want to live there anyway.

Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions. If you are looking for a Realtor that will help you purchase a property I would love to hear from you.

Rhonda Ferris
Sales Associate
RE/MAX Associates Northeast
713-819-7372

about 9 months ago
Diamond
Cagdas Acar
about 9 months ago
Hi Alan,

It is the legal responsibility of the sellers to disclose the any flooding happened to the property within seller's disclosure. The disclosure should explain how long and how much it is flooded and any remodeling, remediation done afterwards. Addition to the disclosure, Realtors can find out the areas mostly effected from the Harvey and avoid you from those areas.
As mentioned, Harvey was one of the biggest disaster that resulted extensive damages. A lot of houses was hit by Harvey. I have listed flooded houses. They got remodelled and upgraded, mold treated and inspected. And personally they are no different from non flooded property even better with all newly done and upgrades.
You might ask these questions before consider buying previously flooded houses. Has the house been professionally mold treated ? and has mold free certification ? Who does the remodelling, ask for warranties, bills, receipts etc? Do the neighboors fixing or already fixed or selling away their homes or how soon they will finish their remodelling ? how does the neighboorhood look like ? Is there any change on flood maps and flood insurance policies ? Was it first time flood ? What the county or MUD has done or doing to prevent, mediate the future flood, example the bayous and ditches has been widened and deepened ? The financials ?

If you need further information You can call me 832-283-1091

Regards,

Cagdas Acar
Msc PSA VLB Realtor
832-283-1091
acarster@gmail.com
www.cagdasacar.kw.com


about 9 months ago
Diamond
Francois Delille
about 9 months ago
Alan,
Although the seller (and his agent if he is aware) need to disclose previous flooding. What if they do not? It is not always easy to seek legal action.
My typical due diligence would include checking previous insurance claims (flood claim are not public but homeowner insurance claim details/timing may give you hints of previous flood). Simply door knocking on the neighbors' door might be the best if you have doubts. I typically learn very useful facts from the neighbors.
Best.
francois@cozy-homes.com / 713 397 8857


about 9 months ago
Platinum
Christopher Dayanand
about 9 months ago
I would not rule out flood houses. I can understand the houses that are in flood zone and got hit few times. There were some awesome houses that got flooded maybe once or twice. As long as they used reputed contractors to rehab the houses, I would close my gates on them. Also many of the first and second time hit were due to not direct rain flood but dam reservoir opened up.

We also have many inspectors who have become really good inspecting flooded homes. Check the credential and experience to get that flood house inspected thoroughly.


Chris
832-859-8698
ChrisRealEstatePro.com


about 9 months ago
Platinum
Ryan Kohn
about 9 months ago
I would agree with most previous responses. Yes, seller is required to disclose previous defects, repairs, flooding as well as prior insurance claims filed, within the scope of current sellers knowledge. You can also request current seller to request a Flood history report from Fema, especially useful if seller is not the original owner. This will only provide previously recorded insurance claims. If a prior owner flooded and did not file a claim, it won't show up. Personally, I would not rule out a home that only flooded in Harvey. This was a historic event that isn't likely to happen again. It is also not the only indicator, I know homes that did flood in harvey but never before. I also know of homes that flooded in Tax Day floods last year, but did not in Harvey. But, stay within your comfort, there is a specific search tool for homes that Did or Did not flood in Harvey so you do have the ability to look specifically for homes that did not flood in this event.


about 9 months ago
Diamond
Veronica Mullenix
about 8 months ago
Great question! The answer is “it depends.” It depends upon the quality of the rebuild of the previously flooded home. It depends upon whether your lender will need a new survey and elevation certificate for the home. These items will add to your closing costs. It depends upon whether or not your insurance company will insure the property and what the cost of the insurance premium is. It depends if the property flooded once in Harvey (a unique event) or whether the property floods every time it rains hard. It depends whether or not the property now ‘requires’ FEMA flood insurance and the cost of flood insurance, or if the property is still in the flood insurance is not required zone; which makes the flood policy a dramatically lower cost. It depends upon many variables. Keep all your options open and be open to all homes in your search area. Your Realtor should be skilled enough to help you navigate through all the details related to surveys, elevation certificates, insurability of the property, etc. If all the variables can be vetted and you like the home, a skilled Realtor can possibly negotiate a very sweet deal for you on your new home. All of the above depends upon which Realtor you choose. Buying a home post-Harvey shouldn’t be a scary thing. Choose a highly educated and skilled Realtor, and you will be just fine.


about 8 months ago
Bronze
Laura LoGiudice
about 8 months ago
Best piece of advice I can give you if you're really concerned is have your agent do some foot work and knock on neighbors' doors. They would know! I've had to do this even when the seller's disclosure stated that the home didn't flood, my clients wanted to know about flooding in the streets, access in and out of the neighborhood, etc. so I asked the neighbors. The part about should you avoid flooded homes...all depends on how well the homeowner remedied the property post flooding. All the posted answers are excellent.


about 8 months ago
Disclaimer: Answers provided are just opinions and should not be accepted as advice.
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