home inspections and flooding

Home Inspections and Flooding

Due to the excessive rain we’ve had in Tampa the last few days, we felt the need to share a little information on home inspections and flooding. The down-pouring of rain these last few weeks have made living in Tampa feel more like living in Seattle. While this much rain this often isn’t year-round, it can certainly cause issues for many homes around the Tampa Bay Area. This is especially true for homes located in flood zones, specifically in South Tampa, and along the shoreline. Flood hazards directly effects the buying and selling of a home. As we’ve mentioned in a few of our past blogs, inspecting a home during the rain can actually be a really good thing. In addition, and for any home-buyer, here are a few questions and warning signs to look out for when purchasing a home in South Florida.

The Flood Zone

As always, it is the seller’s responsibility to let you know if the home you are considering purchasing is within a flood zone. Although it is the seller’s duty, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. especially living in Florida in areas like Tampa, South Tampa, St. Petersburg, Treasure Island, North Tampa, and even Land O’ Lakes areas. All over Tampa are flood zones and there is a good chance your future home is in one. Don’t assume the seller will let you know, go ahead and ask them. Even if the house is not in a flood zone the neighborhood could experience some flooding when there is substantial rain and you’ll want to know about it ahead of time. You can also enter the home address into FEMA’s Flood Map to find out.

What Flooding Can Cost You

Living in Florida means no basements, so you don’t have to worry about your basement flooding if you’re in a flood zone. If you live, or are planning to live, on the coast then you should already be familiar with the mandatory standards for coastal flooding. Living in a flood zone also has some costs associated with the location, such as higher insurance premiums (much higher in fact!), difficult access in and out of your driveway or neighborhood, higher maintenance costs on your home, or even more maintenance on your car if you experience a substantial amount of travel during flooding. Be aware of the extra costs before committing to a home within a flood zone. Of course, during our home inspection if we see any signs of flooding within or around the home we’ll be sure to give you all the information you need.

Deal Breaker or Not?

Should flooding issues be a deal breaker or not? This question is a little tricky because there are so many flood zones all around Tampa that excluding these homes would narrow down your options considerably. That being said, ultimately it is your decision. Flooding issues can vary in intensity and you may find that the flooding issues near or around your home are minor, making a small impact on your decision. The more information you know about your future home, the better!