Deb's Lake Conroe Real Estate & Stuff! : FEMA Reshapes The Landscape of Our Business...

FEMA Reshapes The Landscape of Our Business...

I received two calls today from my blogs about FEMA from local residents! It is a double edged sword since I am reporting and explaining bad news. August 16, 2011 the new FEMA flood maps became official.

FEMA MAPS REVISEDAs of today, Wells Fargo customers are receiving their Flood Certification Notices. Others may be too. The new maps are now replacing the old and the perimeters are much, much different. Homes that once showed in the "safe zone" or the "C zone" are now showing in the "A zone". What does this mean? This means that their property has just been bumped into the "YOU HAVE TO PAY EXTRA FOR FLOOD INSURANCE" zone. All maps have been re-zoned to include many more properties and acres in the 100 year flood zone.

A nice local gentleman said, "hi, I came across your blog on FEMA and the new Flood Zones and I have some questions. I received a notice from my lender, Wells Fargo today stating that I am in the "A zone". I read your blog where it said you were getting quotes for as much as $20,000 per year for properties that are in this zone". I explained that I managed to find a man that could cover the home for as little as $569.00 per year with a request for grandfathering.

Problem is, the gentleman I spoke to today purchased his property in 2009 and I am not certain how long you must be in your property before you can become grandfathered.

Oh "sigh". I was afraid of this. All chaos is about to break loose.

This is going to cause a great many FORECLOSURES AND SHORT SALES. People are not going to be able to afford this kind of money on or near the water.FEMA MAPS REVISED

For all new closings: A lender must provide a notice of SFHA (special flood hazard area) to a purchaser within ten days of the closing. If the borrower does not comply by purchasing the insurance within 45 days the Federal Government will require the lender to force and choose insurance for the homeowner. This price on the insurance can be exorbitant!

ADVICE: If you feel your property is above the water level of the dam then I recommend a survey. It is called an Elevation Certificate and runs around $350.00 in this area. Most surveyors are equipped with laser equipment that can handle the job. Once you receive your survey with the elevation, photos, legal description you will turn this in to FEMA. If it shows a mistake then you will be re-zoned. This could help on your price.

Be sure and check with your insurance provider and then check with the FEMA certified insurance providers for separate quotes. The quotes can vary  by a huge amount of money. My personal recommendation is:

Gary Blome
Fax 800-456-9830

I spent days looking for him so feel free to save yourself a lot of time and trouble and give Gary a call.
Good luck to all.
This is another change that will be reshaping the entire landscape of our business.


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Comment balloon 86 commentsDeb Brooks • October 04 2011 10:45PM


Deb: Living at Canyon Lake I read this once but will have to read it a few more times. I know many folks that need to know about this. We live above the dam and hopefully we won't be part of this. Thank you for sharing. This is important information. A suggest and a Google Plus for this one for sure.

Posted by Carl Winters over 7 years ago

Huge impact on sales of homes in flood zones.

Also affected will be neighborhoods nearby that are not in any flood zones.

We have only one section of Mesquite that is in a flood zone at all, maybe 5 streets.  But their value plummeted after they were rezoned into a 100 year flood zone.  Then the home values on the next street, and the next ... same homes same neighborhood.  It snowballed and now the homes within a 2 mile radius have lost value, too.  The flood zone homes were used as comps for homes that did not require any flood insurance at all.  It is still snowballing.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) over 7 years ago

Dear Deb - I am sure that was a is amazing how they come up with other ways to bring on more demands for the homeowners who are still trying to hold on.  The state of Florida allowed an increase in insurance rates to pass as well...  What incentive do people have if they keep taking the little bit they do away?  Them going up in difficult times makes them fearful of where they will be in the future....that fear I blogged about today.  :(  So sorry..  I think sometimes they are just in outer space.  They have profited for many years now....& didn't cut back or give back? 

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) over 7 years ago

I hear you Deb, but the other side of the story is the thousands of Texans without flood insurance who have their homes destroyed and want fema to reimburse them or buy them out.  Phose who want to live on the water need to assume the responsibility for living in a flood plain instead of exspecting the rest of the world to bail them out financially when a flood occurs every few years.  I need to go check the new map, I may be one of the "adjusted map" victims myself...

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) over 7 years ago

Deb, I am so sorry to hear about this for you and homeowners in the area.  That is going to have a very large impact on everyone.  Glad you are able to assist homeowners, they need someone knowledgable like you.  Maybe it will bring you some buyers/sellers as well.  --Krystal

Posted by Krystal Knott, Breckenridge CO Real Estate & All Summit County CO (LIV Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago
Deb, finding out what flood zone a house is in is something I have always done as a part of my own buyer's due diligence for myself. The maps are readily available online, and if the house is even close to a flood area, then a determination needs to be done before making an offer, or as a part of an offer contingency.

Now, with new maps affecting houses that were not affected before buyer's agents need to make sure their clients take the flood zone into consideration.

Melville Capps


Posted by Melissa Ostrom & Melville Capps Newton MA - The Mel and Mel Team ((617) 388-3151 | Century 21 Commonwealth) over 7 years ago

Marge, so we have to keep taking from Peter to pay Paul? Perhaps if our government would become a bit more responsible with the waste of our dollars there would be enough to keep all citizens safe?I do hope you are not in the flood zone! Let me know if you are. I would be interested to find out how much they are trying to get you for! Good luck with that one.


Pam, I am finding that it's difficult for all the people but think of the elderly that are on a fixed income. Another few hundred a year could take food from their tables. I find it difficult to see why the maps had to change so drastically in the first place...where are people suppose to be coming up with all this extra money anyway? Print a little more money? I will read your post. I'm looking forward to it.


Virginia, it seems like every move our gov't makes at this point is another huge wave of force to cover our economic survival. I don't get it. I'm so sorry that happened in the neighborhood. Their comps should be trashed and should remain equal. Ugh.


Carl and Ceil my dear friends! Canyon lake is a leasehold isn't it? It may not affect you the same way. Boy, I don't know! After you find out will you let me know? We have a small leasehold lake in the area too. That is a wonderful question! Oh yeah...I asked it! miss you two.


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

Justin and Krystal! Yea, but it affects everyone! This is a Federal change! This affects every house in every town in every state! They will be making some big bucks on their new take if they don't cause everyone to lose their homes! Thank you for coming by! I love seeing you here.

Melville, you got it! These new flood zones are going to change most everything will have to do some more due dilligence. In fact WE ALL WILL!! I feel very sorry for the unsuspecting homeowners. ;-)


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

Deb, not a pleasant surprise but great info for buyers. It will be a lot of disappointments. Another reason for buyers to hire a LOCAL knowledgeable agent like you are.


Posted by Anna Dovger, Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX (Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607) over 7 years ago

Deb - I had been hearing reports of the changes but had not heard of anyone that had the changes.  We do not really live in a flood zone where we are in San Diego, we just fall into the earth here.  I am sorry though that so many homeowners or potential homeowners may lose their home, or not be able to afford a new home because of these changes.  I pray good will come from this for you.

Posted by Kym Wright (Prudential California Realty) over 7 years ago

Something buyers need to be aware of before they find their dream home in a costly zone.. I really have nothing good to say about FEMA..

Posted by Stacey Smith, Your Orange County Beach Cities Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Deb - Thank you for sharing quality information on FEMA reshapes the landscape of our business.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 7 years ago

Hi Deb!

I just experienced that a couple of weeks ago with one of my listings.  It changed the 100-year zone line for my sellers and it was a pretty big mess trying to get it straightened out--and it was Wells Fargo who was representing the buyer too!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 7 years ago

The FEMA 100 year flood zones do deter some buyers from selecting a house that's in one of the zones. It is too bad all homeowners can't be grandfathered in. As you say, some will not be able to afford the increase in insurance premiums. However, all of the disasters in recent years has taxed the FEMA reserves so I understand that they need to respond. Lake and ocean front properties are not the only ones affected by flood zones. The damage from the river flooding earlier this summer devastated many businesses and farm land.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) over 7 years ago

Thanks for all the work in coming up with this recommendation. The new flood zones will be an issue that will harm many new buyers. Thanks for the post Deb.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 7 years ago

Hi Deb-it seems like a kind of ironic situation since your area is experiencing the worst drought since the 1950's and is expected to last 5-10 more years.

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) over 7 years ago

Hard to even imagine flooding with our lake so low and the drought we are in. However, we all know how much rain can be dumped very quickly here.   This will open up an entirely new set of problems for our area.  Will stay tuned.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) over 7 years ago


We have issues here with the Chattahoochee River and it's tributaries, and the 100 year map has been updated ... and not in a good way. It is causing a lot of problems for sure!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 7 years ago

Deb not surprise you received the calls since you provided information both buyers and sellers need to know.  With all the recent disasters the flood issue has been elevated and more will be required to have flood insurance.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 7 years ago

Water, water everywhere but not a dime to pay for it. I too see this and FEMA with their broad stroking of their Floodway mapping have devalued many lots in my area taking away thousands from the owners. And now this . . . 

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago

Deb,  this is bitter sweet.  But the residents in Conroe TX are very lucky to have you getting the word out. Unfortunately your area isn't the only one affected.  Our Eastern counties are seeing changes too.  Nice of you to give a shout out to Gary Blome too!  

P. S just noticed the 71 Featured Posts well done!!

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 7 years ago

Exellent post! we see this every day with homebuyers, Realtors and lenders.... Educating buyers and due Diligence will prevent any surprises :) I posted a blog about the 86 federal disasters this year by FEMA so they are looking to recoup the $25 billion.... 

Posted by Frank Laisch, "The Insurance Guy" over 7 years ago

Yep! I wrote a post about this, too.  It seems to me the insurance companies are trying to build back what they have spent from all of the natural disasters and this is how they are doing it.  Some of the homes that are now in the "flood plain" are ridiculous. I'm not saying that God couldn't chose to flood all of Houston, just that if some of these homes go under, there is no amount of flood insurance that will cover what will be happening in Houston.  

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 7 years ago

Hey Deb,

Great information. I will look for your original blog.  Maybe you can post a link within this one. Funny, it doesn't rain here but we have to carry flood insurance, and pay more now! Thanks for sharing information!

Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Criado Realty ) over 7 years ago


I knew this was coming. I have a client who is involved in the redraw. Expanding the flood zones is not a good thing for the real estate industry right now.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago
We have an area in Georgia that was hit pretty hard in 2009 and many areas were rezoned, so thanks for sharing! I may ave to repost....
Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) over 7 years ago

This is need to know information. Thanks for the post and for the information.

Posted by Laurie Clark CRB Angel Realty LLC Your Monument Realtor 719-502-6572, Angel Realty, LLC (CRB-CCSS-ASD-HBS-RSD-Denver Short Sale Agents) over 7 years ago

Hi Deb,  Any change resulting in increased expense to home owners is always unwelcome.  However, consider the alternative if something major happens a we have seen on the evening news several times already this year !  Then people scream about how this agency or that agency didn't do its' job properly and look to the gov't to bail them out !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 7 years ago

Like another has said, new flood maps have affected some homeowners here in metro Atlanta--even those miles away from the usual flooding areas and were unaffected by our 500-year floods of Sept. 2009.

I have good friends who live in a community on Lake Conroe and have a business on Hwy 105. They're now calling it the Land of the Parched Earth.

Posted by Don Duvall (Chapman Hall, REALTORS, Atlanta, GA) over 7 years ago

A couple years ago, I noticed a whole subdivision now has to get flood insurance due to a change in the flood map. What a shock to the home owners there.

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 7 years ago

What a great post and a great service to home owners in your area - glad it was featured!

It surprises me which little pockets of Tulsa are in serious flood zones.  I'm assuming we will get new zoning notices also. Better start doing a little investigating for my geographic area!

Posted by Lori Cain, Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer (eXp Realty) over 7 years ago

Anna, not pleasant at all. I feel bad for the fixed income set especially!

Kym, Please don't fall in??? I would miss you. And, I promise that I can swim!

Stacey, It has been mis-handled like most anything else!

John, you are so very welcome!



Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

Debe, I think we will all be running into this more than we realize. Places you would never thought would be close to a flood zone are popping up here! I'm so glad you got it worked out.

Maria, it has affected the resale of houses to a degree that won't be felt for a few's gonna get worse.

Tom, thank you too! We all have to be aware of this!

Marco, it does seem ironic doesn't it? Geesh. I would like a good downpour right now. We can easily walk 200 feet out to the water in some spots. This is where water use to be. It is so sad. Wasn't it a 7 year drought in 1950? They planned for our lake to last 7 years due to that very drought. I think they were being very optimistic though. It's already low on year one.

Paula, everything looks so sad here. Our big trees are dying and there's virtually nothing we can do about it.

Richard, I can understand how it's causing havoc! The odds of the tributaries ever flooding to that degree is 1% per year...thus the 100 year flood plain. Man, our government stretches it doesn't it?

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

Hi Deb, great post. When Fema came into our area and cut a huge swath of homes into a flood area, there was a huge outcry. Things finally settled down and Fema had to re-do their maps which were not accurate to begin with. What a mess.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) over 7 years ago

Thanks for the interesting and informative post! I do wonder how many people this will affect and to what degree it will affect them.


Posted by Vivian Gilbert, ASP, RESA (Home Staging by Vivian LLC) over 7 years ago

I'll admit I have not looked into these new maps in detail, but I can share my experience form 10 years ago.  Just after I purchased my Lake Oconee farm, new maps were put in place that showed my home within the 100 year flood plain.

Took me several hundred dollars to prove the obvious - sitting high on a hill, my home would not be affected by floods unless the entire town was under water.

It turned out that those maps were done under severe budget cuts, and they used 10 meter elevation date that missed all kinds of topo changes.  With GPS and elevation date available so inexpensively now, I truly hope they improved their maps.

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) over 7 years ago

This is all a part of a greater agenda called United Nations Agenda 21.  Our real estate business is forever changing because of this agenda and so is America.  People need to wake up and understand this.  Rural land is under attack by the EPA and the executive branch.  Any land that is a "water shed" and 65 percent of America's land mass is a water shed is subject to greater regulation.  Any land that has water, etc or water flowing through it.  All major metropolitan areas are subject to greater enforcement of urban growth boundaries which will be a huge penalty for those not living in the urban growth boundaries.  "Smart Growth" is not so smart!!!  We need to wake up America.  Property rights and the ability to build wealth via equity in land, etc. is critical to our freedoms!  We must preserve this right. 

Posted by Justin Padgett (Black Dog Real Estate, Inc.) over 7 years ago
Yep, received a Wells Fargo notice two days ago for our oceanfront beach house...since we are in a high erosion zone already, not sure how much worse it can get, but will be sending the notice to our insurance company today, so I guess we will find out!
Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 7 years ago

Shocking they don't have to be told they're in a flood plain until after the closing.  Please do post links to your other flood zone posts, Deb.

And I saw one commenter that mentioned the maps easily findable online - the ones I used to find, I can't find anymore. Can you direct me to these maps?


Thank you!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 7 years ago

We live in NE Ohio.  We received notice from our lender that the new maps put us in a flood zone. When I talked to FEMA someone there admitted they didn't actually do any measuring, just looked at  proximity to any waterway and changed the maps.  We jumped through all the hoops: survey, forms to FEMA, etc.  They exempted us.  In short, if homeowners think the maps are incorrect, it is worth the money to dispute.

Posted by Carol over 7 years ago

Thanks for the great informative post!  In Southern Oregon we are crisscrossed with rivers and I am now working with buyers who desire riverfront property.  This information will certainly help me to help them make their decision to buy, or not to buy on or near a river!

Posted by Sharon Vest (Century 21 JC Jones American Dream) over 7 years ago

Deb, as a sidebar to the FEMA info, I like (regarding #41) your picture as-is. The more social we become online, the more our personalties show. It is actively marketing you as an enthusiastic and energetic person.  Thanks for the head's up on what to expect from FEMA too. :)

Posted by Kate Kate over 7 years ago

Great information, Deb!  Thanks for sharing this!

Posted by Michelle Fradella-Barfuss, Author of "Top 10 Mistakes Agents Make When Market (Marketing Coach - ERA Brokers Consolidated) over 7 years ago

Thanks for your post, Deb.

I need to become familiar with the new flood map for Maryland and D.C.


Posted by Thomas F. Kennedy, Esq. - Montgomery & Howard County Real Estate (Oz Realtors) over 7 years ago

Hi Deb, One of my deal fell through because of flood insurance. I was the listing agent for a property where flood insurance is required. We got a contract from a buyer whose qualifiying ratio,  was marginal. The buyer's agent did not read the disclosure that property is on a flood zone and that sellers were paying flood insurance .Eventually, the deal fell apart because the buyer could not get approved because the additional cost of the insurance pushed the monthly payment beyond the qualifying ratio:(


Regarding the elevation certificate, this is correct. One of my buyers was able to save thousands of dollars in flood insurance by getting one from an engineer.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) over 7 years ago

WOW, What a can of worms!  I will have to check out the new flood zones for our area here in

Arizona!  We actuallyl do get floods!  Thanks for shaing!  Carefree Marilyn

Posted by Marilyn Montaigne (Options and Opportunities ) over 7 years ago

We are from th government and we're here to help...don't you just love it?

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) over 7 years ago

Ugh!  Thanks for posting this "need to know" information!

Posted by Patrizia "Trish" Giassa, The Shannon Aronson Group (Keller Williams Realty, North Central New Jersey) over 7 years ago

The government has to make money some way for all the overspending that has occurred.

Posted by Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem (Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551) over 7 years ago

Same good advice regarding FEMA here in New Jersey. Thanks.

Posted by Gregory Bain, For Homes on the Jersey Shore (Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance) over 7 years ago

I think our flood insurance program is really teetering on the edge and I make sure all my buyers know what they are getting into -- especially since all the chaos in Vermont and parts of the northeast hit by record flooding recently.

Was funding for flood insurance extended past September 30th? Can anyone even get flood insurance right now?

Posted by Debbie Durkee, ALC, CRS -- Land & Country Estates near Tulsa (Coldwell Banker Select, Realtors -- Tulsa, Oklahoma) over 7 years ago

Yet another reason i am glad we moved to Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

Big brother, the over grown government is out of control. Never ending Rules, regulations and red tape... Good bye freedom, choices and taking personal responsibility.

Sad the greatest nation on earth is falling off a cliff.

Posted by Jonas over 7 years ago

Thanks Deb for the post.  I'll be checking with my insurance professional to see whether our flood maps have changed.  They were last done here in 2006 and, yes, they changed then and they'll change every time they are redone.  Part of that is because our waterways are always changing.  Part of it could be, as Susan (39) says, they were under budget restraints that affect output. 

 We want no gov interference ahead of a disaster but unlimited help when when we're overwhelmed by the actual power of nature.  No rule or regulation or lack of rule or regulation will satisfy everybody.  None of these situations are black or white but it will feel that way because overall fairness will still mean pain for somebody.  


Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

Deb,  What we need is more government intervention.    Wrong!!!   Mortgage companies have always had a good handle on flood insurance requirements.   Your post is timely...I need to check into changes in my area along the Gulf Coast.   Thanks!

Posted by Michael Dolezal, REALTOR, Pensacola, FL (Main Street Properties) over 7 years ago

This happened to me and sellers right after we had an accepted contract.  Just 3 weeks prior, the new flood maps were established but the sellers did not get any information about it.  Of course, when the mortgage company found out we were asked why we didn't disclose this information.  Everyone was shocked how things changed so quickly.  The sellers negotiated to pay the first year of flood insurance for the new buyer, and they are extremely lucky the buyer didn't back out.  Personally, I would never want to purchase in a flood plain as there are too many homes not located in one, and that's an extra annual fee for the insurance and it makes the property more difficult to sell.

Posted by Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 7 years ago


Where I come from, FEMA is definitely a four letter word.  Even though my home and businesses are in flood level "B", almost all of my transactions and personal investment properties are in flood level "A".  All of my properties have flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  This means that despite living in the most famously hurricane affected city on the planet, it only costs $500 per property for flood insurance.  We all know that insurance companies are the biggest crooks out there but, did you know that 25% of all flood damage in the US each year is not even in high flood risk area. 

Posted by Brett Richman, New Orleans Louisiana Real Estate (Summers/East Coast Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Deb, having been a disaster response general contractor for the past 24 years and having worked in the aftermaths "mano y mano" with FEMA and myriad public and private emergency service organizations, I can personally attest to the fact that in every instance the bar was raised.

I worked in the aftermath of every major earthquake in California since 1985, I've cleaned up after floods and fires all over California and I spent a year in Florida after the fearsome foursome hurricanes ravaged almost the entire state in '04.

With every disaster be they earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes or tornado's, etc a new benchmark is established by government, the scientific community and most dramatically by the insurance industry. With earthquakes and hurricanes in particular science and industry test and research the damaged components that were used to stabilize and secure structures of all types and sizes from mobile homes to multi-story buildings.

With this research new stratagems, designs, and evaluations take place and decisions are then made on how to upgrade and improve a failed technology. Floods are a species unto themselves inasmuch as each flood has its own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. In recent years we've had some unusual patterns impact areas that may have never been hit before. Thus the bar is raised.

Finally, FEMA is going broke and a lot of insurance companies have taken such heavy hits that their balance sheets are coming into question. If folks, and I say this with compassion and empathy, are willing to build a home in a disaster prone area they need to pay the piper.

Our economy is struggling more today than it has since the Great Depression and with unemployment being where it is our tax dollars just don't stretch that far anymore. We can't just keep printing more money every time there's a major disaster so it has to fall back on the homeowner. It may sound hard line but I just don't know how else America can hang in there if we keep bailing everyone out of every predicament they get themselves into.

Sorry about my rant. Maybe I should clean this up a little and post it. LOL!

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) over 7 years ago

I look at this at another opportunity for the government to strip away private property, and for the corporate insurance companies to make more money.   We are experiencing the same process with Fema in California, and several deals have been crushed to learn that more expense to go out for insurance. 

People we need to take back our country and stop these crooks from stealing us blind.  

Posted by Rod Pierson, Northern California (Results Real Estate Inc) over 7 years ago enforce another important point here. Sell where you know!!!! An Elevation Survey??? WOW, never heard of such a thing, but certainly understand it.

I hope that these homeowners are able to find reasonable insurance. It's like all the hurricanes that went through Florida...I think insurance there is now pretty expensive as well.

Nothing like holding a gun to our heads now is there!

Great information for your readers!


Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale ( |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) over 7 years ago

Deb, such great information Deb and many of my surrounding coastline communities need to deal with flood zone coverage (personally i do too)..there can be minor discrepancies and i always encourage clients to get an elevation is worth the

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

This is a very sensitive area.  I understand there are many that have to live in Flood Zones and sometimes a Flood Zone is poorly defined.  Sometimes projects create flood zones.  At the same time I am tired of paying for million dollar beach houses built in Hurricane Areas because the Government or my Insurance Company subsidies es the risk.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

 I live on the Washougal River in Washougal, WA. Our local government did a "spotty" review a couple years back to determine which homes on the Washougal river are in the flood zone. The codes are not reflective of which homes are actually in hazard flood areas. The review SHOULD be done during the rare flood times. The river gets high every year but only gets high enough to flood basements about every 6-8 years. Most homes do not suffer any real damage. Many homeowners have designed "flood doors" to allow water to flow in one side of their basement and out the other. Many other homeowners just sandbag to deter the water away from the home.

 Thanks for the FEMA article. It is going to make a difference on a sale I have pending. The buyers are having trouble getting an FHA loan because of this stop block.

Posted by Jill Watts, A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point! (Realty Pro, Inc.) over 7 years ago

What new flood maps? All I heard was that they were still pending. I looked on FEMA website and saw some pending there too. What subdivisions or areas are being changed, or is the whole county getting new maps?

BTW, this happened to a lot of Houston res. a few years back when they got the new flood maps in. It really didn't shake up the market as a whole, but it did affect certain homeowners.

Posted by Sarah Conway over 7 years ago

I assume the new flood maps you are referencing are a local or regional re-mapping that has just been published for your market area.

Other areas of the country would be hit by this whenever the applicable local mapping was completed.

Is this not correct?

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 7 years ago

Canoe believe it?

I like maps and nobody wants their insurance to go up. However my home insurance did by about 15-20% this year. Should we be surprised that FEMA now has new maps? Most people will still not even know about the changes unless it affects them directly. Will be interesting.


Posted by Brian Schulte, SFR, Sierra Vista, AZ (Allison James Estates & Homes) over 7 years ago

Hello Everyone!

I was surprised to find all these new comments when I logged in today. I want to thank you for them. I am going to try and answer each of you to the best of my ability. Several have asked for other links and I will do this first.

Joette, you may have misunderstood. It is in fact a requirement to disclose the fact the home is in the flood zone. The client will know before closing as the Title company will do a map search before insuring the property with Title Insurance. It will be one of their requirements too.

Off to find the links.

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

This is my original FEMA post when I was just finding out I had a listing in the flood zone. It was a shocker to me and we lost the sale over it.

FEMA And The New Flood Zone Creates Havoc In Real Estate


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

To SARAH CONWAY, if you will contact your City Planner's Office they can send you a copy of the new zoned maps for your area. They can tell you if you are in the flood zone! Good luck.


Brian, how funny! Boy, canoe you make a pun!


Jim, this is NOT local. This is FEDERAL. It will affect your area too.


Jill, it sounds like you are living in a very challenged area already. It will affect you. Sounds like a river out of control!


Gene, I doubt the million dollar beach owners can afford it...


Ginny, let me know if they crack down on your area too.


Thom, you may still come across it now...must know the area you work!


Rod, unfortunately it looks like it will happen even if that is not their intent.


John, I understand your rant! Sounds like it would make a great post! Go for it...


Summers, I didn't know that statistic. wow. Yes, you can get flood insurance at that price although you have to be GRANDFATHERED. Try buying another property and check out the prices. Times they are a changing.



Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

About 8 years ago FEMA amended some of their flood maps here in Florida to include one of my rental houses in a flood zone.  I was able to pay a surveyor about $500 to file a petition to FEMA to have the flood map amended to exempt my property out of the flood zone.  It took about 6 months or so, but after that no more flood insurance required. 

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Rob, yes they did amend it then. They actually do this every few years. The surveyor is the one that evidently did the Elevation Certificate! When a surveyor proves that your home is enough above water level then the map will still change for the good. Better check with the City Planning office and double check to see if it's back in the flood plain. All is new now. Good luck! If you need a great insurance quote use the link above to Gary. He can help. Good luck.

Judy, you are very lucky they didn't back out! Many people do not know it yet. As the lenders begin to hear from FEMA they will be notifying the borrower. Good for you getting it closed anyway.

Michael, yes you had better check. I think a great many people are going into shock.

Beverly, so true. I guess what bothers me is that our government is wasting so much money left and right on issues that are not even our business. Yet when it comes to supporting our people it's up to us...


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

Deb:  We have always had regulations in place as far as the 100 and 500 year flood plains have been concerned.  The lenders... both conventional, and FHA,VA require flood certifications, as we all know, to make sure the home being purchased (and financed) is not in the flood plain.  All FEMA has done... is re-measure exactly where the revised flood plains are.

All the the torrential rains and flooding that has happened over the past year has changed things.  And the government... FEMA, Obama, etc... really has not done anything to make things worse. FEMA is just following a law/regulation that has been in place.

If anything... many of the cuts to water conservation programs that have been made by the conservative congress, and conservative state Governors like Rick Perry in Texas... has made things worse.  You cannot cut programs designed to conserve and control water, and prevent flooding... in the name of reducing spending, and then complain when those cuts add to the horrible flooding that has taken place over the past year. 

My point here... it ain't FEMA that's the bad guy.  Mother Nature... and soil and water conservation and control programs being cut... bears much of the responsibility.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

A major part of our job as Realtors is to act in our fiduciary capacity relative to our clients.  If the property they buy is now IN the new boundaries of the flood zone... they need to know. 

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

Hi Karen Anne, I can't disagree with a single word you said! I totally agree with our Fiduciary responsibility to our clients thus the informational post. This all came about due to a client of mine. We discovered a new requirement of flood zone insurance on her property that had previously never been considered in a zone at all. She is now in the worst zone possible overnight!

I have learned all of this due to the help she needs in selling her home. I do hope you don't think I was bashing FEMA and I sure don't want to get into politics here! Been there and done that and it won't work!

Thank you for your insight. It is going to continue to affect our homeowners on a level we cannot understand yet. It is imperative to get the information out there!

Comment number 2 is also imperative. Title companies are being surprised these days around here. They tell me they are in shock at all the changes. We will adapt and the people whose properties that are affected will in fact find they are losing value to many. It's a tough situation but we all have to be aware!


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago


I agree with Ask Jane, #44.  Your photo is great, it makes you seem approachable and charming.  We are talking about social media here.  The rules are different.   Sorry to break the chain of FEMA comments, but I had to put my 2 cents in.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 7 years ago

As Joetta #40 pointed out above...why are they not told this before closing? 

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) over 7 years ago

Any property owner in a flood zone must secure a minimum flood policy benefit so the premiums are not costly. The chances of a flood damage is very remote and anybody that insures their property for more than the cost of replacing their structure is being unrealistic in my opinion. that's why they call it a 100-500 year flood.

I was unfortunately in a flood zone for over 30 years and just secured the minimum amount policy. Fortunately, we didn't experience any flooding but over 30 years of premiums were paid regardless. Now I don't pay for flood insurance and I'm keeping that premium payment in my wallet. 


Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 7 years ago


My acreage is on the south side of Houston, between Sims Bayou and Clear Creek waterways.  It is the highest land in the area, has never flooded but as surrounding areas have, that presents its own problems.  All the wildlife, including snakes head for our place in a flood.  Yep, as you could have guessed, I just got zoned into the 100 year plain.  Hurricane Ike dropped a huge tree and totaled the house and we didn't rebuild.  I will have to have it surveyed for an elevation certificate when I sell it. 

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) over 7 years ago

Yikes, that sounds like quite the big issue for your area and buyers and sellers.  Ouch. -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - over 7 years ago

Deb, Great blog, full of info and very colorful.  A big problem here in Florida!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 7 years ago

Great Post!

This topic collapsed a transaction for me YESTERDAY! A redrawn map put a sellers house right in the path of a 100 year flood zone. When their sale collapsed [they wrote and got accepted [contingent to close], an offer on my listing] it all collapsed - smack down!

Drop the price? Pay the premium for the buyers for 5 years at 500.00 / year? NOOOOOOOOOO, nothing will make the buyers on the first home, change their mind - they walked - domino collapses and we march on......

We all love a challenge but what do you do on this one? How do you save these transactions today?




Posted by Cindy Mustafa over 7 years ago

As with health care this is a way to increase the flow of money by forcing low risk home owners to buy insurance they probably won't ever file a claim against.

Posted by Lucien Vaillancourt, Jacksonville Florida Real Estate (Native Sun Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Deb, here at beautiful Lake of the Ozarks we are having a heck of a time with the flood plane maps.  So far, our office has only had one property which was actually in the flood zone and that was 3' of a 78' waterfront property.  It's a mess, but what do you do!

Posted by Kathy Beeler (The Beeler Group - Pinnacle Real Estate Partners) over 7 years ago


I re-blogged your post because I felt it may be relevant in parts of North Carolina.   When the reblogging took place on my site, it was all jumbled up.  Here is my site:  I don't know if others see it jumbled up with words running into and over each other. 

Well enough of that...

I thank you for this information. I was not aware of this as I imagine most colleagues are not.  I've always depended on an insurance friend of mine to check flood zones for my clients, becuase I guess I'm too dense to know where to get accurate information....and when I have found a site, it's usually not there later when I go back to it.  I always attributed that to "government"...but it's probably me.

So!  Thank YOU!  for this information!

Our family is heading back down to our North Carolina beaches, where we always go, beach front, right on the Atlantic.  I'm wondering if next year that home we usually rent, will be affordable?!

Posted by Doug Patterson, CRS, ABR, Broker-In-Charge (Park Place Real Estate, Broker-In-Charge) over 7 years ago

Spring Creek... Chiloquin, OR.  The last study was in 1984 and stopped about 1000 feet short of where Spring Creek flows into the Williamson.  To clarify, it was the Williamson River that is inside the study.  At the point where it ends, it is NOT a flood zone.  Because there hasn't been a study on Spring Creek, although there isn't an ice cube's chance in Hell that it would ever flood (it's a spring... ), homes on it are now considered in flood Zone A. 

Yes, we learned this the hard way when a previously never-need-flood-insurance area suddenly was needing a $5300/yr policy.  Needless to say, we lost that deal.

The seller is now in the final stages of acquiring the LOMA... Letter Of Map Amendment.  We might still be able to bring that buyer back...

If you are anywhere near water of any kind, it's well worth the $10-$20 for a flood certificate when you list the property.

Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services) over 7 years ago

Deb-Your information was timely and the comments added has certainly fleshed this subject out for me. Thanks for getting the ball rolling on this subject.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 7 years ago
Posted by Интимзнакомство over 6 years ago