Your Questions Answered
At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question. And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here. So without further ado:
Flood maps did change… last year I think?
Flood zone AE means it is within the 100 Year Flood Plain (that is the A part) and the risk is from a rising body of water (that is the E part).
Flood zone X500 is a 500-year flood plain.
X means outside 500-year flood plain or no data.
V is the last flood zone you see around here which is the Velocity Zone, which is where the wind drives huge volumes of water into beaches or extremely large lake properties.
The first step is to pay to get an elevation certificate from a surveyor. This will set a bunch of data about your home, lot, and adjacent properties and will provide the specific risk. Should be $300-$600.
If you don’t have an Elevation Certificate, then they will estimate it, and.. well it’s usually more expensive as they are conservative with their estimate.
You then send the elevation certificate to your insurance agent who will shop it around for quotes. More than likely you will end up with a FEMA backed flood insurance as the private stuff is usually double the price.
The other thing is that flood insurance is based on the risk to the structure, not the land. So when you look at a flood map your property may be in flood zone AE, however, if the house is on stilts or on fill (usually if it was built after the 1975ish) then you may not even need flood insurance or it would be maybe $400 / year.
I do recommend everyone in Florida to have it. As you never know when a huge amount of rain is going to decide your house is the best way for it goes because a storm drain is clogged or your neighbor regraded or planted a tree that changed drainage.