Home Buying in Phoenix>Question Details

Maria, Home Buyer in Mountain View, CA

Flood risk in Phoenix area???

Asked by Maria, Mountain View, CA Fri Jul 25, 2008

I am thinking of relocating from the SF Bay Area to Phoenix. I am not used to AZ weather and understand that during monsoon season some areas can get flooded. Is it more likely that I would get flooded in AZ as opposed to CA? Are houses built up a bit as to avoid flash floods? Is flood insurance more expensive? Thanks to all in advance for your help!

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The vast majority of Phoenix area housing is not in a flood zone. Some homes are, however, and if you are considering a home in a flood zone, you want to be careful to investigate how that specific home is protected. While Phoenix doesn't get much rain per year, when we get rain, we get a lot of it in a very short time. Getting an inch in 3 hrs isn't uncommon.

Very few homes flood, however. I heard about flooding recently, when a developer changed (removed) a levy system that was protecting homes that were at a lower elevation. The homes "downstream" were getting flooded, due to the change several miles away, years after they were built and never having problems. The problem was corrected, of course, but that doesn't help the poor home owners that were living under water.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
You and your agent would need to do your due diligence on each property you are interested in. Floodplains and floodways are scattered around throughout the valley, so there aren't any areas that are more or less likely to flood. As Regina mentioned below, flood insurance is controlled by one company throughout the entire United States, so prices are the same wherever you are. There are different price brackets, depending on what type of flood zone the property is in, but the max you can pay for residential is right around $1000.

It does flash flood in AZ, but homes built in the later years should all have been built to withstand a 100 year flood. Older homes often are more apt to be flooded, simply because they have not been built up. Whether or not it is more likely to flood here then in SF..... I do not know how apt to flood SF is so I couldn't answer that, but my guess would be probably not.
Web Reference: http://www.TeamKearney.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
The flood issues in AZ are not as prevalent as CA. The flood insurance and areas are targeted more toward the 100 year flood are then they are toward the monsoons. We have a mapped area that if your home falls into designated areas then it will be necessary to get flood insurance. There are more areas in the Phoenix area that do not require flood insurance than those that do. If you pay for flood insurance it will cost almost the same as a regular policy. Of course you will want to get an actual quote from an insurance professional.

When looking to relocate to a new area it is very valuable to have a Buyer's Agent work for you. As your Agent I can help you to find the areas that best fit your needs. And of course try to answer all of your questions. If you would like to view my resume and offered services then please go to my website at http://www.suemartinezgroup.com I look forward to working with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
There are certain flood zones mapped by the State so you can avoid certain areas more prone to flooding. Builders can build in flood zones, however, the building pads must be elevated to protect the home. In other areas labeled, flood ways, builder may not build at all -- those are the wash areas. Flood insurance is controlled by the government (National Flood Insurance Program), so the cost should be about the same. For Phoenix, you can contact the city at 602-262-4960 for additional information. Several cities conduct their own floodplain management, so if there are other cities you are interested in, contact me for information in those areas. You can also check the FEMA web site at http://www.fema.gov.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
Maria, certain areas of the Phoenix Metropolitan area are designated flood zones. You agent would be able to tell you if a home is in a flood zone by looking at the tax records. My home in north Scottsdale is in a flood zone and our insurance is $215/year. The risk is quite low. Call or email with other questions.

Rick Dobbles
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
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