Home Buying in Franklin Park>Question Details

Pamela Browd…, Home Buyer in 60131

What do I need to know about flood plains.?

Asked by Pamela Browder, 60131 Mon Dec 24, 2007

We are looking at a house in Franklin Park, Il that we love but it turns out to be in a flood plain. It is right near a "Silver Creek". I've looked at Maps and it appears to be in a ZONE AE, which simply means "Base Flood Elevations determined". I do not understand the FEMA Maps at all. Is this something that whould be a deal killer?

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There are many homes located on the flood plain along the Des Plaines River, including the campus of Oakton Community College. Being located on a flood plain is an indication that in severe rain situations, your property is in the area where the Des Plaines River, when overflowing it's banks, might run. There is the potential for water damage, or even potential loss of home.

That being said, we don't typically see that sort of flooding along the river, but that doesn't mean it's not possible, nor does it mean that it's not likely.

Your lender will require special "flood" insurance in order to make a loan on a property in a flood plain, and you should probably talk to your Realtor, and perhaps some other people in the neighborhood, who have lived through flooding in the area, as to what it means "practically". Do residents merely get some seepage in their basements, or do they get standing water. Do their yards flood? Does the typical flooding extend into the houses... (feet of standing water?), is there current flooding damage to the structure of the house?

And once all of those questions have been answered, are you willing to live with the potential? There are plenty of people, like Cathi, who live in those homes in Franklin Park, Des Plaines, along the Des Plaines river, and in the flood plain and they seem to be managing just fine.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2007
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Hi Pamela,

It shouldn't be a deal killer. You will want to talk to your insurance company as they will be taking a look at this anyway.

I live in Franklin Park and don't recall any major issues with flooding near Silver Creek. You can contact the Village Hall and talk with them as well at 9500 W. Belmont, 847-671-4800.

If you are concerned that your home will actually flood, besides the disclosures provided by the seller, I would talk with some long time neighbors and ask them if their homes have flooded. With the big storm we had in August, you should be able to get a sense for what might occur in the immediate area by talking to others.

Web Reference: http://www.cathiweaver.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2007
a good realtor should check every home you express an interest in for flood insurance purposes BEFORE you start writing a contract. maps are readily available as well as web site subscriptions. the flood insurance only protects the lender in the event the home is destroyed beyond habitability and the security for their mortgage floats away. i dont recall any homes totally destroyed by flooding in the area, and the premiums you pay here will go to pay for knuckleheads who live on major waterways and flood every few years. it does have a serious impact on the value of a home even if it never flooded. a $1200 a year premium (premiums are based on your mortgage amount and the flood zone classification) translates into about $15,000 in buying power for a home outside the flood plain.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 8, 2008
One factor it adds to the equation is the monthly insurance cost. In my area it is $100/mo, check yours out before you sign. Make sure you add that to your monthly expenses when you figure what you can afford per month. GL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2007
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