should the seller disclose the fact that the home is in a flood zone?

Asked by Bj Moore, Atlanta, GA Thu Jan 7, 2010

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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 7, 2010
Discussing official flood zones.....I have a one word answer................YES.......let me repeat that..........YES

If there is a listing agent involved she should have already looked into this, and should know what the exact status is - to what extent it is or isn't located in a flood zone. A certificate will be issued describing whether the house or property are partially or completely located in the zone, if indeed they are
The mortgage company may or may not require flood insurance - it all depends on where it is located within the zone..We have official flood maps in our office, but this is something easliy discovered online for a small fee.
The attorney for the buyer always includes a line regarding this in the contract, and gives the buyer the right to terminate the contract if the home is discovered to be located in a flood zone.

No one likes surprises...........sellers should disclose this ahead of time!

By the way - it is possible for a home to be in an offical flood zone, and never flood...conversely, it is possible a home floods ,. but isn't in a flood zone.
1 vote
Joshua Jarvis, Agent, Duluth, GA
Thu Jan 7, 2010
If it's actually in a FEMA flood zone and requires flood insurance and/or the home has been flooded AND the seller knows, then yes.

If it's just in an area that got flooded due to rain that has NEVER happened before but the home itself was never actually damaged, then no.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Jan 7, 2010
What is your Realtor advising---Yes, it should be disclosed.

0 votes
Catherine "C…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Thu Jan 7, 2010
A good buyer agent would know also which are the flood zones...
0 votes
Sean Dawes, , Philadelphia, PA
Thu Jan 7, 2010
I would hope they would but wouldn't be surprised if they don't.

But as Dan says, a good buyer will find this out. As a buyer, either you need to become educated on what to ask or hire a realtor who is worth their salt to know what to do when buying a home. As if the homes you are looking at are listed with a realtor in the first place, they are paying out a co-op anyway that they would pocket themselves if they sold it to you unrepresented (obviously this applies if the state allows for dual agency).

I always say, the more questions the better. Rather ask than learn the hard way.

Sean Dawes
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu Jan 7, 2010
yes. Otherwise it is a material misrepresentation. The buyer if they found out after might be able to force you to buy the house back.

How would you feel if you bought a house in a flood zone not knowing it?

Besides, a smart buyer will find it out anyway. When they do they will question everything else about the house. What more are you trying to hide? Maybe I should look at a different house where the owner is not hiding things.
0 votes
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