Here is NJ, as we saw in our recent 2 storms, things can vary widely by town, by block, and even by individual home. There were homes in the "flood zone" that did not get any water in their basements (perhaps due to steps taken by homeowners (sump pump, French drains, and perhaps a bit of luck of not losing power), and their were homes that are not officially in the "flood zone", but they did get many, many inches of water (sometimes due to being without power for hours or even days). One place to look is at the "Sellers Disclosure", which is standard here in NJ -- Sellers have to disclose past flooding. But, in addition, most Lenders will require a "flood cert" before issuing a Mortgage to check whether a given house is in the "flood zone" or not (and will therefore require special "flood insurance". Lastly, during your Home Inspection, the Inspector should be looking for signs of past water damage in the basement/crawlspace. Likely circumstances are a bit different in NM, so share your concerns with your Realtor and he/she can likely provide additional suggestions.
Prudential NJ Properties