NEW TEXAS FLOOD MAPS
Per the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, new flood maps become effective on November 15, 2019, for Harris County. Residents are encouraged to examine the maps to determine if they are in a low to moderate, or high-risk flood zone. The Harris County Flood Education Mapping Tool can be found here.
New technologically-advanced Harris County flood maps will be published in 2021. Until that time, The Harris County Flood Control District has launched a website to help residents keep up with the progress of the Modeling, Assessment and Awareness Project (MAAPnext). MAAPnext will develop the next generation of flood mapping along with new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The Flood Control District expects many changes to be reflected in the resulting flood risk maps that will impact how future projects, new development, and their associated mitigation strategies are implemented.
In addition to Harris County, residents in Fulshear, Simonton, Weston Lakes and the incorporated areas of Fort Bend County are encouraged to review the revised preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The Fort Bend County Floodplain Mapping Tool can be found here.
Galveston County had new maps go into effect last month. This is the first time in 20 years that FEMA redrew flood insurance rate maps. Nearly 300% more homes in League City are now required to have flood insurance.
When purchasing a home, you should obtain a recent survey and flood certificate to inform you if the home is in a flood zone or not. Even if a home is not mapped within the 100-year floodplain, there is still a chance of flooding. According to the Harris County Flood Control District, “On a national basis, one-third of the flood loss claims are from property located outside of the mapped 1% (100-year) floodplain. This does not mean the FIRMs are wrong. It simply means that not all flooding sources are calculated when determining risk.”
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood. All homeowner’s living in a flood zone or not are always advised to get flood insurance. This small investment can save you a lot of money in the future. Please keep in mind that it can take 30-days for a flood insurance policy to take effect once it is purchased.
View flood risk maps:
NEW SELLER’S DISCLOSURE
Texas Property Code § 5.008 requires sellers of a single-unit residential property to provide a Seller’s Disclosure Notice to a buyer. The notice details what the sellers know about the property at the time they complete and sign the notice. As of September 1, 2019, the required notice includes questions regarding flooding, such as whether the seller’s property is located wholly or partly in a 500-year floodplain or whether the seller has ever filed a claim for flood damage. The Seller’s Disclosure Notice should be provided to a buyer prior to executing a contract. The Texas Real Estate Commission’s promulgated One to Four Family Residential Contract allows a buyer to terminate the contract if a Seller’s Disclosure Notice is not received. Furthermore, a Buyer can terminate for any reason within 7 days after the buyer receives the notice or prior to the closing, whichever first occurs.