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Why You Need A Flood Elevation Certificate When You're Building A New Home Near The Water

by Harvie Simms

Lots near a body of water are some of the most beautiful places to build a home. However, if your home is not properly elevated, it could be at risk of flooding. One of the first things you want to do before building your house is to have the land surveyed to determine if you need to build up the land or build your house on piers to keep it above flood level. Then, you can obtain a flood elevation certificate for a construction loan or flood insurance. Here's why you need the flood elevation certificate.

A Certificate Is Required For Flood Insurance

The flood elevation certificate program was developed by FEMA as a way of establishing flood zones in cities and as a way to determine who needs flood insurance and what the premiums should be. If the land where you're building a new home is in an area where flooding is likely, then you may be required to buy flood insurance. When you have the certificate, it shows the elevation of the lowest floor of your home. This elevation is compared with the level of flooding anticipated in the area. The higher above the flood level your home is, the better when it comes to the safety of your home and your flood insurance premiums. Flood insurance can be very expensive, and by elevating your home to the right level, you can slash your costs.

The Mortgage Lender May Require A Certificate

The lender for your home construction loan may require a flood elevation certificate as part of the approval process. Even if there's an old certificate on the land, a new one might be required. While an old certificate doesn't expire, newer ones might contain more information so the lender may prefer that you have a new survey done for the loan.

Knowing The Elevation Helps You Prepare For Flooding

Even though a flood elevation certificate might be required by your insurance agent or lender, it's also handy for you to have for your own purposes. If you're not familiar with the area, you won't have any idea what typical flooding is like or what the worse flood has been like. By knowing this and knowing the elevation of your home, you'll know how to prepare for a flood when it comes to using sandbags, clearing a lower level of your home, or evacuating. While floods can be unpredictable, when you have an idea of what to expect, you can take the actions necessary to keep your home and family safe during the rainy season.