How to Gauge Your Property’s Flood Risk by Using Free Flood Maps [Video!]

How to Gauge Your Property’s Flood Risk by Using Free Flood Maps [Video!]

1 min read
Andrew Cushman

Andrew Cushman’s No. 1 business objective is to provide solid passive income opportunities to accredited investors through the acquisition, management, and disposition of multifamily properties.

After graduating from college with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Andrew worked for a large food company for seven years in a variety of supervisory positions. During that time, Andrew (joined by his wife in 2004) experimented with a variety of businesses in hopes of making the jump from W-2 employee to entrepreneur.

In 2007, Andrew discovered house flipping and left his corporate position to start a business in real estate investment. Beginning with single family properties in the depths of the Great Recession, he completed 27 single family flips (purchase, rehab, sell) in and around Orange and L.A. counties—all of which were very profitable.

In 2011, Andrew transitioned to the acquisition and repositioning of multifamily properties, acquiring a mostly vacant 92-unit property on the other side of the country as his first deal. That first property was eventually sold for several times its original purchase price, and Andrew now acquires B-class, value-add properties throughout the southeast United States. In total, Andrew and his team have acquired and repositioned 1,796 multifamily units to date.

In the recent years, he has lent his expertise on a number of notable podcasts, including the BiggerPockets Podcast, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever with Joe Fairless, EO Fire, Real Estate Rockstars, Apartment Building Investing with Michael Blank, and many more. Andrew has also contributed niche, high-level multifamily informational content to the BiggerPockets Blog and community.

Outside of the business world, Andrew is actively involved in the GoBundance mastermind, which provides accountability for growth and epic living. Andrew has been a certified alpine ski instructor and when not working in real estate, enjoys surfing, backcountry skiing, and trying to not be outwitted by his 7- and 4-year-old boys.

Andrew attended Texas A&M, where he earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.


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With the recent extreme weather conditions hitting the United States, there is heightened concern among real estate investors about their ability to avoid buying in at-risk areas. Fortunately, FEMA provides a free flood map tool that enables buyers to locate their prospective investment property on a map and determine whether or not it is in a “flood zone.”

Related: The 6 Best Things You Can Do to Prep Your Home for Hurricane Season

Using one of our Houston properties as an example, this video takes you step-by-step through locating a property on a FEMA flood map. Before we purchased it, this property was identified as being likely safe from extreme flooding—a quality observed in practice during the recent Hurricane Harvey, the Tax Day floods of 2016, and the Memorial Day floods of 2015.

How to Locate Your Property on a FEMA Flood Map

Watch this video to learn how to screen investment properties for flood hazards before the floods hit!

Are any of your properties in high-risk areas? 

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