100 yr flood zone, County says home uninhabitable not grandfather

2 Replies

Has has anyone ever experienced a County stating that a home is not habitable because it is not grandfathered in to the hundred year flood zone? The County is saying the home was built illegally even though it has had an Electric meter to it at one time and is zoned residential. The county says all of the other homes are grandfathered in to the hundred year flood plain. They seem to be unwilling to let this structure be used as a residential home. Their suggestion was getting an engineer and Blasting to change the terrain. All of the other Home sit alongside this home and are the same distance from the river. Why can't the purchaser just purchase the flood insurance? The property even has its certification for well and septic filed in the County's office. Is there any way to fight this?

What is the history was the house occuppied recently and are they taxing the house? Are they saying you cant rebuild at all or juft in the same way? Are you eligible to applybfor a variance?

@ Dawn Hooser

Wow, I am still so baffled to how confused counties and local governments are with the flood insurance program (National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and (Federal Emergency Managment Agency (FEMA) guidelines. And how they tell us, (or you in this instance) something that really has many different understandings in the statement (at least how you outlined it here). The questions that I would need to understand to help you push back is as follows, What year was the home/structure built? If it is after 1974 then there were some new laws and requirements but this was on a national scale and if your community had the maps set on a different date say 1980 then that would trump the 1974 laws. As for the Grandfathered, this is the most confusing for everyone, County, bank, homeowner and most insurance agents that sell these policies. This is often confused with the 100-year flood zone, I think I might write an article for Bigger pockets to help clear up what is meant by these two (at last I don't have that yet sorry). These are my biggest clues that what you are being told is really coming from someone who doesn't understand the FEMA guidelines. I would need to know more about the property and look into it to see what or how I would suggest you move forward so if you would like my help just sent me an email though BP.

Here is my guess on what is going on.

Is the property in a rural area? if it is then the property might be in a non-participation community for the NFIP/FEMA program and if this is the case then you will not be able to get flood insurance on the property through the government program and the community is not recognized as being in compliance with the building guidelines. Heres the thing and a major issue for smaller communities you have to pay to play in the FEMA guidelines and your community has to do flood mitigation again at their cost to get recognized by the government as built-in compliance. This is a really unfair advantage for smaller communities and has been a major issue for many across the country.There is hope though because the private flood insurance market can sell flood insurance to these communities and usually can for a good price. I think once we identify the correct issue your county is saying we can strategize on how to help educate them. Most communities, homeowners, banks and insurance agents (sadly) don't know there are other options because the government has done a very effective job of keeping their monopoly for over 50 years on flood insurance in effect by being louder than the private market. (another can of worms). The private market has been around since 2012 and was signed into law, however, the education of this options has been minimal compared to the reach of the government.

Ok so I got really nerdy on you, forgive me I want you to know there is a potential to push back, you will have to do some digging or work with someone who knows how. AT your service kind regards Robert

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here