The Ins and Outs of Flood Zones

Posted by admin on March 21, 2013

When buying acres of land in any given area throughout the United States, it’s important that you learn and understand the likeliness of a flood occurring as it causes approximately $2 billion in property damages each year.  To make it easier to identify areas prone to flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts a thorough analysis of land across the United States and organizes it with a mapping system containing four zones: V, A, X and D.

Currently, more than 20,000 communities are built in areas that FEMA has categorized as flood zones. The most dangerous areas are those acres of land located in V Zone and A Zone, which are lower than the base flood elevation.

V Zone is the most hazardous of the four zones. Properties categorized in this zone are usually beachfront properties that have a high risk of danger due to changing wave velocities. A Zone is the next most hazardous area for flooding. Properties in this zone are typically located near a body of water, such as a lake or river, and can be affected by rising water levels. If you are interested in buying property in one of these flood zones, you are subject to a number of regulations, including the following:

  • The lowest floor of the property must sit at or above the base flood elevation. To find out the base flood elevation of a property, contact FEMA or your city hall to provide you with methods for obtaining it.
  • Enclosed areas that sit below the lowest floor of the property, such as a basement, are not allowed to be used for bedrooms or other living space. This is an important factor to keep in mind when buying or building in flood zones. If you live or are planning to buy in a V Zone area, you may also be required to elevate your building with posts.
  • Electrical, air conditioning, heat, plumbing and any other systems throughout your building must be elevated above the base flood elevation. Before buying property, make sure that the current property owner has installed all systems in compliance with regulations.

In addition to a large set of building regulations, communities that fall in V Zone and A Zone must also purchase flood insurance. If you are interested in buying property in this area, be sure to take this cost into account. Acres of land in X Zone have a very minimal risk of flooding, so while property owners are welcome to purchase flood insurance, it is not required by law. Acres of land in D Zone have not been analyzed by FEMA, and may have a small risk of flooding, but as with property in X Zone, no flood insurance is required.

If you are interested in buying land or property in a flood zone, it is important that you understand the risks and regulations as there are many. There are federal regulations as well as state and local regulations, so be sure to check with your local government for more information before buying property in your desired area.

Whether you are interested in property on the water or prefer property surrounded by land, can help you to locate the perfect acres of land for your needs. At AllAcres, we conveniently allow you to search for acres of land in areas throughout the country from the comfort of your home. When buying property in your desired area, trust in the experts at AllAcres. Please call us today at 855-227-3741 or contact us online for more information on selling or buying land.