• Sang Han

Finding a good home - Flood zone


When buying a house, one thing to consider is whether the house is in a flood zone.

In this post, I will write about how to find out if there is a flooded area and the corresponding code.



How to easily check the flood zone


1. Of course, the best way is to ask the realtor you work with. If he/she looks at the detail information in the MLS used by brokers, they can easily know whether there is a flood zone.


2. Go to the site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and enter the address to find out. (https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home)


In addition, there is a way to find the tax notice of each real estate in the tax portal of each county, but the above two methods are the easiest way to check whether there is a flood zone.



flood zone codes


When checking the flood zone, you can sometimes see data marked with codes such as 'Zone X'. So, I'll explain a little bit about the code.


Flood zone codes are easily divided into 4 categories:


A: These are places where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year.

- A: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year and no precipitation level information


- AE, A1 - A30: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year, where there is precipitation level information

- AH: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year, where flooding occurs in the form of puddles (mainly inland)


- AO: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year, and where flooding occurs widely throughout the area (mainly in the lower reaches of rivers)

- AR: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year, and the probability of flooding is expected to be higher than before


- A99: A place where the probability of flooding is less than 1% throughout the year, and areas where the probability of flooding will decrease due to the construction of flood protection facilities

V: This is a beach area where the probability of flooding is 1% or more year-round. This includes areas where tsunamis, etc. occur.


- V: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year, and there is no precipitation level information

- VE, V1- V30: A place where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year, where there is precipitation level information

X: This is an area with a year-round inundation probability of less than 1%.


- X, C (old code): Areas with a year-round inundation probability of 0.2% or less


- X (shaded in a flood map), X500, B: Area with year-round flood probability 0.2% ~ 1%

D: This is an area that has not been investigated yet.

When buying a house, it is recommended to avoid areas with flood zone. Even if it is not flood damage, there is a high probability that the basement is always wet, so mold or damage to the foundation of the house is more frequent. For reference, the cracking of the foundation is a phenomenon that occurs when moisture and water that have been cut in small gaps freeze in the cold winter and expand in volume.



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