Thursday, November 26, 2015
The flood zone designation in which your property has been placed is one of the most important factors influencing its value. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's 2013 nationwide revision of flood maps, which raised the Base Flood Elevation by an additional two or more feet, has had a significant adverse effect on property values all over the country.
If remapping now shows your property in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), a property assessment will almost certainly show a reduction in value. An SFHA designation also means you may have to purchase costly flood insurance; properties with federally insured mortgages or equity lines are required by law to have FEMA-provided insurance, which can cost up to $4,000 or more per year. In fact in many cases the cost of mandated flood insurance is actually greater than the amount of local real estate tax on the property.
In addition, if the town or city in which your property is located is participating in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, you will be subject to laws and ordinances that may curtail or prevent any major construction or improvements to your property.
If you believe your property has been incorrectly remapped into an SFHA designation, your only option for relief is to submit a Letter Of Map Amendment, or LOMA, to FEMA. A LOMA reestablishes a property’s location and elevation on the Flood Insurance Rate Map, and a successful LOMA can not only restore your property's value, it can result in recouping the cost of insurance that your paid while your property was incorrectly designated as being in an SFHA.
The LOMA process starts with submitting an application that includes the property's Elevation Certificate (EC) along with the deed to your property and a property map. LOMA application is a complex procedure that can be overwhelming for a property owner, but help is available through qualified remapping assistance firms like Flood Zone Mitigations. Working with an experienced remapping specialist firm is a major step toward a successful LOMA, minimizing the potential for errors and omissions that could have negative consequences; the firm will review your EC, deed, property map, and site information, prepare and submit your LOMA, and can even help you recover insurance premiums paid while your property was incorrectly mapped.