Hello and welcome. This is Nolan with DiscoverNChomes and Nolan’s News, and as always, thank you for having us. As hurricane season approaches, I wanted to talk about flood in homes. Having had an increasing number of buyers over the last few months ask us this question, it’s a completely natural question.

We live here on the coast, flooding is a real thing that can happen at times. Just like other parts of the country, you have Nor’easter up north so it’s a fact down here. But many buyers ask us this question on a home and every seller that we have fills out what’s called the residential property disclosure. It’s a four page form asking various questions about the home. Now the only question that specifically asks on that questionnaire: “is the property located in a federally designated flood zone?” And you either answer yes or no to this. And again, flood zones vary, but X being the least significant, a 500 year flood plane, and then AE a hundred year flood plane. And then it just goes up from there. As this question is asked though, it has prompted us to actually say that there is no place on this disclosure that specifically asks: “Has the home flooded before?”

So I wanted to talk about that today. As a listing agent and a buyer’s agent, but as a listing agent, putting that hat on, we are always taught to disclose, disclose, disclose. So to sellers out there, if your home has been flooded in any way, shape or form, it is my very humble opinion that you need to disclose that information.

But let’s talk about exactly what a flood is after heavy rains. If water pools up on your property and dissipates within 24 hours or even 48 hours, that’s not flooding. If you have water in your backyard that sits there after heavy rain, that’s not flooding to me. At least the flood is if there is water that has ever come up in your garage, have ever come up to the foundation or in the crawl space. That is something that needs to be disclosed.

But with that disclosure, you also can tell the severity of it. We’ve had a number of homes – take St. James, for example, that haven’t flooded in 20 plus years. And then we had that crazy storm, not even Florence in 2018, Isaia, which I think was just two years ago. That storm was mixed with the king high tide and a little storm surge. So homes that had never flooded before, they did get some water in the crawl space, they did get some water in the garage, but when the tide went back out, that water went back out. So yes, you disclosed that, but you disclosed that in that manner that we’ve never seen water before, or since it stayed here for a few hours, went back out with the tide. So you just described the severity of it.

Should you notate that? 100% – you never want to put yourself at risk to be sued for anything. You need to let the buyer know that, but the way you disclose it is very important. You really need to just ultimately tell the truth, but it’s not nearly as severe as I think we tend to wrap our heads around flooding and what flooding is.

So anyway, best, best practice is to always ask your broker. Disclose that this has happened, but disclosed in the manner that it’s happened. Because again, we, we live on the coast, these things happen. But they don’t happen that often. And when they do, it’s really not as severe as I think we think. So you can kind of put a buyer at ease with that description.

If you have any questions, again, let us know. Thank you for having us. And we’ll talk to you soon.

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About Nolan Formalarie

Nolan Formalarie has been in the North Carolina Real Estate Industry for over 8 years and enjoys every minute of it. He is involved in every aspect of the industry including selling and purchasing residential property, home watch services, property management, association management and construction.