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I have noticed over the past month a few posts about avoiding homes in the flood plain. I think one even described buying a home in the 100 year flood plain as crazy.

What are your thoughts?

Is it crazy to buy a home that has a 63.4% chance of flooding in 100 years?

How about the 500 year flood plain? During Allison--considered a 1,000 year storm--many areas flooded that were outside of the 100 and 500 year flood plains. Would you try to avoid being close to the 500 year flood plain just in case another 1,000 year storm hits?

Supposedly, the average length someone owns a home is 6 years which would correspond to a 5.85% chance of flood in the 100 yr flood plain. That doesn't sound like a big deal to me. How about you?

If you usually need to remodel a home every 15 years, then you have a 14% chance that your insurance gets to pay for it! :D

If you are totally against living in the flood plain, then check out how much of Houston you would be counting out:

TsarpMap.jpg

Also, everyone should note this statistic from the Harris County Flood Control District: "65% of the area that flooded during Tropical Storm Allison was outside of the mapped regulatory floodplain. Nationwide, one-third of the flood loss claims are from property located outside of the mapped 1% (100-year) floodplain."

[ For reference, the probability equation is PT = 1 – (1-Pf)n ]

Edited by rbarz
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I think a big reason, is the additional cost of insurance.

Have you gotten a flood insurance quote for a home in the 100 year floodplain?

Its not exactly cheap.

Yes, the rates are set by FEMA, and they are not cheap, although they are less than most fire and windstorm policies for the same coverage.

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Yes, the rates are set by FEMA, and they are not cheap, although they are less than most fire and windstorm policies for the same coverage.

Cost aside (my wife and I never got that far) - we were looking into a place w/in 100 year of White Oak Bayou.

What we said was we needed to accept the fact that WHEN the storm hits, we need to be ok and not freak the heck out because that's where we bought.

Also, new houses tend to be raised per COH building code. So you would more than likely just have a flooded garage.

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Cost aside (my wife and I never got that far) - we were looking into a place w/in 100 year of White Oak Bayou.

What we said was we needed to accept the fact that WHEN the storm hits, we need to be ok and not freak the heck out because that's where we bought.

Also, new houses tend to be raised per COH building code. So you would more than likely just have a flooded garage.

I lived one block from the 100 year during Allison and did not flood. Allison was a 500 year flood event.

Keep in mind that in Houston, we're not only flooded by hurricanes and tropical storms. We can really get some bad-azz T-Storms throughout most of the year. I'd just try to find out from people who've live in the area where you're interested.

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Let me turn it around on you and ask you what benefit of living in a flood plain outweighs the risk and potential hassle?

flipper

That is an excellent way to pose the question... it probably should be a risk vs. reward type determination.

I already own a home in the 100 yr flood plain. I live on a ravine that feeds into White Oak Bayou. The home flooded during Allison, but never before or after. I do the same thing you do for a living flipper and I had searched for a ravine lot for 2 years before I found this one... And when I mean search, I mean every single day! I even actively sent letters to homes that were not on the market--which is how I got mine. My rewards heavily out number my risks or hassles. I pay for flood insurance so I only have to worry about the inconvenience and cost. The cost is negligible at 0.16% of the properties value per year and the inconvenience a flood would cause me would only come from irreplaceable items lost because, I would likely make money on any flood claim and update my home in the process. My rewards impress me every day... I live on a lot that could be a park! I would have a tough time selling it for double what I paid.

I will have to consider if I lived on a regular lot if it would be worth it. I'll think about and get back to you. B)

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I'll bite as to why I'd rather shy away from a floodplain property. I've lived in Houston all my life, so I know from past experience that flooding is a regular occurence here, 100 or 500 year odds be damned. I think the maps give a pretty good picture not only of where it's likely but also where I know it has flooded before. Of course there are many other areas not on the maps that are prone to flooding that any local can tell you about. I've never had my house or other property flooded but helped my sister through the experience in the Grantwood subdivision (now largely abandoned) years ago and it wasn't pretty. Yes she had insurance and the house got fixed, but her family was displaced for months...the home was greatly devalued when they went to sell down the road...and my brother-in-law lost two irreplaceable antique British sports cars in the garage. I'd just rather not have to add to my risk of going through that if I can minimize it by living in areas less prone to flooding.

Last year, when I was actively looking for a new house, one of the first ones I looked at had lots of curb appeal, decent shape for its age, etc. I peeled up a corner of the carpet expecting to see the hardwoods that should have been there from the home's era and found plywood instead. It was only then that I realized it had flooded during Allison (and before from anecdotal evidence). I just don't want to be cringing every time it rains.

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A ravine property in Houston would be quite nice. However, if you are buying an existing home in a floodplain, you should know that the new code requires you to raise the home up if you ever do a remodel that exceeds 50% of the home's value.

For example, I am in the midst of repairing my home after a fire. There was significant roof damage and water damage. My insurance is great and we will have a beautiful home at the end of this trial, but I am so so so thankful that I do not have to add lifting the damn building above the floodplain to my plans. If I had been one house over I would have to face that additional expense; my neighbor's yard is halfway into the 100 yr floodplain. The floodplain touches the front of my lot, but the city agrees that we do not need to lift our house.

When my neighbors sell their old home (and they will try to in about 6 months), the buyer will need to know that repairs to the home (replace sewer lines, new roof, refinishing all the surfaces) might exceed the 50% limit and the city might require them to lift it. How would you like that remodeling nightmare!

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  • 1 month later...

i was told by my insurance agent's assistant (ie, the person who does the work) that my company will no longer write new policies on homes that are in flood plains and have had a flood claim.

basically, the hassle of buying a home in a floodplain would have to be outweighed by the opportunity the house presents. if it's a great home on a great lot at a great price, sure, i'm in... otherwise, i'm not so sure.

however, the flood WAY is out of the question.

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I might be going through the hassle of this process...

Once place claimed 100 year flood plain on the seller's disclosure, but when I mapped it on TSARP, it was clearly in the 500 year. Maybe I am blind. Maybe the map is inaccurate. Maybe the seller is misinformed. But otherwise, why oh WHY would someone put 100 on a 500 home?

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I might be going through the hassle of this process...

Once place claimed 100 year flood plain on the seller's disclosure, but when I mapped it on TSARP, it was clearly in the 500 year. Maybe I am blind. Maybe the map is inaccurate. Maybe the seller is misinformed. But otherwise, why oh WHY would someone put 100 on a 500 home?

The official floodplain can change with time, as better data becomes available, or in some cases as the effects of certain improvements are made.

Harris County's floodplain maps were completely revised in June 2007 as part of a county-wide restudy (TSARP.)

It's possible that the house was in the 100-year floodplain prior to 2007, but was determined to be in the 500-year floodplain after the remapping.

If you're looking at buying a home, I believe a floodplain delineation is required, or can be acquired, to show that you're out of the 100-year. I believe insurance in the 500-year floodplain is much cheaper than in the 100-year.

You can also get a slab survey and elevation certificate from a surveyor to show that your slab elevation is (or is not) above the 100-year floodplain. That can also reduce the cost of flood insurance.

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A ravine property in Houston would be quite nice. However, if you are buying an existing home in a floodplain, you should know that the new code requires you to raise the home up if you ever do a remodel that exceeds 50% of the home's value.

For example, I am in the midst of repairing my home after a fire. There was significant roof damage and water damage. My insurance is great and we will have a beautiful home at the end of this trial, but I am so so so thankful that I do not have to add lifting the damn building above the floodplain to my plans. If I had been one house over I would have to face that additional expense; my neighbor's yard is halfway into the 100 yr floodplain. The floodplain touches the front of my lot, but the city agrees that we do not need to lift our house.

When my neighbors sell their old home (and they will try to in about 6 months), the buyer will need to know that repairs to the home (replace sewer lines, new roof, refinishing all the surfaces) might exceed the 50% limit and the city might require them to lift it. How would you like that remodeling nightmare!

The 50% rule applies to homes in the newly designated floodways, not the 100 year floodplains, and prohibits any repairs or remodels that exceed that amount. Which sounds like a good idea, unless uyour house is one of those in the floodway, and it's obvious the floodway has been improperly mapped, which it is.

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Stay in Zone X.

Don't mess around with 100 or 500 year flood plains. Too many homes that are not in flood plains to pick from...

The mapped 500-year floodplain is modeled from a theoretical 24-hour rainfall of 21.6 inches of rain. That's TS Allison type rainfall...very uncommon.

While the 500-year floodplain is a risk to consider, being in Zone X (outside the 500-year floodplain) doesn't necessarily reflect your true flooding risk.

What's not reflected on the floodplain maps is your risk of sheetflow flooding due to lack of positive street grades. Once the street inlets are overwhelmed (whether due to lack of capacity or debris clogs) the water is conveyed through the streets. Unless there's good relief through the streets, the water can also be conveyed through your home.

Requirements to consider extreme event sheet flow through streets weren't required in the design of Harris County subdivisions until the early 80's. More often than not, if your subdivision was constructed before that time, there are certain locations in the subdivision that tend to pond or flood in a very heavy rain.

There are a ton of subdivisions in Houston built before the 80's. Many are outside the floodplain, and therefore reasonably safe from riverine flooding (as shown on floodplain maps), but at risk of flooding on a local, block-by-block scale.

If you're in an area like this, I'd highly recommend flood insurance. If you're out of the floodplain, you get the cheapest rates...somewhere in the range of $250/year.

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You do understand the definition of 100 year floodplain don't you? I ask because many people do not.

It has nothing to do with whether a particular flood occurs every 100 years (or 500 years). It has to do with the probability of that level of flooding to occur in any one given year.

100-year floodplain simply means there is an estimated 1% chance in any given year of seeing a flood.

500-year floodplain simply means that there is an estimated 0.2% chance in any given year of seeing a flood.

If you have a 100-year flood one year there is still a 1% chance that you'll see the same flood the next year, and again the following year.

And that is based on HISTORIC climate models. As the city continues to develop and increase the amount of hard surface, and as climate changes due to global warming, these estimates may well need to be thrown out the window.

Edited by texasdiver
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Forget the bogus maps!angry.gif

Ask the neighbors before you buy.

How close to the home has the highest water ever reached before?

Halfway up the yard....or 1 foot from the door?

Know about recent developed areas near the property in queston.

There are SO many areas of Houston that flooded this year that never flooded before.

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The 50% rule applies to homes in the newly designated floodways, not the 100 year floodplains, and prohibits any repairs or remodels that exceed that amount. Which sounds like a good idea, unless uyour house is one of those in the floodway, and it's obvious the floodway has been improperly mapped, which it is.

The new rule is a government taking without just compensation - this happened to my good friend. Being a lawyer he asked me for my advice - I told him that it is the most blatant taking without compensation and that he should sue. But to sue you first have to prove that the rule/regulation is actually causing you a real damage. His home was split in two by a tree during Ike....city said damage exceeded 50% of the value of the home, and told him he had to raise the house 26 inches to comply with the new code. (in timbergrove along the bayou) His house is not pier/beam, its a concrete slab.

He applied for a variance to not raise the home and just repair the damage - denied. I wrote a letter for him threatening to sue and detailing the damages and what the city was about to owe him should they deny him the right to rebuild his house as it sits - and whala - magically the variance is granted.

The city wants to push that regulation on everyone - but if you fight it you will win. They knew it was not legal when they wrote it, but so long as they can keep someone from challenging it, it will stand and some poor saps are going tear their house down and start over.

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The new rule is a government taking without just compensation - this happened to my good friend. Being a lawyer he asked me for my advice - I told him that it is the most blatant taking without compensation and that he should sue. But to sue you first have to prove that the rule/regulation is actually causing you a real damage. His home was split in two by a tree during Ike....city said damage exceeded 50% of the value of the home, and told him he had to raise the house 26 inches to comply with the new code. (in timbergrove along the bayou) His house is not pier/beam, its a concrete slab.

He applied for a variance to not raise the home and just repair the damage - denied. I wrote a letter for him threatening to sue and detailing the damages and what the city was about to owe him should they deny him the right to rebuild his house as it sits - and whala - magically the variance is granted.

The city wants to push that regulation on everyone - but if you fight it you will win. They knew it was not legal when they wrote it, but so long as they can keep someone from challenging it, it will stand and some poor saps are going tear their house down and start over.

To me, a fair trade would be for the City to grant the variance ONLY on the condition that the homeowner be ineligible for both federally subsidized flood insurance and any future FEMA disaster funds.

I know it's a tough, no-win situation. If the City grants the variance, then in the event of a disaster, we all get to pay for his insurance claim, despite his refusal to raise his home (with the City's approval.) If the City denies the variance, the homeowner has an unrepairable home, which is not good for either homeowner or City.

Best solution in my mind is buyouts of the homes at greatest risk of flooding, and start with those in the 10-year floodplain. Just takes $$$...but much, much less $$$ than trying to significantly reduce the floodplain elevations of White Oak Bayou, Greens Bayou, etc.

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's
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An even better trade would be for the floodplain and floodway maps to be redone in a manner that isn't hidden from public view, where the affected parties have a chance to comment because they have been notified prior to the deadline, and where the modeling used has some semblance to reality. For much of Timbergrove, the model used totally screwed up the floodway determination, placing properties that are well above base flood elevation in the floodway, while other nearby properties with less elevation aren't even in th eflood plain. I had to pay a surveyor $400 to prove my house has enough elevation to not be in the flood plain or floodway. Hopefully, that will take my flood insurance bill from $1300 per year back down to $300 per year. FEMA and Harris County Flood Control District dropped the ball on this, and the residents near White Oak Bayou are paying the price.

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The new rule is a government taking without just compensation - this happened to my good friend. Being a lawyer he asked me for my advice - I told him that it is the most blatant taking without compensation and that he should sue. But to sue you first have to prove that the rule/regulation is actually causing you a real damage. His home was split in two by a tree during Ike....city said damage exceeded 50% of the value of the home, and told him he had to raise the house 26 inches to comply with the new code. (in timbergrove along the bayou) His house is not pier/beam, its a concrete slab.

He applied for a variance to not raise the home and just repair the damage - denied. I wrote a letter for him threatening to sue and detailing the damages and what the city was about to owe him should they deny him the right to rebuild his house as it sits - and whala - magically the variance is granted.

The city wants to push that regulation on everyone - but if you fight it you will win. They knew it was not legal when they wrote it, but so long as they can keep someone from challenging it, it will stand and some poor saps are going tear their house down and start over.

Since the variance was apparently granted without explanation, it is pure conjecture what the City's reasons for doing so were. In fact, variances are just that...exceptions to the rule. Variances to valid and legal rules are granted on a daily basis without threats from lawyers. And, knowing the City's approach to lawsuits, a letter from a lawyer does not scare them off. Judgments do. If they really wanted your friend to raise the floor level, you'd be sitting in depositions right about now.

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Since the variance was apparently granted without explanation, it is pure conjecture what the City's reasons for doing so were. In fact, variances are just that...exceptions to the rule. Variances to valid and legal rules are granted on a daily basis without threats from lawyers. And, knowing the City's approach to lawsuits, a letter from a lawyer does not scare them off. Judgments do. If they really wanted your friend to raise the floor level, you'd be sitting in depositions right about now.

There is a group in Timbergrove who have been dealing with this issue since the maps were redrawn. I am aware of how the legal system works - and the city has an attorney who looks at the letter, and says the guy is right, we cant win this and they grant the variance. I have dealt with the city of Houston a little bit, but I have extensive dealings with the City of Pearland... In Pearland at least if they believe they can win, they do not grant the variance, if they dont - they grant - half the time they just stall for so long the person has to sell. My friend just happens to be 1) patient, 2) living in my garage apartment.

There is no good argument that the right to rebuild on your own property with your own money can be taken away without it reducing the value of your property. Development rights are bought and sold on a daily basis. The city essentially removed a valuable portion of his development rights, and they did not compensate him for that loss. It is the text book definition of a taking without compensation. The city is well aware that the ordinance is invalid as it is written, and they are not going to waste money fighting a fight they cant win. Big dumb bureaucracy or not - occasionally common sense prevails.

Im not saying it was a big scary letter that won the day - I simply stated the facts, and the law, and the damages, and did so in a way that they knew he would prevail. The facts were on my side, the law was on my side, and I am willing to bet that a jury is going to side with homeowner here too. Visually picture this: a jury sitting there looking at a guy who had a tree split his house in half; insurance check in hand ready to rebuild at his own cost and trying to do so correctly, but being told by the city who he pays taxes too yearly that instead of putting up a new wall and a new roof he need to bulldoze the whole house, rip out his slab, hire an architect to design a new house that is raised up 2 addittional feet, and then rebuild at todays cost and do all that on his own dime, because the insurance policy does not cover even a fraction of what the city wants him to do. Insurance does not compensate for new ordinances or laws...so he gets a check for what $75,000 to do about $225,000 worth of work?

Ya thats a taking without compensation.

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Finished floor elevations above the flood plain have been standard procedure for years. Galveston requires about 19 feet above sea level. It is no more a taking than setbacks, which are also legal. The more likely reason for the variance is simply that the City decided that the damage was not over 50%, or that it was close enough to look the other way. The argument that a city with a $4 Billion budget and a battalion of lawyers was scared off by one homeowner with a lawyer whose ink on his law license is barely dry is laughable. Show me where Bob Perry and his lawyers backed the City down and I may listen to your argument. And Pearland is not Houston.

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Finished floor elevations above the flood plain have been standard procedure for years. Galveston requires about 19 feet above sea level. It is no more a taking than setbacks, which are also legal. The more likely reason for the variance is simply that the City decided that the damage was not over 50%, or that it was close enough to look the other way. The argument that a city with a $4 Billion budget and a battalion of lawyers was scared off by one homeowner with a lawyer whose ink on his law license is barely dry is laughable. Show me where Bob Perry and his lawyers backed the City down and I may listen to your argument. And Pearland is not Houston.

Finished floor elevations for new construction are not a taking, and neither are setbacks....There is a big difference here in that this is not new construction. It is a taking that is not community in nature - its isolated to him and him alone. He is the only home with his particular damage, and his set of circumstances. Setbacks and finished floor elevations on new construction are different as they are community in nature. They effect all new builds equally - everyone must comply wit the restriction and everyone's property is equally "damaged" by the restriction. That is not true here -It is a direct taking of the value of the home that remains undamaged - in this case give or take 50% - 50% of the home has a value, a real identifiable number - say the home was worth $200,000 undamaged, the lot is worth $60,000, the home is then damaged, 50% - the value of the remaining portion of the home is clearly ascertainable its $70,000 - Its a regulatory taking - the new regulation has taken from the homeowner $70,000 worth of property without compensation. They can do it all day long but they have to pay for it.

The new regulation is a taking if it goes too far. In this case it did, it deprived the homeowner of 50% of the value of his home. The courts when considering this type of taking consider 2 circumstances...1) whether the regulation causes a direct physical invasion of the property, and 2) whether the regulation denies the owner all economically beneficial or productive use of the land OR unreasonably interferes with his right to use & enjoy the property. The court goes on to define what an unreasonable interference is... an unreasonable interference is one that 1) causes an economic impact, measure the extent to which the regulation interferes with a distinct investment backed expectation, and 2) expectation of the landowner - a landowners expectations are determined reasonable or unreasonable based upon the historical use of the property and past regulations.

Furthermore the courts in Westgate v State established that denial of a permit is the same as an actual or legal restriction on the property....taking these two established cases and putting them together its not a leap of faith to conclude that the denial of a permit based upon a new regulation not in place at the time of purchase (indeed never been in place before here), and one that causes an actual identifiable harm, not community in nature, is a taking for which the City must pay damages if they wish to do. As I said before they can do it, but they have to pay to do it.

Its funny though how you resort to a personal attack for no apparent reason on my comments though...The length of time the ink on my license has been dry has no bearing at all on how well I would perform in proving my case. Its a funny thing the law, you can pit little young, new license me, up against a $4,000,000,000 legal budget, and when the facts and the law are on my side, I am still going to win.

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Its a funny thing the law, you can pit little young, new license me, up against a $4,000,000,000 legal budget, and when the facts and the law are on my side, I am still going to win.

Maybe when you are a little longer in the tooth, you'll understand why I said what I did. I won't waste any more of your time or HAIF's explaining how the real legal world works, but I am unpersuaded by your argument, and I doubt the City's lawyers are either. However, I will give you this bone...in the real world, one does not care HOW he wins, merely that he wins. Though you'll never convince me that the City cratered to your legal argument (I wouldn't even believe it if I had done it), the fact remains you secured a variance for your client, and I applaud you for that.

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I will tell you from experience to be afraid, be VERY afraid. The house I sold a little over a year ago was a 31 year old ranch style over in Bear Creek, and had only flooded one time in those 31 years and that back in the 80's and it only got about 1 inch of water inside.

Fast forward to the new millenium and all the new subdivisions in Katy and Cypress from 2004 to 2008 and Harris County changed the flood plain in Jan. 2008, which kinda prompted the whole move. The house has flooded 3 times from Sept.2008 to Feb.2009. I totally dodged a bullet on that one.

Edited by TJones
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I will tell you from experience to be afraid, be VERY afraid. The house I sold a little over a year ago was a 31 year old ranch style over in Bear Creek, and had only flooded one time in those 31 years and that back in the 80's and it only got about 1 inch of water inside.

Fast forward to the new millenium and all the new subdivisions in Katy and Cypress from 2004 to 2008 and Harris County changed the flood plain in Jan. 2008, which kinda prompted the whole move. The house has flooded 3 times from Sept.2008 to Feb.2009. I totally dodged a bullet on that one.

In fairness, the west side of town has seen some rain events between Sept 08 and April 09 that they hadn't seen in the last 30 years.

Also...to be completely accurate, Harris County didn't change the floodplain on some kind of whim, or to deter or promote development, or to punish certain parts of town. Harris County/HCFCD/FEMA and their contractors provided the most accurate depiction of the floodplain that currently exists, in order to give Harris County residents an accurate assessment of their risk of riverine flooding, by performing more detailed studies over a larger area than anyone in the country has ever done before. It was an unprecedented mapping effort, and has been used as a model for remapping projects across the country.

Talking about the April floods in particular, and just speaking to the areas I'm aware of, the homes that flooded didn't flood due to bayous and channels getting out of their banks (which would be the definition of floodplain), but due to internal subdivision drainage issues. To be more specific, you can point the finger at older design standards (pre-1984) that didn't require consideration of extreme event overflow paths.

Going back to the original topic, while the floodplain maps give a good idea of flood risk from riverine flooding, it's a good idea to dig a little deeper. For one, not all floodplain areas have the same risk. If you're on the fringe of the floodplain you're at less risk of riverine flooding than if you're down on the banks of the bayou for the same floodplain. Additionally, the floodplain maps only reflect riverine flooding, not the sheetflow flooding that occurs due to local drainage conditions within a subdivision.

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No Timmy, Bear Creek is built right up against the Addicks Reservoir. All the new construction, north and west of the area around Clay and Hwy.6 has caused a build up of the land where once were mostly rice fields and prairie. The runoff was not taken into account and the Army Corp. of Engineers made changes to the George Bush park side but totally forgot about the BC side, although I am not entirely sure that the BC side is on their watch. I do agree to some extent that the antiquated sewage and runoff system IS a contributing factor, but is more akin to mismanagement and poor city planning.

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  • 1 month later...
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To me the issue is not whether it will flood. The problem is dealing with city if there is a fire or you want to do repairs. Personally that is what makes me avoid the floodplain.

Que? There is no problem dealing with the city if you are in the 100yr flood plain only the flood way. The rules for complying with Chapter 19 for greater than 50% value repairs and footprint expansion only come into play if your home is in the flood way.

I completely understand why you would want to avoid the flood way... your house could flood every 30 days; but avoiding the 100 yr flood plain is different. I haven't avoided it, and wouldn't avoided it if I had it to do over again... and I will be saying the same thing if my house floods tomorrow.

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Que? There is no problem dealing with the city if you are in the 100yr flood plain only the flood way. The rules for complying with Chapter 19 for greater than 50% value repairs and footprint expansion only come into play if your home is in the flood way.

I completely understand why you would want to avoid the flood way... your house could flood every 30 days; but avoiding the 100 yr flood plain is different. I haven't avoided it, and wouldn't avoided it if I had it to do over again... and I will be saying the same thing if my house floods tomorrow.

Really? Not me. I've helped too many people with flooded homes, after Ike. One person, her home flooded THREE times in the past 10 years. Still determined to stay right there... because that's where the kids grew up. Problem is... the kids left the house over a decade ago... you could really do yourself, and your kids a favor... by moving! At the end of the day, it's only a material possession... and nothing more.

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I am guessing about 2 feet above sea level. Maybe 5 feet.

What? Where could that be besides Galveston? 2 to 5 feet in houston would flood every time it drizzeled

my lot varies between 24 and 56 ft. The slab is at 56 ft and flooded during allson. The ravine bottom is at 24 and always has water in it.

Is it really possible to be at 5 ft or less in Houston? Either way that has to be a floodway and not a floodplan.

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  • 1 month later...

i just bought a house in the 100-year flood plain within walking distance of white oak... it didn't flood during allison...

so, i'm paying extra in insurance to leave in the only area in houston where you can get 5 bedrooms / 3,000+ sf / 3 car garage for under $200k... and only 3 miles from the loop.

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What? Where could that be besides Galveston? 2 to 5 feet in houston would flood every time it drizzeled

my lot varies between 24 and 56 ft. The slab is at 56 ft and flooded during allson. The ravine bottom is at 24 and always has water in it.

Is it really possible to be at 5 ft or less in Houston? Either way that has to be a floodway and not a floodplan.

Maybe near the Turning Basin or Brady Island, but yeah I'm curious about who would build something at that elvation too.

Edited by plumber2
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  • 2 months later...

Personally my issue with the flood plain has nothing to do with the water. Yeah it might flood. I am more worried about it burning down and then having to deal with the city to rebuild it. As was talked about you can try and fight the city but its alot easier to just buy the house next door.

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  • 3 years later...

That is an excellent way to pose the question... it probably should be a risk vs. reward type determination.

I already own a home in the 100 yr flood plain. I live on a ravine that feeds into White Oak Bayou. The home flooded during Allison, but never before or after. I do the same thing you do for a living flipper and I had searched for a ravine lot for 2 years before I found this one... And when I mean search, I mean every single day! I even actively sent letters to homes that were not on the market--which is how I got mine. My rewards heavily out number my risks or hassles. I pay for flood insurance so I only have to worry about the inconvenience and cost. The cost is negligible at 0.16% of the properties value per year and the inconvenience a flood would cause me would only come from irreplaceable items lost because, I would likely make money on any flood claim and update my home in the process. My rewards impress me every day... I live on a lot that could be a park! I would have a tough time selling it for double what I paid.

I will have to consider if I lived on a regular lot if it would be worth it. I'll think about and get back to you. cool.gif

 

Rbax....I am looking a buying new construction also on a Ravine that feeds into White Oak Bayou.  I'm very concerned about being in the flooplain.  The builder will be building the home on a slab with a pony wall to raise it up 3 feet.  Any thoughts.  How is flooding in the area during bad thunderstorms etc.  This would be a big investment for me and I want to make sure I am making a good decision.

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