How to Get a Home Rezoned Out of a Flood Zone

June 22, 2018 7:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A house located in an area designated a flood hazard area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is required to have flood insurance before any loans can be made on the property. However, if you do not believe there’s a risk of your home flooding, you can petition to have it rezoned out of that flood plain area, which would then eliminate the requirement that you carry flood insurance on the property in conjunction with your mortgage.

Here are some tips from a real estate surveyor in Mobile, AL to help you accomplish this:

  • Hold on to your insurance coverage: Keep up your flood insurance coverage until you have been able to officially prove your home is rezoned. Until the bank gets that proof, it will still require you to have that insurance on your home. If you cancel your current policy, the bank is likely to purchase a policy and make you pay for it anyway. Plus, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover flood damage—that’s an entirely separate policy, and if you are at risk of flooding, simply having a homeowner’s policy won’t protect you.
  • Obtain the services of a surveyor: A professional surveyor can perform an elevation certificate on your home. In accordance with FEMA rules, any contractor who completes that certificate must have a land surveyor license, or be a registered engineer, otherwise that document will not qualify for rezoning consideration. During the survey, the surveyor will carefully analyze the physical construction of your home, and compare its location and elevation of the house to flood plain requirements. This will help them determine if the home sits above the area at risk of flooding.
  • Apply for amendment: After you receive your elevation certificate that shows your home lies above the flood plain, you can then submit an application to FEMA for a Letter of Map Amendment. You can perform this submission digitally through FEMA’s eLOMA system, or send in a physical application package (MT-EZ or MT-1). If you do not receive an elevation certificate, your home is ineligible for amendment.
  • Wait: After you submit your application, you’ll need to wait for FEMA to process the application. This can take six to eight weeks depending on a variety of factors, including the backlog of applications the agency has to process. Remember to hold on to your flood insurance while waiting for rezoning approval from FEMA.
  • Submit documentation to your bank: After you receive your Letter of Map Amendment from FEMA, submit a copy of this approval to your bank or lender. At that point, the lender will no longer require flood insurance along with your mortgage, as the amendment rezones your home away from the flood plain in the area.

This should give you an idea of the general process involved with rezoning your home out of a flood plain, but for more information or advice or to get the process started, contact Polysurveying for a boundary survey in Mobile, AL today.

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