Have you heard that The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released digitized flood insurance maps of certain parts of the country?
The maps were first rolled out in 2003 for some areas. By 2010, FEMA should have about 92 percent of the U.S. population and 65 percent of the land covered by the new maps.
Southeast Texas is not included yet!
USA Today featured a story about the new high-tech digitized maps. It looks like Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin got the new maps before us. Good bet the Southeast Texas maps are being redone right now with Hurricane Ike data included.
What it might mean for Southeast Texas homeowners? Some of us will need flood insurance that never were required to have it before. A few lucky homeowners may not be in a flood zone anymore relieving them of their obligation to buy the insurance which can be costly.
If you go to the FEMA Website Flood Info you will be able to look up your address and see what flood zone you are in. Just one thing, Southeast Texas is in the preliminary map phase. Our firm data isn't available yet. Purple on the map below represents firm flood data. Houston has it. Galveston is partial at this time. It is probably being "Ike" updated.
Flood zones have an impact on home values. There are a lot less home buyers willing to take the risk associated with a flood prone area unless they are getting the benefit of direct water access. It is hard to say what impact the recent flooding in Orange and Bridge City will have on the housing markets in those two Southeast Texas towns. One thing that is probably a certainty is any new home mortgages written in those areas will require home buyers to have flood insurance.
We will know for certain once FEMA releases the new high-tech flood maps.