Buying a house in an area of high flood risk

Soldato
Joined
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Southampton
The environmental searches for the house we have offered on has identified that the plot was in an area of High / Significant risk for ground water and surface water flooding. The plot is within maybe 10m of the maximum risk. However, the plot itself is in medium and is in flood zone 1. So it goes from max to minimum risk over a distance of about 15m.

Flood-Zone-3.png

Dark blue is FZ 3, light blue is FZ2 and no colour is FZ1.

Ground-Water.png

Ground Water flooding - Red is maximum risk, yellow is medium risk

Surface-Water.png

Surface Water Flooding. Dark red maxium, dark blue low, white negligible.

River-flooding.png

River flooding but also note the black outlines of recorded flood events.

The flood maps appear to reflect the houses on the northern side of the road being raised up compared to the road (maybe 30cm), probably due the flat plateaus created on the slight hill that the houses sit. The village itself has a flooding problem and a flood strategy is in place (who to phone, what the flood warden does etc). The parish council website has a typical low rent page talking about it that hasn't been updated in 5 years. Some photos of High Street and Black lane flooding are online (probably the event show in the image above).

I've got an buildings and contents insurance quote no problem.

Would you be running a mile? Reducing your offer substantially? We offered over the asking price (by quite a lot given the crazy market down south).

Houses seem to be sold fairly regularly so people are buying them but I am wondering when the mapping changes to put the whole plot in the maximum risk if a) we can insure the house still and b) anyone will buy it when it's our time to sell.

We like the house a lot due to its location, size, character etc
 
Soldato
Joined
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2,909
I’d run a mile. After it’s been flooded for the first time (and it will happen), your home insurance will be astronomical if you can get it and you’ll never be able to sell it.
 
Associate
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Is there any chance of development in the area at all? Not planned, but the likelyhood of old buildings going and new ones put in or other things. Unlikely, but a consideration.

Checked past sold prices and how many have sold?

What's the condition of the roads and greenery like?

Do you know how much the council spend on flood repair and if it's been reduced annually due to cuts?

As usual, only you can decide if it fits the bill, and if you're prepared to prepare for the worst.

Everyone forgot, but i seem to remember some disastrous floods happened in Somerset not long before covid. Imagine having a pub then :eek:
 
Soldato
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12 May 2011
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5,822
Location
Southampton
Is there any chance of development in the area at all? Not planned, but the likelyhood of old buildings going and new ones put in or other things. Unlikely, but a consideration.

Checked past sold prices and how many have sold?

What's the condition of the roads and greenery like?

Do you know how much the council spend on flood repair and if it's been reduced annually due to cuts?

As usual, only you can decide if it fits the bill, and if you're prepared to prepare for the worst.

Everyone forgot, but i seem to remember some disastrous floods happened in Somerset not long before covid. Imagine having a pub then :eek:
Development unlikely beyond replacing a house like-for-like as the village is in a conservation area

Road and greenery seem typical of villages. soft verges with the river/ditch to one side. The roads have drainage gullies but I guess the issue is if they're full (even if cleaned regularly which it appears they are based on the parish website)

There have been attempts to find a flooding solution but none of the parties have the funding for it - the EA, the Council and Southern Water. As it is groundwater flooding, I am not sure there is a way to stop it happening? Just remove the water quicker...
 
Associate
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Hampshire
I would walk away as well. Flooding, I really feel for owners whose homes flood, nightmare.

If you are already having thoughts before you buy - it will always be in the back of your mind and possibly take the shine off an otherwise great purchase.

Even it it doesn't flood, its still going to be an extra stress whenever the weather changes.
 
Associate
Joined
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1,864
Development unlikely beyond replacing a house like-for-like as the village is in a conservation area

Road and greenery seem typical of villages. soft verges with the river/ditch to one side. The roads have drainage gullies but I guess the issue is if they're full (even if cleaned regularly which it appears they are based on the parish website)

There have been attempts to find a flooding solution but none of the parties have the funding for it - the EA, the Council and Southern Water. As it is groundwater flooding, I am not sure there is a way to stop it happening? Just remove the water quicker...

I should have said that i'm not knowledgeable on the subject, just those are the questions i'd be asking on top of future insurance cost questions.

However, if it's a conservation area then i'd question whether even if the funds became available would work go ahead for additional or alternative drainage.

Have you also looked into costs of property protection?

Sometimes when a rich/important person or someone in power lives in the area, work sometimes does just magically happen.

If you're considering the thought of moving in the future i think it adds too much into the avoid argument.
 
Soldato
Joined
30 Aug 2006
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8,230
I was in a house share that got flooded, and it was such a PITA to deal with that I vowed never to live anywhere with a flood risk, and that was just renting one room with barely any furniture of my own! I currently live in a top floor flat at the top of a hill :D
 
Caporegime
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7 Nov 2004
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Buckinghamshire
Is there any chance of development in the area at all? Not planned, but the likelyhood of old buildings going and new ones put in or other things. Unlikely, but a consideration.

Checked past sold prices and how many have sold?

What's the condition of the roads and greenery like?

Do you know how much the council spend on flood repair and if it's been reduced annually due to cuts?

As usual, only you can decide if it fits the bill, and if you're prepared to prepare for the worst.

Everyone forgot, but i seem to remember some disastrous floods happened in Somerset not long before covid. Imagine having a pub then :eek:

We had various places flood near me, including a pub. We had to declare flood risk, despite being 'miles' from it and at the top of the hill.....
 
Soldato
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1 Apr 2014
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Aberdeen
The environmental searches for the house we have offered on has identified that the plot was in an area of High / Significant risk for ground water and surface water flooding.

What is the elevation? You can be 100 feet above the burn and they'll still try to claim that you're a flood risk.
 
Soldato
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Winchester
Walk away, unless you know the local authority are doing any flood alleviation schemes upstream which would reduce the risk. Otherwise I reckon flooding will only get worse with climate change. (we do flood risk assessments everyday at work.)
 
Sgarrista
Commissario
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Bromsgrove
Absolutely not.

Walk away and dont look back. Even if theres that one in a thousand chance it can happen, its not worth the risk imho.
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Feb 2004
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Location
Higher Walton
I vaguely recall our house being classed as an in a flood risk area as it's very close to a river which had previously broken it's banks. However the previous owner was an environmental surveyor and i believe he argued (correctly), that if the river ever flooded it would flood on the oppostie bank as it's considerably lower than our side and our house had never actually flooded in previous floods.

Home insurance is fine, and we've never worried despite neighbours going into real panic mode whenever the river starts getting high. You should see the facebook group!
 
Soldato
Joined
12 May 2011
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Location
Southampton
Walk away, unless you know the local authority are doing any flood alleviation schemes upstream which would reduce the risk. Otherwise I reckon flooding will only get worse with climate change. (we do flood risk assessments everyday at work.)
The parish council have a flood defences update saying that after floods in 1995 a siphon was installed on the river. It then flooded in 2001 and 2003 and a further modifications were done to the river / siphon. It then flooded in 2014 due to increased flows of the river.

A review/report was done that identified a solution with a cost of £850,000 but it was never installed. Now the various bodies - the Council, the EA and Southern Water - didn't have the money to pay for it anymore.
 
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