Buying a house in an area of high flood risk

Soldato
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I would run a mile, unless it's an amazing deal for the price, and you're prepared to risk having a sodden, uninsurable, worthless property, that is. Maybe that is a risk you're willing to take.

Could be completely fine. Could be you on the national news in wellies crying over your wrecked home.
 
Soldato
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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).
Nuts to offer over asking for a house at flood risk. If I could accept the risk of it becoming nearly worthless, I'd be low-balling 20-30% off asking, and walking away if they aren't interested.
 
Soldato
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As others have mentioned, unless it was priced very well then I would walk away. I certainly wouldn't be offering above asking price.

Flood defenses were identified as needed in 2014 and they were never implemented and are unlikely to be done unless you're now actually flooded at which point it's too late for you - you'll have an uninsurable home.

Walk away and your future self will thank you.
 
Soldato
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House near me recently sold that I know for a fact has been flooded twice.
It sold for 120k where the equivalent house up the hill a bit would probably go for about 180k.
Still I don't think I would touch it with a barge pole.
 
Commissario
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It's probably the most sensible choice unfortunately:(

Sometimes being in a "flood area" isn't too risky as they can base it on historical events that have long since been sorted, or the fact that part of the property (say a low garden) might get a bit of water, but it's a hell of a risk to take when you are moving in and all it takes is bad flooding in another part of the country to make the insurers not want anything to do with you.

Our house was basically uninsurable for a few years* because of it's location, we're near a stream and the back garden that is ~1m lower than the house floods to a height of ~2-5cm every few years (and about 20cm every 10-15 years) which according to the insurers made the house too risky, despite the fact we're further away from the stream and at the same height as other houses that had no issue (we were getting quotes of 3-5k, a house 20 meters to the side that was at the same height and distance from the stream was £300 simply because his house didn't have a garden than extended to the stream).
The whole of this side of town is also at some risk according to the maps due to flooding that happened ~30 years ago when an old bridge acted as a dam when the stream hit around 75% and the water spread via the roads when it topped the bridge, IIRC the water stayed on the roads for most of the area and they replaced both the bridges in the town built to that design after.


*IIRC after the massive floods in about 2012 even specialist insurers didn't want to know if you said "my garden got a few cm of water 5 years ago".
 
Soldato
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It's probably the most sensible choice unfortunately:(

Sometimes being in a "flood area" isn't too risky as they can base it on historical events that have long since been sorted, or the fact that part of the property (say a low garden) might get a bit of water, but it's a hell of a risk to take when you are moving in and all it takes is bad flooding in another part of the country to make the insurers not want anything to do with you.

Our house was basically uninsurable for a few years* because of it's location, we're near a stream and the back garden that is ~1m lower than the house floods to a height of ~2-5cm every few years (and about 20cm every 10-15 years) which according to the insurers made the house too risky, despite the fact we're further away from the stream and at the same height as other houses that had no issue (we were getting quotes of 3-5k, a house 20 meters to the side that was at the same height and distance from the stream was £300 simply because his house didn't have a garden than extended to the stream).
The whole of this side of town is also at some risk according to the maps due to flooding that happened ~30 years ago when an old bridge acted as a dam when the stream hit around 75% and the water spread via the roads when it topped the bridge, IIRC the water stayed on the roads for most of the area and they replaced both the bridges in the town built to that design after.


*IIRC after the massive floods in about 2012 even specialist insurers didn't want to know if you said "my garden got a few cm of water 5 years ago".


I wonder in that scenario if you could sell the last few meters of the garden to a reletive for a tenner, therefore making the boundary of your property not in a flood zone any more :D
 
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House near me recently sold that I know for a fact has been flooded twice.
It sold for 120k where the equivalent house up the hill a bit would probably go for about 180k.
Still I don't think I would touch it with a barge pole.
Sounds a little like the estate they built on the other side of the stream to us.
They built them on lower land than "our" side, and for about 15 years they would flood every couple of years, pretty much a case of I'd see a large puddle in our back garden and the houses opposite would have it hitting their doorways. I can only imagine the planning application for them was either fiddled or involved some "campaign contributions" for someone, as they were built in the full knowledge of the flooding (and I think a large part of the reason that area hadn't been built on at the same time as "our" side).
 
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I wonder in that scenario if you could sell the last few meters of the garden to a reletive for a tenner, therefore making the boundary of your property not in a flood zone any more :D
We have actually considered that ;)
I've joked about paying to have it broken into two parts for the purposes of the land registry and then when the insurers ask the question we could reply "oh no, the property Mr Wolf is trying to insure has not flooded in the time period you're asking about/never flooded".
I suspect unfortunately the insurance company would not take it well if they then discovered that the property had been split.
 
Soldato
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We're 30m from the Thames in a high flood risk area. That the place had never properly flooded before was a major factor in us buying - other houses nearby had, but our row had escaped it.

Despite that, we put in cavity waterproofing to be sure.

If you do your research, you should be confident in your decision.
 
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Every year we watch the floods and all say "Why oh why do people buy property on these flood plains?" - find something else.

Apologies, just seen post #25
One of the problems with that simple approach is that in many areas a good portion of all homes are on them, in some they were built (like the ones across from me) when it was known.

And if you bought the house before a certain time you may have had issues reliably knowing if you were in a flood risk area, or what level of risk it was, in my town a very high percentage of the housing on the lower south side of the town (actually in the town proper) is theoretically at risk of flooding, but for most of them it's only ever happened once when the old bridge acted as a dam and only a few garages (at the end of sloping drives) tended to be affected (the rise from the road to the paths contained it). On the flip side there is an estate in an old sand quarry built in the 60's and 70's that has active pumping year round, I can't remember if they got flooded badly or not that year but some of them were 10-20+ meters below the level of the main road that had water on it, and 10+ meters below the level of the stream about 150 meters away;)

Basically some flood risks can be "every 50 years your garden might get a big puddle", others might be "yeah you're going to get flood water into your house every 5-10 years" and it seems that it's only the last 10-15 years that the flood maps have been more readily available, and increasingly accurate, and they've got a lot better at understanding and taking into account how developments up or down stream will affect existing properties, you might have bought a house that 40 years ago had a "low" risk and find out that under a new map it's now "high".
 
Man of Honour
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you might have bought a house that 40 years ago had a "low" risk and find out that under a new map it's now "high".

I feel for those people but you still quite often see buyers when they have up to date flood maps.
The OP has seen the error of his ways but somebody else will buy that property thinking "It won't happen to me".
 
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But it may never, the problem is if no one ever buys a house that is in a "flood area" even a very low risk one, then we're going to need to build probably half a million or more houses in areas that don't currently flood to replace them, and we've already got problems with getting enough houses built.

I've never quite understood why if there is a flood area and a need for houses, why not build housing with (open to the air) parking underneath them, that way the actual house is ~3 meters above the ground.

Personally I'd never buy a house in a flood area myself if given a choice, but I can understand exactly why people do, and why people live in them (I suspect an increasing amount of "flood area" housing is probably rented these days).
 
Man of Honour
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I've never quite understood why if there is a flood area and a need for houses, why not build housing with (open to the air) parking underneath them, that way the actual house is ~3 meters above the ground.

Don't bring... common sense... into this. It has always puzzled me as well why they don't innovate when it comes to building newer housing which might be affected by flooding and climate change, etc. but I guess that means *effort* and extra cost.
 
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Don't bring... common sense... into this. It has always puzzled me as well why they don't innovate when it comes to building newer housing which might be affected by flooding and climate change, etc. but I guess that means *effort* and extra cost

One of the silly things is around here in a "non flood" area they built some similar to that 40 years ago with the house on top of the garage.

And I've just realised I've massively taken this off topic.
 
Man of Honour
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But it may never, the problem is if no one ever buys a house that is in a "flood area" even a very low risk one, then we're going to need to build probably half a million or more houses in areas that don't currently flood to replace them, and we've already got problems with getting enough houses built.

So this is where the Government need to promise people some kind of protection with their house insurance and not have the insurance companies charging stupid amounts.
I've got friends who live in Trentham, Stoke and they live in a house where the River Trent runs= at the bottom of their long garden.
They have never had a flood and never been close to a flood but last year (or year before) I watched a running commentary where it rose so high and came into the house.
Their insurance is now very high and neighbours around them who weren't flooded are now also paying hiked prices.


I've never quite understood why if there is a flood area and a need for houses, why not build housing with (open to the air) parking underneath them, that way the actual house is ~3 meters above the ground.

Funny how foreign countries by coasts and rivers have been doing this for centuries (well shacks on stilts).
 
Soldato
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you made the right decision, it could have crippled your finances. Also puts you in a difficult position when it comes to selling the place on. I did wonder though looking on google I don't see any rivers right next to the property? I can see one that looks like it could be 5/10 miles out so I did wonder how the place is risked high for flooding?

anway check out this house here... that's what you call a proper flood risk and poor placement lol
 
Soldato
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They built a block of flats here with parking underneath next to a river so that they could get around the "if it floods it's just a car park". Seemed like a good idea until all the cars parked there were damaged instead. All the other houses with driveways were not affected. I tried to get a quote on a flat on the first floor and they wanted to hike the cost of contents due to "floodplain" even though I was 4m above the height of the river.
 
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