A lot of land in the Central TX area lies in the floodplain. Does that mean it’s off limits for building? Watch for insight into still deriving value from floodplain properties – part 1 of our 3 part “Floodplain Explained” videos.

Whenever you’re buying a piece of land, especially here in Central Texas, many times it will be encumbered by some floodplain or the majority of the land will actually be encumbered by the floodplain. Now, many investors will run away from floodplain because they think that you absolutely cannot build in a floodplain and this is not true whatsoever. Many counties and some municipalities will actually allow you to build in the floodplain if the floor height of the home is two feet above the base flood elevation, also known as the BFE.

Now many surveys do not show the base flood elevations so you’re going to have to work with an RPLS, a registered professional land surveyor, to do an analysis to show what level the base flood elevation is and then the home floor height needs to be two feet above that. We recently just purchased about 55 acres in Manor just outside of Austin and I would say about 60 to 70 percent of the land had floodplain on it. Most people thought we were nuts for buying it, but, again, you can still build a home as long as it’s two feet above the base flood elevation.

Of course, always check with the municipalities or the counties, whoever the governing body is, but it can be very advantageous because you can still derive value from that land, especially if someone is putting a manufactured home on the property. Manufactured homes are usually built up anyways, so it was a great opportunity for some home new homeowners. Of course, always disclose that the property is in the floodplain. It’s the right thing to do and you are required by law to do it if you’re an agent a licensed agent.

Feel free to reach out to us with questions or other topics you’d like to see covered.

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