If you’re in real estate, whether you’re buying land as an investment, you’re developing land or if you’re a real estate agent, you’ve probably heard of Atlas 14. And, if you haven’t, it is very important that you understand the implications of Atlas 14.

Atlas 14 was a study that was conducted by the NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and it found that the designated floodplains throughout the U.S., specifically in central Texas, have been grossly underestimated. So, they ran new studies they have new flow numbers and many cities and some counties are starting to adopt the Atlas 14 flow numbers. So, what this means is the floodplain is increasing. General rule of thumb, the 500-year floodplain is now becoming the 100-year floodplain and the new 500-year floodplain will expand even beyond the original 500-year floodplain.

So, what are the implications for this. Well, many deals that we have come across have been killed by this because when you look at a property it looks like it might not be in the flood plain because, ironically FEMA’s maps are not updated with atlas 14 flow numbers, which is really interesting. But, again, many cities and counties are starting to adopt the Atlas 14 flow numbers. So. if you are advising a client of yours to purchase a property that’s near a floodplain, but according to FEMA maps it is no longer it’s not in the flood plain right now, what happens when that municipality or county adopts the Atlas 14 flow numbers? That property will now be in the floodplain. What’s going to happen to their insurance costs? It’s going to go through the roof, right? And, who are they going to blame? More than likely, they’re going to come after the real estate agent. So, it’s very important that you understand the implications of Atlas 14.

The best thing you can do is call your local governing body, whether the city or county depending on where the property lies, and simply ask them if they are adopting the Atlas 14 flow numbers. If they say, “no, but we will down the road,” the next best thing you can do is conduct a floodplain analysis. Again, as mentioned in a previous video, that’s going to run anywhere from three thousand dollars to maybe up to fifteen thousand dollars, but it’s worth its weight in gold. This is very important because many homes are now going to be in the floodplain when they adopt the new numbers.

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

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