Disclosing Flood Hazard Areas In California Real Estate Transactions

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What Are Flood Hazard Areas?

The possibility of flooding in certain areas of California is always a danger for a prospective buyer to consider when deciding whether to purchase a home. As a result, a seller or his real estate agent is responsible for disclosing whether a piece of property up for sale is located in a designated flood hazard area.

Flood hazard areas are designated by the federal government as being subject to flooding. If a seller or his real estate agent wants to determine whether or not the property he is selling is in a flood hazard area, he should consult a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or a Flood Insurance Rate Map. These maps set forth flood hazard areas.

How Are Flood Hazard Areas Related To Real Estate Transactions In California?

The seller or his agent has a duty to disclose to a purchaser of his home that the subject property is in fact located in a flood hazard area. The fact that the property is in a flood hazard area is a material fact because it would likely affect the buyer's decision to purchase the property. It would also affect the buyer's ability to obtain financing. If the property is in a flood hazard area, the lender will most likely require the buyer to have flood insurance.

Do I Need An California Attorney If It Was Not Disclosed To Me That The Home I Purchased Is In A Flood Hazard Area?

As a seller or his real estate agent is required to disclose whether a given piece of property is located in a flood hazard area to buyer, failing to disclose such information may render them liable for negligence or any damages that result (such as increased costs for obtaining insurance for the home). An experienced real estate laywer will be familiar with the locations of the various flood hazard areas and can better inform you whether you may have a cause of action.

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Last Modified: 09-06-2012 09:59 AM PDT

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