Flood Insurance: The documentation you need when purchasing a home or closing on a real estate transaction.

December 5, 2017

Flood Elevation Certificate SurveyLand surveying documents are necessary for any real estate transaction; however, it is also important that buyers and lenders familiarize themselves with flood insurance requirements. Seeking the expertise of a professional land surveyor to prepare an Elevation Certificate and/or Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) may avoid postponing the closing date if otherwise overlooked.

If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it pays to get in touch early with a professional land surveyor (also known in some areas as a registered land surveyor).

  • Buyers and lenders who want to close real estate transactions on time and minimize flood insurance rates.
  • Existing property owners who want to challenge potential increases in flood insurance rates.
  • Property owners who don’t want to obtain flood insurance because they believe they can prove that their home or business is at a higher elevation than what FEMA’s current flood plain maps indicate.

Recently, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has been increasing their rates on flood insurance, mostly due to flooding events in various areas of the U.S. Many property owners are receiving letters from FEMA indicating that their rates will increase significantly unless they are able to produce an Elevation Certificate. Often a homeowner will find out that they need a Flood Elevation Certificate or a LOMA well after applying for a mortgage. When this happens there isn’t much time to get the information to the lender prior to the scheduled closing date.

Here’s the good news. When a buyer or lender learns from FEMA that an elevation certificate and/or LOMA is needed, raSmith is ready to respond. Our staff is able to produce these documents rather quickly. raSmith has the experience and know-how to quickly and accurately complete a survey including all necessary flood certifications and documentation, ensuring a smooth real estate transaction for all involved parties. It’s a win-win-win for the seller, the buyer and the lender.

About the Author

EricSturm, PLS
Eric Sturm is the director of survey services at raSmith. Eric has decades of experience in a wide range of land development surveying projects. He is responsible for project research and setup, calculations, plan review and quality control. He manages multiple projects including coordinating with the design engineers, field crews and drafting technicians and handles client communications. Eric plans and supervises survey tasks for the design and development of projects. For more information, contact us at (262) 317-3228 or email eric.sturm@rasmith.com.

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