If you’re shopping for a new home in Charleston County a real estate term that you might have run across is the “hundred year flood line.” You might also have heard discussion of how the type of floodzone that a home is in could potentially require costly flood insurance. Charleston County is in the process of revising the maps that dictate the flood line, impacting where builders will be able to build and what homeowner’s flood insurance will cost. Charleston County officials will hold a series of three public workshops with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Emergency Management Act beginning on March 20th (times and locations provided below). These meetings will provide Charleston County residents with the opportunity to look at the new preliminary flood maps and to ask the experts how these changes might affect them. Charleston County will allow residents to submit their particular street address and the County will provide detailed information (at a slightly later date) about how their property will be affected. Advanced new technology was implemented in the redrawing of the flood maps and information regarding recent construction was incorporated into them.
How does the flood line impact homebuyers? By law, any properties with a mortgage that are located in an area at a high risk for flooding are required to have flood insurance. In the Lowcountry this isn’t limited to just a coastal address but can be the case in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. As the Charleston County flood lines are redrawn it is likely that some home owners currently considered to be in the flood zone will no longer be, meaning they will no longer be required to carry flood insurance on their homes and vice versa; that new property will be included in the area of the flood zone, necessitating that homeowners add flood insurance to their policy. These new maps won’t be officially implemented until late 2018 or early 2019.
What is a hundred year flood line? In a nutshell, it is the statistical probability (in this case determined by the county) that there is a one-in-one hundred chance of a flood occurring any given year, i.e., that area will flood once every 100 years. This measurement is used by insurance companies to determine the type of flood coverage that your home will require. Be sure to inquire when you’re shopping for homeowner’s insurance for your new home if you’ll need flood insurance and if so, how much that will cost on a monthly basis. The rates vary greatly in association with the degree of potential flood risk.
Charleston County residents can attend workshops regarding the new flood zone on the following dates: March 20, 2-7pm in council chambers at 4045 Bridge View Drive in North Charleston, March 21, 3-7pm at C.E. Williams Middle School (located at 640 Butte Street in West Ashley) and March 22, 2-7pm at Alhambra Hall, 131 Middle Street in Mount Pleasant.
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