When the weather forecast hints that there is a chance of flooding in the Ocala area, most homeowners take note.
That’s because many residential and commercial properties in the region are located in so-called flood zones. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, produced revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps in 2017 that placed many of the properties in Ocala within Special Flood Hazard Areas, or SFHA.
This doesn’t mean that buying property in Ocala is a bad idea. However, it does mean that it’s sensible for buyers to be aware of whether or not the property they are interested in is in a flood zone. If that property is in a flood zone, then they will want to know more about the property’s flood zone classification and the requirement to carry flood insurance.
What Is a Flood Zone?
FEMA is responsible for identifying geographic areas that are at some risk for flooding. Some properties are in high-risk flood zones that have a one-percent or greater chance of flooding each year. Other properties may be in low to moderate risk level areas that have an approximately 0.2 percent or less chance of flooding on an annual basis.
Is the Property You’re Looking at on a Flood Plain?
It’s definitely wise to know whether or not a home that you’re thinking about buying is on a flood plain. In Ocala, your Realtor will let you know if this is a consideration for the property you have in mind. You also have the option of visiting the FEMA website, which has a Flood Map Service Center. All you have to do is enter the address or coordinates in the search bar to determine whether or not that particular home is on a flood plain.
Ocala & Marion County Flood Zone Map Links
- City of Ocala FEMA Flood Maps- Click Here
- FEMA Informational Handout- Click Here
- About the Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance- Click Here
- The National Flood Insurance Program Website: Click Here
- Marion County Sheriff’s Office – (Division of Emergency Management): Click Here
- View/Print: Home Protection Tips
Tips for Buying Property in a Flood Zone
Every year, many people in Ocala buy homes and commercial properties that are located in flood zones. They do so only after preparing themselves for the considerations that go along with owning property on a flood plain.
High-Risk Flood Zones
If you look at the FEMA maps, you’ll see that some properties are labeled with the letter “A” or “V.” Considered the highest-risk areas for flooding, you’ll usually find these designations along coastlines and rivers. Frequently, these regions are referred to as Special Flood Hazard Areas, and Ocala does have some of these designations.
If you buy a home in a Special Flood Hazard Area, then you are required to carry flood insurance. This is because there is an approximately 25 percent chance that you will experience a flood within the next three decades.
In addition to having flood insurance, you can install a backup battery for your home’s sump pump to ensure that you’re prepared if that big flood ever arrives.
Low- to Moderate-Risk Zones
Properties in these lower-risk zones are marked with “B,” “C” and “X” on FEMA maps. B is used for properties in a moderate-risk area. Although flood insurance is not required for properties in these areas, it’s still wise to protect yourself with a policy. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, as many as 25 percent of the claims they review come from “B” zones.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?
Buying a property that is labeled with an “A” or a “V” is going to cost more in flood insurance premiums than a property in a “B” zone.
The good news is that most flood insurance policies are actually quite inexpensive. Because Ocala is classified as a Class 3 Community with properties in Special Flood Hazard Areas, homeowners in these regions are eligible for a 35 percent discount on flood insurance. Even if your home is not located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, you still qualify for a 10 percent discount.
Keep in mind that ordinary home insurance policies do not protect you in the event of a flood. Instead, it is necessary to carry an additional flood insurance policy to ensure that your property is truly protected.
Ask the Experts at Florida’s Choice Realty
If you are thinking about buying a home in Ocala, then you need to know if the home you’re considering is in a flood zone. Moreover, it’s imperative that you know if that home is in a high-risk or low- to moderate-risk zone. This will help you to determine how much flood insurance you may need and how much of a discount you are entitled to.
Contact the knowledgeable Realtors at Florida’s Choice Realty about Ocala’s flood zones.