Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • kilby_007
    • By kilby_007 9th Oct 16, 6:23 PM
    • 445Posts
    • 237Thanks
    kilby_007
    Finding out about historical flooding
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:23 PM
    Finding out about historical flooding 9th Oct 16 at 6:23 PM
    Hi,

    We've been looking for a property for nearly a year, and probably viewed 30-40 houses. A property came up on Friday that seemed too good to be true and my wife and dad went to a group viewing today (I couldn't go as I work away). My dad buys and renovates houses for a living so I trust his opinion. He says it needs renovating but is otherwise sound and he reckons it will sell tomorrow, and my wife loves it so we're going to offer the asking price.

    The house is about £50K cheaper than other similar houses (but that have already been renovated) we've viewed so the discount makes it very attractive because we can make it our own from scratch, but there's possibly a catch. The house (a 1970's build) is smack bang in the middle of a Zone 3 on the Environment Agency Flood Risk maps, but I don't know if it's ever actually flooded. In 2007 there was some flooding around the village due to slow draining surface water and an overflowing dyke nearby. As a result of this they have put in flood defences to contain future floods within the farmer's fields but I'm concerned about insurance. If the property has previously flooded then the insurance premiums will be sky high. The lady who lived at the address I believe has passed away and the estate agent has been unable to answer our question about flooding.

    How can we find out definitively whether the house has previously flooded or not? We've thought about knocking on neighbours doors but my wife is now also away and I'm not home for another week, so do we proceed with our offer and try and delay solicitors etc for a few days whilst we find out? I reckon if we don't make an offer before 12 noon tomorrow the house will probably be sold to another (slightly crazed) viewer, who my wife said was following her about the house trying to scare her off.
    Last edited by kilby_007; 09-10-2016 at 6:25 PM.
Page 1
    • Loanranger
    • By Loanranger 9th Oct 16, 6:28 PM
    • 1,804 Posts
    • 4,528 Thanks
    Loanranger
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:28 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:28 PM
    The estate agent will have been instructed by a family member in all probability, so I would be not fobbed off by the agent until they have spoken to their client.
    Could you google the road name or district with the word flooding or flood?
    • thegirlintheattic
    • By thegirlintheattic 9th Oct 16, 6:33 PM
    • 2,703 Posts
    • 3,509 Thanks
    thegirlintheattic
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:33 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:33 PM
    Ask the neighbours, parish council, look for old news reports? Zone 3 as I'm sure you know is high risk for flooding.

    Be aware that flood defences can and do fail, and can move the problem from one area to another. Also make sure you are prepared to start over if it ever does flood. Being in a high flood risk area will make it hard to sell and can be difficult or expensive to insure.

    If it is your 'forever home' then there is things you can do to limit the damage from flooding (tile floor/walls, sealents on plaster, flood gates, higher electrical sockets, valves).
    Save £200 a month : Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
    • daisyfrau
    • By daisyfrau 9th Oct 16, 6:35 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    daisyfrau
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:35 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:35 PM
    My hubby and I saw one on RM with a similar history (pretty village near Reading, by any chance?) We are not selling yet, just browsing RM to see what's out there but we were concerned about whether one could get that particular house insured and also whether one would really want to be in a house that might actually flood one day. We suspected the house had flooded in the past because other houses around the corner from it had flooded a few years ago, and because the entire ground floor was tiled even living areas that were unlikely to have been originally marketed in that way. But it's just speculation - it would be reasonable to pursue an answer from the family via the agent. They would surely know if it had flooded at one point - the house in question listed the improvements made against flooding - which to us suggested it had flooded in the past, but that's simply an opinion! Best of luck!
    • G_M
    • By G_M 9th Oct 16, 6:47 PM
    • 37,062 Posts
    • 40,988 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:47 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:47 PM
    Insurance? Go online, put the property details in a comparison site, and see what quotes you get!

    Flooding history? Yes, ask neighbours, postman, pub etc. Search the local paper for stories. You can do all that as part of the conveyancing process once your offer is accepted.

    If you want, do that first before instructing survey, solicitor etc to minimise costs till you know.
    • kilby_007
    • By kilby_007 9th Oct 16, 6:56 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    kilby_007
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:56 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 16, 6:56 PM
    The estate agent will have been instructed by a family member in all probability, so I would be not fobbed off by the agent until they have spoken to their client.
    Could you google the road name or district with the word flooding or flood?
    Originally posted by Loanranger
    Yes, I have done that. When I google it there is a council flood report from 2007 which reports some flooding of properties about 100m away on a cul de sac off the road we're looking at but doesn't mention the street name we're looking at. I've asked 2 people who live near there. One of them vaguely recalls flooding but can't remember which houses were affected and the other, who has recently moved in up the road said there wasn't any flooding at all, so it's a bit inconclusive. Normally I would run a mile from a house coupled with the word "flood" but I believe that it's very unlikely to flood in the future. The heavy rains were a one in 100 years event and there has been a large embankment built right along the dyke to stop it happening again. So, although I'm not too concerned about future flooding my main worry is if it later transpires that the property has flooded because it will be a nightmare with insurance.
    • kilby_007
    • By kilby_007 9th Oct 16, 7:08 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    kilby_007
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 16, 7:08 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 16, 7:08 PM
    Insurance? Go online, put the property details in a comparison site, and see what quotes you get!

    Flooding history? Yes, ask neighbours, postman, pub etc. Search the local paper for stories. You can do all that as part of the conveyancing process once your offer is accepted.

    If you want, do that first before instructing survey, solicitor etc to minimise costs till you know.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Just done that and there were no crazy-expensive quotes returned. I answered that there is water within 400m (does it count though if it's just a drainage ditch?) Seemed to be £150 on average. Does this indicate that there's been no previous insurance claims for flooding, subsidence, etc?
    • kilby_007
    • By kilby_007 9th Oct 16, 7:54 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    kilby_007
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 7:54 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 7:54 PM
    Right, so our fears have been put to rest. My mum and dad know a viewing agent (he works for a different EA) who lives directly opposite and he's confirmed that the property has never flooded since he's lived there (30 odd years). Offer going in tomorrow!! Yikes, can't believe I'm offering on a property I haven't seen. Am I nuts?
    • kilby_007
    • By kilby_007 10th Oct 16, 8:06 AM
    • 445 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    kilby_007
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:06 AM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 16, 8:06 AM
    A relative of my wife is a flood risk surveyor. We'd been struggling to reach her but she got back to us this morning and confirmed that the property is just outside of the floodplain (I'm guessing the EA maps are out of date!?) and is unlikely to have flooded. She says that there is also another flood alleviation scheme going ahead and a new housing development nearby is going to improve drainage in the area.
    • PlaysNicely
    • By PlaysNicely 10th Oct 16, 8:38 AM
    • 101 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    PlaysNicely


    Glad it's looking promising for you and hope they accept your offer!

    We're in a similar situation here with the property we're buying, which is also a zone 3 risk (from rivers and sea mainly, but below sea level means drainage and surface water problems also affect the immediate locality). I'd agree with everything suggested here as good advice going forwards, but just wanted to add:

    * Our solicitor has been able to request an additional flood report for just £20 (seemed worth it in relation to a £200k + property, although she's currently away so we haven't seen it yet to know how informative it is)!
    * Check in with the local water provider / authority, particularly if the local area has surface water problems, as they're likely to be the ones responsible for dealing with it. We found lots of reports online via the local water provider regarding the remedial measures in place to control surface water drainage and infiltration problems (that'll be the sewage end of the problem) in the immediate locality of our purchase. These reports varied from historic to very up to date (plans for winter 2016) which has helped with our own information and understanding but also helps with explaining to insurers the level of cover required. Speaking of which ...
    * You ask about the insurance quote you've been given. To me your quote seems very low for flood risk zone 3. Our quotes have ranged from £300-£700, just for a small 2 bed bungalow, so I'd maybe double check to make sure the cover offered is adequate? Or perhaps you've hit on super-efficient, good value flood insurance co I've missed, in which case please feel free to PM me!

    Hope all goes well for you! PN x
    Last edited by PlaysNicely; 10-10-2016 at 8:45 AM. Reason: Smilies were not smiling!
    • kilby_007
    • By kilby_007 10th Oct 16, 9:05 AM
    • 445 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    kilby_007


    Glad it's looking promising for you and hope they accept your offer!

    We're in a similar situation here with the property we're buying, which is also a zone 3 risk (from rivers and sea mainly, but below sea level means drainage and surface water problems also affect the immediate locality). I'd agree with everything suggested here as good advice going forwards, but just wanted to add:

    * Our solicitor has been able to request an additional flood report for just £20 (seemed worth it in relation to a £200k + property, although she's currently away so we haven't seen it yet to know how informative it is)!
    * Check in with the local water provider / authority, particularly if the local area has surface water problems, as they're likely to be the ones responsible for dealing with it. We found lots of reports online via the local water provider regarding the remedial measures in place to control surface water drainage and infiltration problems (that'll be the sewage end of the problem) in the immediate locality of our purchase. These reports varied from historic to very up to date (plans for winter 2016) which has helped with our own information and understanding but also helps with explaining to insurers the level of cover required. Speaking of which ...
    * You ask about the insurance quote you've been given. To me your quote seems very low for flood risk zone 3. Our quotes have ranged from £300-£700, just for a small 2 bed bungalow, so I'd maybe double check to make sure the cover offered is adequate? Or perhaps you've hit on super-efficient, good value flood insurance co I've missed, in which case please feel free to PM me!

    Hope all goes well for you! PN x
    Originally posted by PlaysNicely

    There's not many insurers who ask whether the property is in a zone 3 area. I believe the insurance companies use a digital flood map to reference against your post code when they quote you, so it could be that the property we're looking at is no longer Zone 3 and their maps have been updated. I know what you're saying though, we've previously had quotes over £300 for zone 3 properties.


    I'll speak to Yorkshire water, thanks for the advice! :-)
    • Fuzzyness
    • By Fuzzyness 10th Oct 16, 9:14 AM
    • 514 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    Fuzzyness
    if you say flood defences have been put in since 2007, the extent of flooding as shown on the EA flood map may not have been updated. they are not that accurate although do give a good indication of the likely scale of the problem. speak to a flood consultant and they may be able to advise you whether the flood zones are accurate or whether that as a result of the flood defenses you refer to, the situation may have improved.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,149Posts Today

7,687Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • MSE weekly email: Soap&Glory, Urgent 2YR cheap energy, free Tesco pts, cheap Easyjet, free TSB £100, £52 Ray-Bans https://t.co/bS4J70hBbx

  • Today's twitter poll: Is it acceptable to use bad grammar in tweets in order to reduce character length?

  • RT @danny_murphoo: @MartinSLewis Just switched to Flow energy. Saving £340 a year!! So easy, thanks a million!!

  • Follow Martin