Second thoughts about buying - should a flood plane worry me?

(50 Posts)
NMO69 Mon 21-Jan-13 23:06:06

After a long time looking, we have found a house to buy - it is the 'forever' family home and suitably pricey. We discovered that previous buyers pulled out because the house is built on a flood plane. There is, it seems, an underground waterway in the street. Flood risk is low, but a risk nevertheless, and is concerning me. Added to that, to secure it we had to offer asking price and more than we felt it was worth. A visit last week revealed many more maintenance issues than we had first thought, and that's also made me nervous as we are buying at the top of what we can afford. Can't figure out if my nerves are 'just natural' at this stage of the process or whether I should re-consider the whole thing given the sleepless nights its given me. I don't want to make a costly mistake. I've almost convinced myself I don't want to move at all. Anyone else experienced the jitters like this?

trashcansinatra Mon 21-Jan-13 23:22:39

Sounds like you think the price you have offered is too much, given what you now know. I would think about what you are happy to pay for it and revise your offer.

Asking price is just that. You don't need to offer it, and if they don't accept either take it as fate it wait until no-one else buys that and it comes down in price.

Angelfootprints Mon 21-Jan-13 23:23:07

I have heard that getting insurance against floods will be a lot tougher now as insurance companies cannot cope with the payouts- but not sure of finer details. Have you looked into this?

I wouldn't buy on a flood plane- all that work you do to the house could be ruined. Would really want to spend time and money decorating knowing it could all be in vain?

How about the risk of sentimental items getting ruined?

Imagine trying to sell it on again too.

Sorry, but I think your instincts are right.

redandwhitesprinkles Mon 21-Jan-13 23:24:20

A flood plain is a no no-run for the hills (literally).

gaelicsheep Mon 21-Jan-13 23:25:48

It's on a flood plain. Are you really sure flood risk is low? In this day and age I can't understand anyone who would buy a house on a flood plain. It's just asking for trouble surely.

fatnfrumpy Mon 21-Jan-13 23:27:23

We bought a plot of land in 1990 within half mile of a river.
Historically this land had never been on a flood risk.
We built our family home and lived there flood free for near on 8 years.
Sold in 1999 then in the floods of 2000 the house flooded! Terribly!!!
The couple and their baby came downstairs to devastation.
It took 6months to put right and in the meantime their house ins paid rent for them in a house double the size!!!!!
Once they had had the whole of the downstairs redecorated, new kitchen, new wc, utility AND solid oak flooring from the ins they put it on the market and sold it for a £200k profit!
So don't worry if you do flood you can make a killing.

gaelicsheep Mon 21-Jan-13 23:27:55

We were refused insurance from a couple of insurers recently due to our proximity to a river. They didn't seem to compute that we are on a hill and that the entire valley would have to flood to church steeple height before our contents were affected, which frankly would then be the least of anyone's worries grin. I foresee that insurance will soon become impossible if you are actually on the flood plain.

SafetyBubble Tue 22-Jan-13 00:27:57

Why do you think you've been told it's on a flood plain?

Because it is, perhaps?

Think yourselves lucky; this information was not always available a few years ago. Unless you're in the civil engineering / hydrology trade and understand the full implications I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole, unless you're good at using bargepoles too!

BackforGood Tue 22-Jan-13 00:31:35

There's a reason nobody built on flood plains, until recent years when property developers jumped in for a quick profit. No way in the world I'd buy on a flood plain.

SafetyBubble Tue 22-Jan-13 00:33:42

I was once in a meeting where the chairman (a senior water engineer) came in late, apologising but cross that he had just had to go to a flooded residents' meeting to explain why they had just had three '1 in a 100 year' floods in as many months. Statistically possible! Underground waterway in the street? Say no more.

LadyMetroland Tue 22-Jan-13 00:35:14

Avoid like the plague!

PurpleStorm Tue 22-Jan-13 00:51:12

If it's on a flood plain and there's also an underground waterway in the street, I'd be very very reluctant to buy it.

Also, something I learnt this year after watching a follow up about the flats in Newcastle that had to be demolished when floodwater gouged out the land under them after a culvert under the flats collapsed - if there's a culvert (pipe or drain allowing water to flow under a road etc) running under your land, then you're usually legally responsible for it's maintenance and repair costs. According to the TV presenter, anyway. You might want to check that out with your solicitor, just in case.

PurpleStorm Tue 22-Jan-13 00:58:06

Found the link to the follow up show I mentioned above:

BBC Inside Out on culvert collapse

Kveta Tue 22-Jan-13 01:06:14

Run away! No way I would buy a flood risk, flooding is bloody miserable, not worth it imo.

Narked Tue 22-Jan-13 01:10:16

Have you checked here?

Mosman Tue 22-Jan-13 01:18:14

Walk away. We bought a house that we thought might need a bit of tidying up and £75,000 it was just about ready to start decorating.
Honestly there will be another house.

MaMattoo Tue 22-Jan-13 01:29:02

No flood planes please!!! Nothing that insurance won't cover. And weather is going to be extreme!
No no!

LoveMyBoots Tue 22-Jan-13 07:01:49

Agree with Narked - check the Environment Agency website to see the flood risk for the property.

And with regard to maintenance, be wary of this as it can really add up, which may make things difficult for you, especially as you are stretching yourselves financially to buy.

nocake Tue 22-Jan-13 07:58:45

Have you watched the news over the past few months? Have you seen families being rescued from their houses by boat while their belongings float around inside? That's bad enough but they don't show the months that those families have to spend in hotels while their house is dried out, replastered, rewired, fitted with new floors and kitchens... before it all happens again a few years later.

Please don't buy a house on a flood plain. You're asking for trouble and if everyone stopped buying them they'd stop building them which would reduce the impact of flooding across the country.

Avoid.
I have had sewage in my garden twice this year. My next door neighbour has been here 40 years and says this has never happened before.
Flooding is getting worse.

And I agree with nocake, I wish they would stop building on flood plains.

Fianccetto Tue 22-Jan-13 08:21:59

Do not buy a house on a flood plain.

If you are looking at buying in an area where developers have built on a flood plain, older houses previously considered safe from flooding, which are just a bit higher up, could now be at risk. Be very wary. Withdraw your offer and look at properties on higher ground (with no risk of flooding from underground culverts).

blue2 Tue 22-Jan-13 08:26:20

Don't touch it with a bargepole. Its madness.

We have friends in Devon who bought a house on a floodplain which had only flooded once since 1966.

They're now flooded almost yearly, and are almost uninsurable.

Asa someone else said - run for the hills!

GooseyLoosey Tue 22-Jan-13 08:29:57

I don't think I would do it. If you are alreay having sleepless nights, what makes you think you will stop worrying once you have moved?

I once considered a house on the Medway's flood plane. Contacted a few insurers to see what they said and the cost of insurance was prohibitive or no quote was forthcoming. This was before the insurers entered their current agreement with the Government, but I understand that this is due to expire soon.

You sound like you are having doubts any way because of the additional issues you have discovered.

jessjessjess Tue 22-Jan-13 08:42:10

Don't buy. Seriously.

My parents' house is on a flood plane and I really wouldn't recommend it.

CocktailQueen Tue 22-Jan-13 08:48:14

I would walk away. We have been having more extreme weather events over the past few years and I think that will continue with global warming.

Flood plains are areas that flood. It's insane to build houses on them.

It is also much more expensive to insure houses near waterways- we live 100m froma canal and insurance has gone through the roof the last 2-3 years, even thouhg we have never been flooded, and the flood plain for the canal is the other side from us!

I wouldn't do it. You'll always be worrying about flooding, and it sounds as though there are other issues with it too. Another house will come along.

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