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Homecheck says high flood risk, now what?

(37 Posts)
maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 17:02:55

In process of buying a flat, mortgage application is in progress and solicitor has done searches. The homecheck search has indicated the property is in an area of high risk for ground surface flooding and our solicitor has said we should commission a more in-depth report which will cost us about £350. I understand the risk may affect our mortgage application and any insurance we'd take out.

Any experiences? Is it worth it or should we abandon the purchase? If the in depth reports reveals that we need to spend another few grand on flood defences then we won't be doing that as we don't have the cash spare. On the other hand we're buying in quite a specific area so perhaps the risk of flooding is going to be high for all properties?

Sorry if these are all stupid questions, am a clueless first time buyer. We do like the flat but not enough to make a daft purchase.

Flat is on the first floor if that's relevant.

FreeWorker1 Thu 10-Dec-15 17:12:16

It may affect your ability to insure the property.

Insurers sometimes refuse to insure property in high flood risk areas.

I will almost certainly put off another buyer if you need to sell.

One thing you can do is ring your current household insurer (or just contact one of the ones you see adverts for on TV0 and ask them what the premium would be for your new property. That will tell you immediately what the cost is and whether an insurer will insure you at all.

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 17:13:47

yes, free, from googling that is my concern. I'll do as you suggest.

I know that their previous buyer pulled out. I asked the reason and the estate agent said he didn't know which I was hmm about at the time - I bet this is why.

Scootering Thu 10-Dec-15 17:20:36

I bought in a high risk area. It's high risk but has never been flooded. I think that's the important thing! I could build flood defences but am not worried. You need to factor in what you know about the area eg has it flooded before and if it flooded, would it also flood areas that are important eg the entire town centre which the council would want to prevent happening....

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 10-Dec-15 17:22:45

Personally I would walk away.

ChippyMinton Thu 10-Dec-15 17:31:37

First if all, ground water flooding is one type, surface water flooding is another. The environment agency website is a good place to look for more information - maps showing fluvial (from watercourses) flooding and surface water flooding (which is basically run off from heavy rainfall causing flash flooding) And contact the local authority flood risk management service for advice, ask if their records show any flooding of your property or surrounding area.

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 17:32:25

scootering yes we don't think the property has been flooded at all either

tinkly I would absolutely do that but the issue as I say is we are buying in quite a specific area (in London, not rurally) so I am concerned if we pull out of this one we may just encounter the same issue again...it is an area lots of people buy in and I've never seen the flood issue pop up before

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 17:33:18

it's surface water flooding, not ground water - sorry!!!

Is this good or bad? confused

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 17:44:28

also how on earth do I commission an additional in depth report? Google only brings up the basic £24 one which is the one we've already had done.

iMatter Thu 10-Dec-15 17:47:22

I doubt you'll get a mortgage on it. Sorry. sad

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 17:59:05

I just spoke to our broker and he reckons we will still get the mortgage.

Just to be clear, the property has never actually flooded.

Finding this whole buying thing very strange and stressful!

eleven59 Thu 10-Dec-15 18:26:55

I'd never buy in a high risk area.

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 18:32:50

Apparently most of London is classified as high risk.

Just to clarify, I'm not worried about the property actually flooding as a) its never happened before (b) its on the first floor and (c) we will only be there three or four years at most anyway, I am concerned re our mortgage offer and selling it in the future.

Buildings insurance actually doesn't matter as that is covered by the lease already.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 10-Dec-15 18:33:12

It's a first floor flat though. What are the chances of that flooding? I haven't seen any floods where the water has reached the first floor.

Moving15 Thu 10-Dec-15 21:31:39

Out of curiosity where in London? I bet you will still get a mortgage and insurance.

Blu Thu 10-Dec-15 21:41:19

You can have a good look yourself by looking on the Environment Agency watermaps. You can look at an area for all types of flooding and it is very detailed - parts of individual street.

Just google flood risk map environment agency.

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 21:50:57

Moving I won't say exactly where as will out myself but in Lewisham if that's helpful?

janethegirl2 Thu 10-Dec-15 21:59:01

Technically where I live is considered high risk, but it has never flooded, and if it did the entire city would be under water. My insurance has never been concerned but if they were, I'd happily exclude floods as an insurance claim.

ChippyMinton Thu 10-Dec-15 22:42:06

councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/documents/s3731/Appendix%202%20Surface%20Water%20Management%20Plan.pdf

Some bedtime reading smile

Nicknamegrief Thu 10-Dec-15 22:44:15

First floor flat- I wouldn't worry, ground floor I would!

Moving15 Thu 10-Dec-15 22:45:00

Well parts of Lewisham have recently flooded and the council does have management programmes underway. But on the first floor how much is this worst case scenario really going to affect you?? You say it has never flooded there before anyway... So... If I could get insurance and the mortgage and it was the place I really wanted for the right price I would carry on with the purchase. Regarding resale... Well if you buy it then someone else will!

Blu Thu 10-Dec-15 22:50:24

The environment agency flood map for Lewisham , for surface water, only has small pockets of high risk. Often just a small part of any one road.

Wider parts are low risk, but still a minority of the area.

maybebabybee Thu 10-Dec-15 22:53:13

We'll definitely still buy it if we can get the mortgage (insurance not an issue, it comes with buildings insurance), I was more worried that we wouldnt get the mortgage tbh.

Chippy my pregnant brain can't even begin to comprehend that document....feel like summarising? grin

wishingchair Thu 10-Dec-15 22:56:43

We bought a house that was severely flooded in 2007 and got both a mortgage and buildings insurance. The insurance was much harder to get than the mortgage - many insurers just wouldn't even quote when they heard there had been a flood claim before. Got covered by co-op in the end who were brilliant.

So many homes have been flooded in past 10 years - and they still get bought and sold.

Plexie Fri 11-Dec-15 13:54:37

Have you looked at the Environment Agency maps yet?

Look at 'Risk of flooding from surface water':

watermaps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/wiyby.aspx?topic=ufmfsw&scale=11&ep=map&layerGroups=default&lang=_e&y=172449&x=535964#x=538289&y=175523&scale=11

I discovered them when a colleague was buying a house last year and it's quite surprising when you look at your own area and discover which parts are apparently high risk. There's a road near me which I hadn't thought of being in danger of flooding but according to the map it's at high risk. It's not near a natural watercourse but there's a drain running along it and the surrounding roads are all slightly higher, so I assume their water will drain into the lower road and possibly flood it. Knowing the area well that wouldn't put me off buying a first floor flat in that particular road, although I certainly wouldn't buy a basement flat there, now that I've seen the EA flood maps.

Those maps might be the reason the homecheck search flagged flooding. I think the ground water ones have only been included in searches relatively recently as my colleague looked at the map for the house she was selling and it came up as at risk of flooding, which hadn't come up in the searches when she'd bought the house about 8 years previously.

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