Even before the effects of sea rise caused by global temperature changes, it was estimated that as many as 1 in 10 Americans live in a place considered prone to flooding. This can happen because of their proximity to a coast with routine coastal inundation, or because of nearby rivers that frequently leave their banks.
And whether your house was built someplace threatened by spring thaws or by an inch or too of tidal rise due to glacial melt, you will want to take precautions.
Here are some ways your homeowner experience might be more costly if you decide to build, move into, or stay in a flood zone.
Insurance, or the lack of insurance
The first and biggest expense of living in an area prone to flooding comes to insurance. Insuring a house in a flood prone area is expensive. And that is if you can get insurance at all. Insurance companies understand the heightened risk for damages that your home will face, and they will charge you accordingly.
More accurately, it is likely that you won’t be able to get third party insurance at all. Instead you will become what some call “self-insured.” That is, you bear the expenses. If – or when – periodic flooding occurs, you pay the full cost of replacement and repair.
This, of course, adds a hefty price to your homeowner experience or vacation homeowner costs.
The cost of inconvenience
The other cost of living in a place prone to flooding comes in the form of convenience. While a river like the Ohio might not leave its banks every spring and threaten your home, these types of events might happen every few years. And periodically in between there might be periods of tense water-watching as snow melt and spring rains combine to threaten flooding.
The worry about potential flood is challenging enough for some people that they choose not to take the risk. The far greater inconvenience of moving out then repairing everything when you are able to move back in is severely disruptive not just to the pocketbook, but to one’s whole schedule. Decamping to a hotel a couple weeks a year is a vacation for some – but not if you have to take the pets and your most precious belongings each time.
However, the beauty and majesty of large bodies of water – whether they are rivers or oceans – is often too much to give up. For some, it is worth the extra cause and concern.
For some, living on a river is worth the extra cost