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Tiger In the Swamp
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since May 2014
679 posts

Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Looking at a piece of property in felicianas that is located in flood zone A. What does this entail / require to build on?
I was told by neighbors that as long as the property is above 141 elevation, once a slab elevation survey is done and if its so much above 141 no flood insurance is required? Where do I find this in writing?
Anyone have any dealings with this or know the details?
Thanks
This post was edited on 2/20 at 12:00 pm


derrick0356
LSU Fan
new orleans
Member since Jan 2013
121 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
I don't know where to find that outside of FEMA but keep in mind that some lenders may still require a buyer to have flood insurance before closing if you're close to a zone.


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31
EveryoneGetsATrophy
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2017
2450 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Ask your insurance agent.


miramon
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2016
168 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Your neighbor is wrong unless you are buying cash no bank involved. Whatever BFE is on that lot, build your home so that your lowest floor is 4 feet above BFE. If you build an enclosure under that you need to add vents. 1 square inch of vents per square foot of enclosure. Get building plans made, then have a flood surveyor create an elevation certificate based off of the plans, and then give that elevation cert to an Insurance agent, and then you can get an accurate flood quote.


Chad504boy
Member since Feb 2005
143073 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
quote:

Ask your insurance agent.


Ask your bank. Insurance agents don’t make any rules


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derrick0356
LSU Fan
new orleans
Member since Jan 2013
121 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
That's what we did and it lower our rate by adding vents on our garage since the house is raised but the garage isn't.


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Tiger In the Swamp
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since May 2014
679 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
I guess Im trying to find out how high flood insurance will be before I purchase the lot. I haven't had the house plans drawn up yet either.


armsdealer
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2016
1720 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
If you build it appropriately above BFE your rate should be around $4-$600 a year, if you don't it could be thousands per year.

A good way to get an estimate is to find some properties in the area for sale that are similar to what you want to build and have your agent pull the flood insurance disclosure.


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20
3deadtrolls
LSU Fan
Lafayette baw
Member since Jan 2014
3751 posts
 Online 

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
My house ended up in a flood zone with the new maps despite being above base flood elevation (flood zone ends in my backyard ). I had the survey done and filed a LOMA with FEMA. Also sent paperwork to insurance agent and I'm back to paying $450 a year.

This is Louisiana, always have flood insurance.
This post was edited on 2/20 at 1:06 pm


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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
43580 posts
 Online 

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
When you get to a certain height above the base flood elevation, the yearly cost for insurance is the minimum, which is around $500 to max out both structure ($250k) and contents ($100k)


Tiger In the Swamp
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since May 2014
679 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Wick,
I have the plat map and Ive found the elevation of the lot on the assessors website.

How do i find out what BFE is for a certain piece of property?

Also, who decides how high above the BFE I have to be?

Im guessing after buying the land I would have it surveyed and the surveyor would put me in contact with who? FEMA? NFIP? I wouldn't think I could just go by surveyors word? It should be in black or white in writing somewhere right?

Im just not sure who to contact directly to get a solid answer on paper before purchasing the property.

Thanks again


trident
Tennessee Fan
Member since Jul 2007
4171 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Try this

LINK


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armsdealer
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2016
1720 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
The listing should have a flood disclosure, it has all the information you need.


rodnreel
LSU Fan
South La.
Member since Apr 2011
1093 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
I am a retired surveyor and can offer the following suggestions. A flood zone A with nothing behind it and a flood zone A with a number or letter behind it are two completely different things.

Lets start with the latter, flood zone A with a number or letter behind it, has a BFE or base flood elevation determined. You have to build at or above the BFE. Examples would be AE or A10. A BFE is an elevation for the lowest floor and/or mechanical equipment servicing the structure. FEMA uses diagram numbers which reflects the type of construction used to show where to measure the lowest floor elevation for certificates. A few examples would be slab on grade, elevated on pier or pilings, basements and elevated on crawl space. Each diagram number instructs the surveyor where to measure the lowest floor plus other required measurements.

FEMA has requirements but the city or parish can have higher requirements than FEMA, so always check with the floodplain manager, who is more than likely the planning director about this. He/She can give you both requirements if different. Insurance is based on FEMAs BFE. As others have stated the higher you go above the BFE the cheaper your flood insurance will be which is required in a Zone A for at least the mortgage amount. Above the BFE FEMA rounds off to the nearest foot and certificates are measured to the nearest tenth of a foot. If a BFE was 100' and you build to a 101.6 the insurance would be based on a 102' elevation or a +2'.

A flood zone A with nothing behind it doesn't have a BFE determined by FEMA. Check with the floodplain manager on who determines the BFEs, it may be the corps of engineers or you may have to hire an engineering firm. If this is the case I would build well above the BFE and get everything in writing or well documented.

Often I would be asked to determine the ground elevations for a potential buyer at a potential building site but would only do it with the sellers permission.

You are dealing with FEMA, the local Floodplain manager, surveyors, lenders, insurance agent and building designer to all come together for a go, no go project. Each has his/her own responsibility. An insurance agent can run the "what if" numbers about flood insurance cost once you know the flood zone, BFE, potential lowest floor elevation, diagram number and building/contents amount. The building amount has to be at or above the mortgage amount, the contents amount is optional.

I wouldn't rely on realtors info. Also don't rely on assessor maps for elevations. I have seen them within a half of a foot and off by 5' or more. Please note the disclaimer on assessors maps about the information it contains which includes property lines and elevations.

If you have other questions leave contact info and we can talk.


This post was edited on 2/21 at 8:56 am


KemoSabe65
Member since Mar 2018
3982 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
FEMA.gov and go to maps, address, create firmette, should give you bfe.


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Tiger In the Swamp
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since May 2014
679 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Thanks for the detailed info. I reached out to a few contacts Ive found and finally found the community floodplain manager. Ive got an email out to him now.


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RushHour
East Texas
Member since Dec 2018
46 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
Had a house I sold recently in Houma that was 1' under BFE. It was grandfathered in but my flood was still around $2,000 a year.


rodnreel
LSU Fan
South La.
Member since Apr 2011
1093 posts

re: Tell me about building in flood zone A in Louisiana. Trying to find out flood ins cost bef
The height you build above the BFE is called freeboard. Here is an article about it.

LINK

Another suggestion is if you do build in an area with a BFE usually a surveyor will set a bench mark, something with an elevation near the location of your project. The contractor will use the bench mark to construct your house at the proper elevation. Its an added expense but have the surveyor check, lets say for a house on slab, the top of the form boards prior to pouring concrete.

I have done many of these checks and found 3 mistakes by the contractor, all too low. A few hours and a few form boards later, the mistakes were fixed. I have also done 2 or 3 where the contractor was too low and the concrete was already poured, ouch.
This post was edited on 2/23 at 10:56 am


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