When you’re on the hunt for a home, it’s no secret that location is everything. Proximity to beautiful natural features such as lakes, rivers, and the ocean is always a real draw. But one thing that many house hunters don’t take into consideration is the likelihood of flooding affecting their newfound home.
Flooding is often thought of as a freak incident that occurs once in a blue moon—if at all. However, this isn’t entirely true. In some areas, the chances of flooding are much higher than in others.
If your home happens to be in an AE flood zone, for example, the risk of flooding might be very real. So, what exactly is an AE flood zone, and could your home be in one? Read on to find out.
FEMA Flood Maps Explained
In the US, FEMA designates communities or areas with letter values based on how likely it is that flooding will occur there. FEMA is also the body that regularly reviews and updates the flood risk of different communities, as this is something that can change over time.
If your locale is given a letter B, C, or X on a FEMA flood map, this means there is a low but still present risk of flooding occurring there. On the other hand, if your area is marked with the letters A or V on a FEMA flood map, this is a high-risk flood zone.
The risk of flooding could come from the low elevation of your area. It could also be because you live in a coastal area that experiences flash flooding on a regular basis.
What Is an AE Flood Zone?
As distinct from other types of flood zones, an AE flood zone is an area about which FEMA is able to gather a lot of data and in turn, is able to say with certainty that flooding is likely to occur. FEMA uses information about base flood elevations and proximity to floodplains, rivers and lakes to make this determination. The official definition is an area that presents a 1% chance of flooding each year and a 26% chance of flooding over the span of a 30-year mortgage.
Because of this, as with people living in an A or a V zone, homeowners are required to purchase flood insurance. Homeowners that have mortgages from federally regulated lenders must purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Other homeowners can purchase private flood insurance if they wish.
The type of area or reasons for AE designation will vary, but what remains the same for each is the calculated risk of flooding and the necessity of having flood insurance in place.
Protect Your Home Today
If you can afford it, flood insurance is always a good idea. The recent unexpected and devastating floods in Europe and China are proof of this. If you live in a low-risk flood zone, you may be entitled to less expensive flood insurance rates.
Hopefully, this article has explained the concept of an AE flood zone and its risks. If you’ve liked this article, don’t forget to check out the rest of our content.