Would you buy a house in a flood zone? Have you?

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  • Would you buy a house in a flood zone? Have you?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas

    On the edge of one, anyway, in a river valley/flood plain – 3m above sea level. Building is literally the last one covered by the flood map and in a ‘low risk’ area of it.

    If you have – is insurance an issue? Have you made any preparations in case it happens?


    Height above sea level is irrelevant, you could be below sea level and not flood, or be 300m above sea level and flood from a river.

    Is it a new house? Has the developer designed in any mitigation for flooding? What flood zone is it, 1, 2 or 3?

    Premier Icon tomd

    Personally, I wouldn’t. It depends where you’re looking though, where I live now there are some areas that have a moderate flood risk but many many areas that don’t so why even go there? It’s only likely to become more of an issue and any future buyers will have the same thoughts as you.

    If I was looking for a house in Norfolk or South Yorkshire then I might have to think differently.


    I live in a flood zone, high risk one at that. We’ve had house insurance with Aviva and Lloyds TSB so far, now were back with Aviva. Think it cost us £200 for the year but we both work there and got a decent staff/multi policy discount.


    There was a huge amount spent on flood defences in my immediate area … HOWEVER for local political reasons* this hasn’t been updated so still affects insurance. (*I guess it’s worth explaining, local councils can essentially opt out of a land use map and most importantly section 19 consultation by agreement with the environment agency if the area is


    at risk of flooding) {our local case is even more bizarre as they won an environment agency award 4 yrs ago but refuse to update the flood risk database and hence we pay higher insurance)

    They also historically have been able to claim grants and loans for at risk areas.

    That designation can have little or nothing to do with reality.

    Premier Icon nickc


    Firstly, I don’t live in a flood zone, but my house has flooded. I live on the side of a hill that is largely post industrial. Given enough rain in a short a space of time, the old pipes, culverts and water pipes buried underground above me conspire to push water through my yard, if there is sufficient, it comes in my house. There is no flood defence system that will ever be built that will protect me

    Now, it’s a rare event, and my house is largely flood proof, the floor is tiled, the electrics are half way up the walls, and the worst that happens is a couple of centimetres in my kitchen that is quickly resolved. However, it changes one’s views completely, the thought of rain coming in one’s house is often enough to cause anxiety, I’ve plied furniture at one end of the lounge, rolled up carpets etc if there is heavy rain forecast, and I’ll be away, and then it’s a constant source of anxiety. It’s always in the back of one’s mind, that there may be an unpleasant surprise waiting at home.

    I wouldn’t ever buy a house that had even a risk of flood.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou

    If the Thames barrier ever fails we could be in trouble, but otherwise not so much.

    Have considered houses closer to the river, but having seen flooding further upstream in recent years, I think it would have to be the very edge of the risky area for me to go for it.

    Premier Icon kilo

    We have a place that is supposedly in a flood zone in south West London. Direct line refused cover, no one else seems to care whatsoever.


    We live in a flood zone by the Thames. Villages was flooded in a 1/100 years event but our house stayed dry despite plenty of water in the back garden. Our house is three steps above road level.

    Our house insurance went from £200 per annum in non flooded rural Oxfordshire to “sorry we don’t cover that address”. We did find specialist insurers but the price is extortionate.

    Every location is different

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy

    It would certainly be something I considered carefully when buying. I don’t live in a flood zone now but possibly if I had to move for work and the choice was live close to the office in a flood zone (but something that happened rarely) or have to have a 15+ mile commute to live outside of a flood zone I’d probably pick the flood zone house option.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Ours was overlooking Falls of Dochart.
    Insurance was a faff – when you read insurance documents though most say they don’t cover flooding within 50m of a watercourse!

    If our house had been flooded, the test of the village and Loch Tay would be 4m under!

    I wouldn’t buy one in a flood zone. Not with climate change happening and affecting the weather.

    Our old house is in the row on the left.

    Premier Icon gilesmartin81

    I would consider it carefully and think about historical flooding in the area to. If the flooding is on the increase then the risk is higher.

    Also have a look at the Flood Re scheme and see if you would be eligible for this and for how long you would be able to use it for.

    Double post.

    The problem isn’t so much whether you can get insurance now, it’s whether you’ll get it after you’ve been flooded out the first time.

    And it isn’t whether you can buy a house in a Flood zone, but whether you’ll be able to sell it.

    And it’s not as simple as looking at the EA maps, it might well not cover slopes which are prone to flash flooding off fields or roads. I lived in a house that was about 100m above the upper Tees, but the house next door got about a foot of water through it just from run-off on one occasion.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    Is it a new house? Has the developer designed in any mitigation for flooding? What flood zone is it, 1, 2 or 3?

    16th century, not sure what mitigation the developer designed in 😉

    Zone 2 but literally the first house outside of Zone 3.


    was a major factor in what we bought . Looked at a few that were borderline and decided that this would become a when during my lifetime at the house.

    now we are at 70m and even in the worst rain we have not come close.

    My neighbour up the hill but in the bottom of the “bowl” has flooded quite badly

    Id not consider it if there were other options available.


    I was surprised to find my previous house in West London was in a flood plain when an insurer refused to cover me, seems a lot of people would be covered by that.

    I now live on a little hill in Surrey.

    or be 300m above sea level and flood from a river.

    I expect you mean flooding via run off from water going downhill to the river! Like the guy in Reeth.
    No chance of us ever having a house anywhere near a flood risk. Getting insurance isn’t even the issue, It’d be the hassle if it did flood.
    We live about 10mtrs above the River Ure in North Yorks & house near it do flood. Some have defences & some don’t. One bungalow has a waterproof membrane & a gate which seals up.
    If our house ever flooded from the river then a massive amount of North Yorks would be under water!


    I’m very glad we didn’t buy the house we looked at on waterside gardens, oughtibridge 20 years ago. River don at the bottom of the garden. It was being built at that time. Hate to think what it’s like to live there now.


    my neighbour down the hill in the mill cottage (as the name suggests) is right next to the river , he has it tanked , all electrics lifted , tiled to half way up the walls ,tanked Defence walls outside to deflect it and buy him time.

    Its a lovely house in a lovely spot, I can see why he lives there , and he obviously has the money to make the most of it BUT he admits him self its a stress when hes away and sees those yellow flood warnings roll in. on the whole since ive lived there hes flooded at least once a year – but he also has quite a number of other times when the water is up to his defence walls.


    No chance, you either wont be able to get insurance or it will be sky high.Plus if it does flood all the problems that will cause.

    Premier Icon kilo

    I was surprised to find my previous house in West London was in a flood plain when an insurer refused to cover me, seems a lot of people would be covered by that.

    Ours is supposedly at risk from a tributary of the Thames, The Wandle. Again loads of houses in the area but not been an issue getting cover so maybe they see it as an appropriate risk given there’s not been any flooding there that I can recall.


    No chance.

    You know we are going to see more and more frequent extreme weather events?

    Buy on the top of the hill.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    If you’re staying longer than 5 years I’d avoid.

    Was brought up in the Fens, in a house that last flooded in ’53. Watched the river across the road every winter but never affected.

    Last few bad winters, that part of the village has suddenly been appearing in flood alert warnings. It’s changing.


    I haven’t and I wouldn’t, which seems to be the answer lots of folks on here are giving. presumably thats the same for the general population, and so the house is cheaper than one that isn’t blighted in the same way. If it was half the price, I probably would, 10% off? maybe not, but I guess everyone has their own price


    Do you believe in human induced climate change?

    Do you believe weather patterns are changing?

    Do you think flood maps will expand or contract?

    Do you think sea level will rise?

    Do you want a house on the edge of a flood map?

    Know someone who brought a house at risk, he went off local history and lack of recent flooding. I gave him some dehydrated “sand bags” I’d acquired. He was flooded.

    I am based in Carlisle. It’s not classed as a flood in Carlisle until it reaches the second floor. Went to Sheffield this weekend and was surprised at what they classed as a flood tbh.

    Anyhow my wife has worked in conveyancing for 20yrs and she wouldn’t consider it. The whole of Carlisle would have to flood before ours would. We have seen the devastation of having a nice house, having it flood, having 6-12mths to get it back and then 18mths later the same thing happen again. It’s truly heartbreaking.

    Carlisle has had its flood defences improved. BUT SO HAS ALL THE SURROUNDING AREAS TOO. The water has to go somewhere and with all the new build houses with zero extra attention to the flood issues that flood water will become more and more prevalent to house values in future decades. There are huge swathes of Carlisle I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Height above sea level is irrelevant, you could be below sea level and not flood, or be 300m above sea level and flood from a river.

    I expect you mean flooding via run off from water going downhill to the river!

    Alston is at about 300m above sea level, and has two rivers that drop into it from higher up.

    Rivers dropping from above sea level down towards sea level shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone.

    So, you can be high up and exposed to a river, or low down and nowhere near one.

    You are right to remind us that even if you are above the local river level (not sea level) you can still be exposed flood risks other than the river flooding.

    I did the opposite – Saturday before Christmas 2012, sat watching TV & get a knock at the door, police & salvation army offering me shelter in the British legion if I need to evacuate!
    The tidal river at the bottom of the garden was the highest I’d seen it in the 12 years I’d lived there just due to heavy rain the previous day, low flood risk but less than 100m from a high flood risk area on fairly flat road – my place was OK but houses the other side of the river were flooded.
    Until it happens, you can’t appreciate how it plays on your mind.
    I now live less than half a mile away but 48 feet higher & sleep much better.
    Stick your postcode in this site


    Buy a house on a flood plain? Not a chance*! Sounds like a sure fire way to spend a lot of money to end up with a liability that’s hard to shift.

    *unless you want to knock the existing house down and build a houseboat, but there would be easier ways to achieve that.

    It would be lovely to have a Loch at the bottom of the garden though with your boat moored just outside your kitchen window.

    Premier Icon andybrad

    i know of people who have and then they seemed surprised when their house flooded several times. They then had a few years of no insurance.

    Scary stuff.

    it would have to be very low risk for me to consider it. Im still amazed they got away with the development at copley.

    Premier Icon andybrad

    btw put my postcode in that site and it said i should prepare for flooding 🙂 im at the top of a hill. theres no chance.

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    There is a difference (or so it seems, IANAE!!) between a flood plain & a flood risk zone. A house in a flood plain I definitely wouldn’t consider, a flood risk (due to proximity to river etc)… well I am currently considering a house that has a river along the bottom of the garden! (But the flood plain is over the other bank)


    check out SEPA flood plan if your in scotland gives similar info and a prediction based on x years flood plan.

    most of aberdeen will be underwater it seems.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    To clarify: it’s in a river valley but not part of a flood plain (in the sense of being an area that is designed to absorb excess river flow by flooding as part of a river management plan).

    There’s been a village there, like, for ever but looking back it does seem to be the subject of ‘100 year’ type floods rather than anything more. The last flood was 20 years ago and specifically caused by the failure of some electric sluice gates which were intended to divert river flow into said flood plain (mitigation is now in place). Previous one I can find was the 1920’s (although google isn’t the best tool for researching this, I accept).

    We’re talking to current owners re: insurance availability and costs.

    Do I believe in Climate Change – yes. Do I think it’ll affect low lying areas more than uplands – partly. do I think rising sea levels will affect this property – it’s complicated.

    I accept the points about ‘if you’re ummin and ahhing then so will any one you try and sell it to’ though.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    Depends, IIRC our house isn’t zero risk, but that’s because it’s within however many meters of a watercourse. Which is a ditch the other side of the road. Our drive slopes about a foot to the road, and the houses opposite probably slope 4ft, (and the land slopes down behind them as well) so for us to flood would require a biblical level of flooding despite geologically speaking being on the Kennet/Thames floodplain.

    Friends were buying a house recently. All going through well until they were informed it’s on a flood plain. Certainly more of an issue in this part of Surrey since the floods 5 years or so ago. He spoke to a developer mate who’s been in the game for years – was advised to leave it well alone. Only specialist insurers would quote and they were extortionate. FTR we believe the property has never actually flooded.


    I live in long Eaton which is currently on a have a bag packed level of flood warning. I suspect most people here don’t bother to check as it has been decades since there has been a big problem and the flood defences have seen some major updates in the last decade. Some insurers won’t quote but enough of the big ones do that home insurance is cheap. We are a fair way from the river but no higher up so if it breeched the flood defences then I could see a problem, hundreds of other homes would be hit first. We considered it when moving to the area but there were enough positives elsewhere to live with the risk.


    I’m at the top of a hill and our area isn’t prone to floods, although some houses did get flooded due to heavy rains this summer, and water running down roads off hills and flooding the ones at the bottom as the drains couldn’t cope.

    Too much ‘concrete and paving’

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    @woots787 – I’m in West Hallam, but looking forward to another night in Long Eaton tonight!

    I upset a colleague at work last week, who was protesting loudly that his house in Long Eaton was protected from the Trent by a big embankment. I showed him the EA flood warning map – it had never occurred to him that the big embankment protecting him from the Trent would nicely contain the flood water from the Erewash – which I see has an amber alert on it again. Our rain gauge has had an inch in it since last night

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