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Buying or Selling a Home On or Near the Water? Take Note…

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997fairfldwaterviewOh, the beautiful. peaceful and serene water views…. One of the greatest things about living in Fairfield County, Connecticut is that there are a variety of waterfront properties that you could make your home, whether it be on Long Island sound, a lake or a pond.

The potential downside? Even when you live within close proximity of the water, you may need Flood Insurance in addition to a regular homeowners policy.

Of particular interest here would be anything in an AE zone. With partial thanks to Hurricane Sandy, FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency)  has recently changed its flood zone boundaries, and even if the current owner was not required by the bank to obtain flood insurance, you- as a homebuyer may have to purchase it, and it may make one or more  particular homes outside of your budget.

So how can you protect yourself from a possible unknown?

If your intended home has direct waterfront, or is within one mile from the coast, you may want to get an elevation certificate, or request one from the seller if they have one, which, by the way, MUST be current. Also, consider adding it as a contingency in your purchase agreement that if one is needed the seller will pay for it.

Why? Elevation certificates may be required by insurance companies in order to write your policy. Coverage can get pricey, so please protect yourself- consult with an attorney and an insurance professional prior to making an offer on one of these homes, or have your offer to purchase contingent upon attorney/insurance agent review.

If you are contemplating selling your home that is on or near the water, you might want to consider obtaining an Elevation Certificate that you can obtain from a local surveyor at a cost that is usually anywhere from $500-$1,000, which will allay buyers fears and/or concerns about buying your home.

Have you seen our latest column on WestportNow?

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Judy Szablak

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