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What to consider when buying a home in a flood risk area

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June 13, 2024
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The UK is known for many things, but we can’t deny that rainy weather is definitely one of them. When it rains, it pours, and particularly heavy downpours (plus other causes like tidal surges and raised groundwater levels) can lead to flooding in certain parts of the country. 

Flooding concerns may arise if you’re wanting to get on the property ladder because around 5.5 million homes in England are actually at risk,, including a proportion of homes built in the last decade. So it’s possible that your house-hunt could lead you into flood-risk areas.

While you might be apprehensive to make an offer on, or even view, a flood-risk home, there’s plenty of reasons a risk or history of flooding shouldn’t stop you from purchasing your dream home in a specific location.

Remaining informed and prepared is your best bet in this situation so, keep reading to find out what you should be considering when buying a home in a flood risk area, including key tips on how to get informed about your property ahead of buying it, and how you can best protect it after a sale goes through. 


How can you find out if a home is in a flood risk area?

Part of keeping informed is knowing what you’re dealing with from the get-go. You can check the long-term flood risk for any area in England via the government website, where you can also keep up-to-date with current flood risks in the UK

There are also websites that will help you research the flood risk in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Can you find out the flooding history of a property?

If the house has flooded previously, try to obtain the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs from the seller – this could impact the amount you choose to offer or if you proceed with the sale. You can also ask the estate agent. Both have a responsibility to disclose any known information of this nature. 

If you want to avoid any awkwardness, you can also email the property’s address to [email protected] and ask for a flooding history report. 

Make sure you’re checking for the different types of flooding that can occur, as coastal flooding may be categorised differently to the flooding that can happen to a riverside property

You should also ensure that you talk to your mortgage advisor/lender. Some may be pickier than others when it comes to flood-risk properties, so it’s important to make sure you’d be able to borrow the necessary funds before falling too deeply in love with your potential new home.


How can you protect your new property from flooding?

So, now you’re informed on what may be coming, practically, remaining prepared for a possible flood will help to give you some peace of mind. 

Firsty, you can sign up for flood warnings to ensure that you’re never caught off guard, and check for support and local flood plans.

You can also find out what public or local flood defences are in place in the area, for example barriers. These will often be managed by the Environment Agency and might reduce your need for personal defences.

Creating your own flood plan can be helpful too. This may include moving important documents to a protected place, knowing where you can go to for help if necessary, how to keep your pets safe during a flood, and how you can protect your car from flood damage, plus listing what should be included in your flood kit.

There are also easy-to-apply defences that you can purchase yourself, including: 

Flood barriers – These can be put around your home and in doorways to prevent the flood coming into your home. 

Sandbags – The sand will help to absorb the water before it can seep into your property and cause damage. 

Water diverters – Similar to flood barriers, these are designed to not just stop the flood in its tracks, but also divert the water away. 


All of this preparation is simple but incredibly effective; and you may never need to utilise it, but it will keep you feeling reassured and ready to go. 

How can insurance help to protect your property in a high risk flood area?

Adrian Flux understands that insuring your property will be an important part of the home-buying process, and we are one of the few insurance brokers that can offer appropriate flood insurance options for homes that are located in areas with a moderate to high risk of flooding.

Even if the property has been flooded before, we will strive to find an insurance deal that’s right for you. Call 0800 369 8590 for a quick and easy home insurance quote or book a callback at a time that suits you.

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