What are these features?
On August 26, 2020 realtor.com® launched new flood risk data features which will be available on most for-sale properties on realtor.com®. At an individual property level, insights will be offered into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-categorized flood zones and a new Flood Factor™ feature, which is the result of a realtor.com® data integration with the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research and technology group. The First Street Foundation Flood Model includes data for more than 142 million homes and properties across the U.S.
Flood FactorTM includes a flood risk score ranging from 1 (minimal risk) to 10 (extreme risk) and an indication of whether that risk is increasing, decreasing, or constant over the next 30 years. In addition, a graph shows the cumulative risk of flooding for a property over the typical 30-year period of ownership, along with the FEMA-categorized flood zone for the property, and whether flood insurance is required. Flood insurance options, when available, are provided to realtor.com® users.
Here are some distinguishing features for both:
- Provides accurate, property-level flood risk information
- Incorporates current and future environmental changes
- Maps multiple flood zones and risk levels
- Includes more flood sources such as heavy rainfall
- Nationwide coverage and updated quarterly
- Assesses historic flood patterns and projects future risk
- Provides detailed, community-wide flood risk information
- Maps the 100-year flood zone and indicates whether a property is “in or out” of this zone
- Does not provide information specific to individual properties
- Based on site specific, engineering studies but limited to two risks (riverine and storm surge)
- Limited geographic coverage and not updated frequently
- Assesses historic flood patterns
- Used by community regulators, banks and lenders
Flood Factor™ data augments FEMA’s maps, so real estate professionals can use both tools on realtor.com® to:
- Help reduce the number of clients who buy high-risk properties by surprise or list properties before mitigating the risk
- Help reduce flood-related surprises at the closing table by helping their buyer and seller clients perform due diligence and increase confidence in real estate markets particularly where FEMA does not currently map
Agents and brokers can use the feature to provide additional context, guidance and insights to their buyer and seller clients with regard to flood conditions and potential flood risk for properties and communities across the country.
Must-read content for more context and information:
- Is My Home in a Flood Zone?
- Don’t Fear Flood Data; Here’s How it Helps Clients
- Pivot in Place, a great 3-minute video discussing the new Flood Factor feature, by NAR’s 2020 VP of Association Affairs Mabel Guzman.
- Now Available – Flood Risk Data for Homes
- The National Association of Realtors® to create this detailed FAQ.
- Video: Window to the Law: Flood Insurance & Disclosures – What You Need to Know