Flooding On Lake Livingston (part two)

There is some limited flooding on the upper end of the lake due to there being more “choke points” like creeks, tributaries and other restricted flow areas. And sometimes, even the river itself in lower lying areas when larger than anticipated volumes of water come down from Dallas or points north and cannot get out into the main body of the lake fast enough. With that said however, it does not flood often or widespread enough that you need to avoid buying a house there, you just need to protect yourself … wherever you decide to buy.

The precautions I always advise people to take whether they have concerns about flooding or not are:

  • Always get a survey and ask for a full survey which would show all easements, right of ways, encroachments, etc. and the TRA Flowage Easement.
  • If it is disclosed to you on a Disclosure or any other way that the house is in a flood plain, go ahead and tell your surveyor you also want a Flood Certificate. This is a separate
    document from the survey that will show the height of your foundation at different points on the lot and what parts of it are actually in the flood plain and to what extent. Your lender is going to require this for the loan. And, whether you finance or pay cash, your insurance company is going to require this if you are in a flood plain.
  • You should know that in 2010, FEMA redrew all of the Flood Plain maps and that included the Lake Livingston area. These flood plain maps were based on satellite imagery which shows linear type topography but not verticality of the property. What this means to you is that FEMA now considers almost all homes here that touch the water to be in a Flood Plain and those same maps are used by lenders and insurance people.

Federally subsidized flood insurance cost is minimal so generally not a big concern to buyers. If you are a cash buyer and just do not want to carry flood insurance, that would be up to you. I would certainly suggest you at least get an Elevation Certificate to show your foundation is above the flood plain for your own protection. If you use a lender to buy your home, you almost assuredly will have to get flood insurance. If so, have your surveyor shoot the elevations so you can get favorable rates on Federally Insured Flood insurance.

Folks, as Realtors, we are supposed to protect our clients’ interests, so I want my clients to go into every transaction with their eyes wide open. However, if flooding is not an issue where we are looking, it may not be brought up when we first meet. If the flooding topic does come up, it is normally in the form of “do I need to be concerned about flooding” or me bringing up to clients that the particular area they are inquiring about does have some flooding. Generally speaking “flooding” is a non-issue for probably 98 to 99% of the sales transaction on Lake Livingston. So, now that you know more about flooding here than you ever wanted to know:

Do you need to worry about flooding on Lake Livingston? No, just take the normal precautions any prudent person would take and you should be fine.