Aug 27, 2020

Realtor.com to Share Flood Risk Data

Realtor.com will now publish flood risk data for property listings 

The flood risk scores, which range from 1-10, come from First Street Foundation, which has spent the past few years modeling flood risk across the country.
The flood risk scores, which range from 1-10, come from First Street Foundation, which has spent the past few years modeling flood risk across the country.

Realtor.com will now include information regarding the flood risk for its approximately 110  million home listings. 

According to NPR, Realtor.com said each home listing on the site will now include both privately and publicly compiled flood risk data. 

The flood risk scores, which range from 1-10, come from First Street Foundation, which has spent the past few years modeling flood risk across the country. These scores will be published alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood designation for each property. 

Users can search for an address, ZIP code or city to see how likely it is to flood now and in the next 30 years. Those interested can also compare the new flood analysis to FEMA’s flood designation. One piece of information users will not have access to is whether or not the property has flooded in the past 30 years, as that is not available publicly. 

 To get its scores, First Street uses current and projected climate data, including sea level rise and maps rainfall and includes areas FEMA hasn’t mapped, CNBC reported. 

According to CNBC, FEMA classifies nearly 9 million U.S. properties as “having substantial risk,” while First Street classifies more than 14.5 million properties with the same level of risk. 

There are things homeowners can do to protect their homes, Leslie Jordan, senior vice president of product at Realtor.com said to NPR, including elevating their home on stilts, adding a sump pump in their basements or installing rain gardens outside. 

According to NPR, The Association of State Floodplain Management warns that homeowners attempting to mitigate flood risk should not rely on this score alone because “the model underestimates flood risk for some properties and overestimates it for others.”

Currently, other real estate sites, such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, do not have plans to publish this information, NPR reported. 

 

Read more about flood management and data:

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