We recently produced a Home Hunter Report for a customer buying a beautiful home in Cavan. The only big red flag was that the property was located next to a river and FloodInfo.ie indicated the property was on the floodplain with a risk of flooding.
On the satellite view you can see the quite a big river running to the west of the property.
Then from the Flood Info map, we can see that the property is located within a floodplain of the river with a risk of flooding.
Simply put, after a review of the area, the OPW (office of public works) concluded there is a risk of flooding where the property is situated.
The risks can vary from low to high. You'll notice the red/orange triangles to the south west of the property. This are where past flood events were recorded by the OPW and so there is also a history of flooding in the area.
Does this mean the property is guaranteed to flood?
No. The Flood Info map just indicates there is a risk of the area where the property is located flooding.
The property may actually be on a raised piece of land, or may be protected from flooding by other means.
However, the OPW maps are very detailed and have been drawn up by expert land surveyors, so they should be taken seriously.
If you go sale agreed, a good course of action might be to ask your surveyor for advice. While at the property they will note any features or risks and might possibly recommend further mapping to take place if they feel there is a risk.
What does having a flood risk mean for the purchase of a property?
When buying a property, you will want sufficient house insurance in place. Once there is even a low risk of flooding, insurance companies may either
Refuse to insure the property
Offer insurance EXCLUDING flood cover
Offer insurance with a very large premium
If you are using a mortgage to purchase the property, the lender may then refuse drawdown until suitable cover is in place.
So if you are buying a property and, like the example above, it is in an area with a risk of flooding you should reach out to insurance companies very early in the process to ensure you can get sufficient insurance for the property.
If you choose to proceed without flood cover, it is strongly recommended you take all necessary steps to investigate the risk further and it should also be noted that if the property were to flood, you would have to pay for the costs of any repair/rebuild work yourself.
How do I check if there is a risk of flooding in the area?
There are 2 ways. First, go to FloodInfo.ie and click on "View Flood Maps.". From here you can search for the property or area. You can then toggle between low and high risk events and search for past flood events. Many past events have detailed notes which you can read through.
The second way is to let us do the hard work for you! When you buy a Home Hunter Report, a flood map, like the one above, is just one of over 25 pages of information we produce on the property. It's your fastest way to research everything from Radon Risk, Nearby Schools, Planning Maps and much more - including flood risk.
Just go to HomeHunterReport.ie and enter the address to get started!