Big Island Real Estate Search

Posted on ethea Lai, R(S).
I attended a meeting in Kona on July 10, 2017, by the County and FEMA, and wanted to share with the community, the very important information I learned.

51586283 - an underwater view in the flooding interior. 3d concept

The process of getting your house ready to sell can feel long and arduous, even without having to worry about things like what flood zone your house is in.  I have been assisting a client in this process, and we have spent a lot of time picking out new carpets and deciding what color paint will be most appealing.  While he started on the remodel process to bring the home up to date, I started pulling up all the background information on his home that most people don’t even know about or think about.  These include the Wastewater Plan, Flood Zone Determination, Preliminary Title Report, as well as checking all permits with the County to ensure that everything looks legal and there are no unpleasant surprises lurking in the background.

This client’s home is located on the dry side of Waimea, just off Kawaihae Road.  When I pulled up his flood zone information it became evident that his home was going to be subject to a change from the lowest risk zone, X, to the highest risk zone, A.  Some careful research revealed that the entire area around his home in Waimea was changing from X to A.  I discussed this with my client, but neither of us were entirely sure what this meant for the upcoming sale of his home.  I knew that flood insurance could be very costly, so I wanted to learn more.


Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 10.12.11 AMI attended the meeting for realtors in Kona about the changes to our Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).  According to the FEMA representative, these changes are effective September 29, 2017.  The County adopted these new maps so they can be eligible for federal disaster aid in the event of a federally declared natural disaster.  So, you can see why the County needed to adopt them!  While at the meeting, I learned some VERY important news for many current property owners…and even for future buyers!

There are many areas that were previously in low-risk zones that are going to change to high risk, these include many areas near streams and on the coast.  The understanding is if you live in a zone that is changing from low risk to high risk you will be required to get flood insurance if you have a federally backed mortgage.  Please note that it was brought up at the meeting that the County is not notifying … Continue reading