The Way to Have a Home Rezoned Out of a Flood Plain

A home that sits in a special flood hazard area, designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, should have flood insurance before a loan can be produced on the house. If you don’t think your home is at risk of flooding, you may have the ability to get it rezoned out of a flood plain–and eliminate the necessity to carry flood insurance in combination with your mortgage.

Maintain your flood insurance coverage. Until you are able to prove that your home has been rezoned, the lender will continue to need flood insurance on your home, and may buy a policy and charge you for it should you cancel your current policy.

Contact a surveyor to perform an elevation certification. According to FEMA, the contractor completing the certificate has to be a certified land surveyor or a registered professional engineer in order for the document to qualify for consideration. The surveyor will inspect the structure and compare the location and elevation of the home to the flood plain requirements to decide whether your home stays over the risk area.

Submit an application for a Letter of Map Amendment to FEMA as soon as you’ve received an altitude certificate showing your home to be above the flood plain. It is possible to submit the application either electronically through FEMA’s eLOMA program or by sending in FEMA application package MT-1 or MT-EZ.

Wait for FEMA to evaluate your application. Depending on workflow and other factors, the agency can take six to eight weeks to assess your data and issue a decision. Remember that during that time, you should still carry flood insurance.

Supply your lender with documentation of FEMA’s approval of your application, and it will no longer be obligated to require flood insurance attached to your mortgage. If FEMA approves your application, you will be issued an official Letter of Map Amendment, which efficiently rezones your home out of a flood plain.

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