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Saturday, November 7, 2015

4 Tips for Hiring Flood Zone Mitigation Companies

If your home has been falsely designated as a flood zone area, you could be facing thousands of dollars in added taxes and property renovations. The good news is that you don't have to take FEMA's decision lying down. You can challenge the designation by hiring flood zone mitigation specialists.

Of course, the question then becomes where do I find flood zone experts? and maybe even how can I trust the ones I do uncover? Consider this a quick guide to finding and selecting flood zone mitigation companies.

1. Understand How It Works

To make a smart hiring decision, you'll need to understand how flood zones are assessed and what options are available to you once your home is said to be in that area. So if you don't know what an Elevation Certificate or Letter of Map Amendment is, you'll need to do some research. Talk to flood zone companies or your local homeowners association to learn more.

2. Know The Acronyms

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an issuer of Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). The Flood Insurance Study (FIS) does the research, and the Nation Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) uses it. While these acronyms aren't critically important to memorize, they'll definitely make reading contracts easier.

3. Check Their Credentials

Not everyone is allowed to argue with FEMA, so make sure the company you're eyeballing has the proper qualifications and certifications for the job. They may vary depending on your state, so again, research is key. A little homework now can save you a lot of headache in the long run.

4. Read Their Reviews

What do previous customers have to say about their services? Did they actually get homes removed from the list? Were their prices fair and accurate? Would customers use them again? If the answer to any of these questions is "no," you might want to find another company. You should be 100 percent satisfied with your choice before you entrust them with such a big responsibility.

These are just a few tips for hiring flood zone mitigation companies. As you can see, there are many things to consider before you hand over your credit card, so take your time and do it right. You could be saving yourself thousands of dollars a year if you're able to get your home taken out of a designated flood area.