How Does an Owner Cope with a Coastal Property Near Rising Water Level?

If you live in California, and Southern California in particular, your property may be near the coastal areas and at or near sea level--and therefore closer to the water table levels. At certain times of the year there are annual high tides, i.e., the one seen almost up to the asphalt level of Pacific Coast Highway through Huntington Harbour.

Houses with basements, or more likely crawl spaces under the raised foundation, may show signs of moisture or even flooding. This is dealt with by creating sumps--or holes in the ground to collect water--and installing sump pumps. The pumps may be set up with connectors (i.e., a hose) to carry the water off the property, via drains, or whatever method complies with local codes.

While a buyer should obtain professional assistance about the best type and system to install, if you're buying property almost level to the water, don't be surprised to find out you may have to deal with this.

In more extreme cases, you may want to find out about subsidence and call in another expert. You will want to review the natural hazard disclosure reports, and even local flood zone reports available online through FEMA. Also, be aware that if the property is in a specific FEMA flood zone, additional insurance may be required before your lender will fund your new loan, or otherwise require you to obtain the additional insurance if you already own the property. You may be able to obtain an elevation certificate issued by a qualified surveyor if your property sits at a high enough elevation.
For more information about contacting an appropriate local professional, please feel free to give me a call.

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