Why Brokers Should Highlight if a Property is in a Flood-free Area

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In the Philippines, a house is not a dream house at all if it is not located in a flood-free area. Brokers need to advise their clients that even if a property under their consideration has everything they wanted and it is within their budget, neither of the two matters when floodwaters rage.

Typhoons and floods have become a part of the lives of many Filipinos. They have caused substantial damages to many homes and properties across the country. The aftermath of typhoon ‘Ondoy’ in 2009 should convince property seekers that location is one of the primary considerations in buying a real estate property in the Philippines. Being located in a flood-free area is a feature that brokers should highlight as a property’s major selling point. Safety from floods is as important as protection from criminal elements and accessibility to commercial centers and institutions. 

Aside from safety, these three pointers will help you educate property seekers when finding properties in flood-free areas in Metro Manila: 

Flood-prone areas require additional home insurance coverage 

Local insurance providers offer various basic home insurance packages. Fire insurance is the most common type. If property seekers want to include damage to property brought on by acts of nature such as floods or typhoons, they may need a more comprehensive package that requires them to pay an additional premium. Unless the property is under PAG-IBIG housing, their mortgage lender may require them to get a typhoon and flood insurance coverage. Insurance premiums are usually proportionate to the risk, which means that premium is higher in areas with a higher risk of flooding. While mortgage lenders typically require property buyers and owners to insure the structure only, they may opt to insure the contents or their rental income for their rental properties, if there are any. 

Flood-proofing the house can be costly

The purpose of flood-proofing is to minimize or to prevent the impacts of flooding on the property. The process may include setting up emergency exits, blocking floodwater entryways, strengthening building materials to ensure resiliency from damage, elevating structures, and modifying the structural design. They all come with a cost.  In most cases, having an in-house drainage system in place is not enough to stop raging floodwaters from entering the house. Homeowners may need to put up floodwalls, add another layer of masonry or concrete to supplement the existing structures, or seal their walls and other openings like doors, windows, vents, and sewer lines with waterproof coating.  

Regular maintenance over time is also necessary. That too can be costly. If property seekers do not want to trouble themselves with additional costs later on, let them know that investing in a property in a flood-free area pays off. According to the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), the least flood-prone areas in Metro Manila are Quezon City, Muntinlupa City, Las Piñas City, Taguig, and Caloocan.

Expect a lower value for properties in low-lying and flood-prone areas

We have seen value depreciation of properties in flood-prone areas after typhoons ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng’ brought heavy floods. Finding buyers for multi-million houses has become extremely difficult even in neighboring areas tagged as ‘safe’ from floods. A lot of the victims no longer wished to return to their homes and had thought of selling their treasured possessions even at a tenth of their market values but to no avail. No one was willing to buy properties from the devastated areas, even at bargain prices. 

As a broker, it is your responsibility to convince property seekers that buying a property – be it an expensive condominium or a bargain house – means paying attention to the reputation and integrity of the developer as well as to the susceptibility of the area to natural disasters. Make sure that the property cost is not their sole consideration and that the property they buy will not cost them their lives in the end.

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