The Importance of an Elevation Certificate to a Sanibel Homeowner
Definition of an elevation certificate
An elevation certificate is an official legal document that states the precise elevation of a property. This certificate also includes information about the details of the location of the structure on the property and the building characteristics. One critically important detail it includes is the base flood elevation of the home or BFE. It also states the flood zone location of the home.
Why would elevation certificates still be important to a Sanibel homeowner if insurance no longer requires them?
With the new risk rating 2.0 system elevation certificates are not required to be able to purchase coverage under the FEMA national flood insurance program. It can still be helpful to retain an elevation certificate however for Sanibel homeowners as it can provide helpful information that could help lower the cost of flood insurance when submitted to an insurance agent.
Under rating 2.0, a homebuyer's flood policy can be rated from the current home seller's policy eliminating the need to have an elevation certificate. The only scenario in which you may not need to obtain an elevation certificate to get a better insurance rate would be if you were able to use a current homeowner's flood insurance declarations page if you are purchasing a Sanibel Island property. This declaration can give even more detail and insight into flood insurance for a potential Sanibel homebuyer.
How is an elevation survey conducted?
If a property currently does not have an elevation certificate an elevation survey can be conducted in order to obtain the legal document of an elevation certificate. These surveys are prepared by licensed land surveyors, professional engineers, or certified architects that are authorized to certify elevation information. This elevation survey process will of course come at an extra fee.
How to find out if a property already has an elevation certificate on file
The city of Sanibel being within a hurricane zone and several flooding zones already has many elevation certificates on file as they have been useful for current and previous Sanibel island homeowners. You can check out if your property already has an elevation certificate on file by visiting the Florida Division of Emergency Management website and searching the archives.
For more information on Sanibel and Captiva Island real estate including information on both buying and selling Sanibel and Captiva homes please contact us anytime.