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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Housing Bureau

Solving the unmet housing needs of the people of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-2375

fax: 503-823-2387

1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7007, Portland, OR 97201

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Homebuying due diligence

Flood insurance is required on any mortgage from a federally-backed or federally-regulated lender for 
any property located within the boundaries of a 100-year floodplain.

Flooded urban areaThis pretty much means any home in a floodplain. Given the clarity of this requirement and that FEMA maintains accessible flood maps, we were surprised to learn that most homeowners were not aware the property they were buying was in a floodplain until very late in the purchasing process – at closing.

When buyers did learn about the requirement for flood insurance before closing, very few were educated about the long-term costs of flood insurance and the regulations that come with living in the floodplain. Today, some homeowners said they would have bought a different property had they known earlier in the home-buying process about the liability of flood insurance and of flood risks.

All this is to say, if you are shopping for a home it would be smart to ask your realtor if the homes you are looking at are in a FEMA-designated 100-year floodplain.