House floodingI want to tell you about one of the advantages of working with a Real Estate Broker and helping a client with a problem he encountered about acquiring flood insurance.

Recently I had the privilege of working with a very nice gentleman, who was advancing in age, and needed to relocate his primary residence to be closer to family who would be able to look after him.

He recently had a medical procedure performed and the family was concerned that the travel distance could be extensive in case of a medical emergency. God forbid something tragic were to happen and the family couldn’t be present to assist in such a matter. And so, like families do, they discussed the matter together and came to the decision that the reasonable conclusion was for him to relocate to be closer to family rather than the family relocate to be closer to him.

As it was, meeting with this gentleman was from a referral, a family that I have known for many years, knew that I had experience as a Real Estate Broker, that I owned my own Real Estate Brokerage, and that I also had experience working with seniors, this made him comfortable.

Shopping For a Tinley Park Condominium

Working with seniors presents it’s own unique set of circumstances and challenges.

Many seniors have not been involved in a real estate transaction for many, many years. As a result, they are often out of touch with current events, current laws, technology, and how things are done generally regarding real estate transactions. Their needs change for comfort, safety concerns about their surroundings, and a host of things younger ones may take for granted. In reality, for many of them, when the question comes up about who they are willing to work with, it comes down to the matter of trust.

After my first meeting with the gentleman, we had conversation about many things; I quickly learned to my surprise, as what I would consider a first time home buyer, he had it all together. The issue came down to helping him find the ideal property. It was determined that a condominium was the best choice for his next dwelling.

Piece of cake, right?


A Major Speed Bump

After previewing a few condominiums, we found the ideal location for ‘my client’. It was a 2 bedroom condo in Tinley Park on the second floor overlooking a beautiful lake with a screened-in balcony with a lake view. The price was right and the gentleman decided to make an offer. After the offer was accepted came time for the usual attorney reviews, inspections, and mortgage approval.

That’s when things hit a speed bump. The buyers lender required flood insurance. It seems that we were in a flood plain, according to their records. This meant that if the buyer were to be able to complete the purchase of this condominium, he would have to purchase flood insurance.

How could this be? The unit was located on the 2nd floor. There was nothing mentioned in the listing about flood insurance, nor after interviewing a few tenants in the same building, had they heard of any such thing.

Now, I wonder what other agents would do in this case: would they leave the poor buyer to their own defense, perhaps encourage them to either buy the flood insurance or move on to another property?

How to Build a Strong Client Referral

That’s when I told my client that I would do some investigative work for him.

I must admit; in all my years as a real estate Broker, I had never had a buyer or seller that needed to purchase flood insurance. However, I felt that this was an ideal opportunity for me to learn a few things for myself and perhaps one day to share this story with another client, or even with you, the reader of my blog.

I could tell that my buyer client was concerned. You know how it is when your buyer finally gets to the next step after previewing so many properties, and they find the ‘perfect home’.

I invite you to watch this 2 minute video and see what my client says about how things turned out for him; how pleased he was with my services and how I was able to help him solve this problem with flood insurance.

What Is Flood Insurance?

According to FEMA, and this is directly from their website:

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.

Another Happy Tinley Park Condominium Owner in Tinley Park

After my thorough investigation; contacting other condominium owners in the same complex, and surrounding buildings, and speaking with an official at the Village of Tinley Park, the end result was the the local Village of Tinley Park had made modifications to several areas of the Village and this caused a change to be made that certain areas no longer required flood insurance.

I was able to get that information in writing, in person from a Village Official, present a copy to my client and his lender, and keep an electronic copy for future reference.

Do All Homeowners Need Flood Insurance in Tinley Park?

I can’t answer that question; you would need to talk to the experts, who will do their due diligence and make that determination based on many factors. As a Realtor®, I would advise that you check all available resources, your lender, your insurance agent, and the local municipality, for a few resources.

If you are ever in a similar situation, being told by your lender that you need flood insurance, you may want to investigate further. According to an Insurance Broker in my area, Bob Davis, who owns and manages a State Farm office nearby and sells lots of flood insurance,

My company works directly with FEMA to get more up to date zoning information rather than relying solely on what the mortgage companies request. The mortgage company should have known. Most times all it takes is a telephone call. FEMA sets the rates and there is a lot of work involved to getting the right quote.

There you have it: if ever you are in need of flood insurance, you might want to give Bob Davis over at State Farm Insurance a call.

Get To Know Rebecca Howard

There are many Real Estate Brokerage companies in the Tinley Park and surrounding areas, but very few Independent Real Estate  Brokerages. I invite you to get to know about me and my company, Seay Jolliff & Beck Realty Company.

Check out my reviews to see what past clients have to say about me.

And if you are considering a new condominium or single family home in Tinley Park or the surrounding area, we are a full service brokerage and typically work by referral only.

So if you want service that is above and beyond what you might at a franchise brokerage, get to know me and give my office a call.

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