Buying a home in NJ? No one has to tell you if it has flooded
New Jersey is one of 21 states that do not require home sellers to disclose a property's past flood history to a prospective home buyer. And that includes whether the home has ever suffered any kind of flood damage.
"As a home buyer, you are making one of the biggest financial investments in your life. And you want to know as much as possible about it, going into that situation," attorney Joel Scata with The Natural Resources Defense Council said.
"Imagine being a new home owner, flooding, and then finding out later that your house has flooded before — but the seller did not have to disclose that information to you. That would be a hard pill to swallow for any homeowner."
You'd want to know whether the home is located on a flood plain, an area that is prone to flooding. New Jersey is right up there with Florida, Missouri and New York for having the worst home history disclosure laws., Scata said.
Scata said there's Federal legislation in the works in Congress to require states to adopt explicit flood disclosure laws to remain in the national flood insurance program. But for the here and now, he said buyers should ask lots of questions.
"The reason why I say that it is important to ask a lot of questions is that one thing that home sellers typically cannot do, is lie to the buyer," he said.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.
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