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i purchased my brand new home in indiana in august 2008. my purchase agreement states if the property requires flood insurance i had the right to back out. the developer realtor and builder of our subdivision are all one family. after living in my home for 6 weeks the property flooded, the street out front was 2 to 3 feet deep and i got some water in the crawl space. i contacted the county building and development dept and was told the property is in a floodplain requiring flood insurance, and the home should not of been built there. the plat states the subdivision is not in the flood hazard area based on a letter from FEMA from 1981. I have since found out that FEMA has never done flood maps for my town. I contact the department of natural resources and have found out that it was designated floodplain back in 1984 by the United States Dept of Agriculture. I obtained this map from the DNR the county and the town hall along with a flood insurance study done for our town by the DNR for FEMA in 2004, and they show my home and others 100% in the 100year floodplain. shouldn`t the realtor builder and developer known this info before building. the permit for my home also states not in a flood hazard area. based on this info, my home is not built above the base flood elevation and is not built to town ordinance of the guidelines of FEMA and the national flood insurance program. the realty agent also was asked twice about flooding and said there were no concerns. what should i do
i already checked and there are no elevations listed on the survey even the county commissioners said they could not of built there. i was able to get elevations from google earth and the county surveyor, along with BFE from the DNR and they show the property 18 inches below the BFE. The surveyor of the plot stated he never pulled elevations only subdevided.
well all the information that i have shows it in a 100 year floodplain and i have been gathering evidence for the past 16 months and can prove all that are involved should have known of the current information. You can`t misrepresent information that is known on propperty in indiana that u sell
how can some one not inform someone else of known documented condition of a home they are selling, it doesn`t matter if it is a FEMA map or State agence map it is still a Floodmap.
according to FEMA and the national flood insurance program there should have been a elevation certificate done on the home and also never was. i obtained documents from the town hall after them making me wait 2 months and they could not provide all the permits that should have been required for the home either it doesn`t even have a well permit, which is required by state law.

5 Thoughts on can i sue a realtor builder and developer for fraud and misrepresentation of my brand new home?
  1. Reply
    the kid
    June 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    “my purchase agreement states if the property requires flood insurance i had the right to back out” This means that you needed to check for the need for flood insurance BEFORE you completed the sale. Now it’s too late, since you would have to PROVE that the realtor/developer knew of the issue.

  2. Reply
    June 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Hire a lawyer.

    You have done a surprisingly large amount of research for an average joe…now its time to talk to some lawyers and some neighbors and see if you have a real case.

  3. Reply
    June 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    You need to obtain a copy of the survey (before home was built) the builder was required to make part of the permit appliction. A surveyor is required to indicate on the survey the property elevation and whether or not the property is in a flood zone. This could be a case where the builder and Realtor relied on the information contained in the survey. The survey should be the basis for any action you might have and to whom.


  4. Reply
    June 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    As an Indiana resident, I can speak that 2008 was when many places flooded that were not located in flood plains. I was fortunate, but two of my coworkers had to swim out of their homes… and their homes were not located in flood plains. Now, they are required to carry flood insurance because of this incident. Sounds like this research should have been completed prior to purchasing the home… not two years later. If you can prove that the builders and realtor had knowledge of this, you might have a case — unfortunately many midwest towns experience severe flooding in 2008 and as a result there are more neighborhoods now in flood plains. It sounds like your county is a little unclear about the flood plains, since some documents show it’s in the flood zone and some documents show that it’s not in a flood zone.

  5. Reply
    June 20, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Did you pay cash for this house? If not, why didn’t the lender check into the flood plain? We get a flood cert, which is required by law, on every single transaction no matter what. On the purchase of new construction, we’d never ever consider making a loan without knowing the flood zone. NEVER.

    ” the plat states the subdivision is not in the flood hazard area based on a letter from FEMA from 1981.” Does this mean someone fraudulently stated there’s no flood hazard? The permit also states that there’s no flood plain. Somebody made those determinations and you bought this property using those facts.

    I think you need to get a lawyer. This looks like a big deal and that multiple entities are responsible for not doing what they should have done. I don’t think most people would even know how to look those things up or that they even exist. Get a lawyer and ask him if you have a case.

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