Study: More people in the Tampa Bay area are purchasing homes out of flood zones

More people purchasing homes not in flood zones
Posted at 3:06 AM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 06:43:48-04

The Tampa Bay area housing market is booming, but more people are paying close attention to flood zones and other risk factors before putting down roots, according to a new study by ATTOM Data Solutions.

Living along the water is worrying Bob Smith more than he likes to admit.

"I’ve been flooded twice," said Smith, who lives in St. Pete just blocks from the Bayou Grande.

He lives in an area that may not hold property value like it used to because of the risks, opposite of what is happening nationally.

"Even realtors would be honest and open about this area that it’s very prone to flooding and that just comes with the property of the area," said Brooke Bradley, who rents down the street from Smith.

New market research show more people are thinking about that and other natural disaster risk factors when looking to buy.

ATTOM rated cities and counties nationwide for six disaster risk factors. Storm surge ranked very high in Pinellas and Hernando county, while other counties were more at risk for wildfire and tornadoes.

Bradley may be the exception.

"Yes, I would consider living here just because the area is nice," Bradley said. "I know that flood insurance is probably quite high."

Smith says his family typically evacuates out of the area. During Irma, he waited a little too long.

"We’re not going to make the same mistake. I’m going to get as far away from here as I possibly can, because my luck is going to run out," Smith said. "If the house is gone, I think I’m gone too."
For ATTOM's full risk assessment study, click here.