I was ready to purchase a house and found out the house was in a special flood hazard area. The seller didn't not disclose this in the property disclosure, though they knew about it. I believe I can get my earnest money back and more for the cost of my inspections. Anyone have any thoughts or similar experiences>
If the seller failed to disclose the info when specifically asked on the disclosure, you have cause to investigate the possibility of cancelling the purchase. It may not be a sufficient reason to acquire release, but you won't know until you gather more info from your realtor and/or a real estate attorney.
I'm aware the flood maps are available. The flood zone in this area is strange to begin with and nothing that would come to mind for most people, including my realtor and theirs. There is also the time frame in which to give them deposit money, get inspections and mortgage paperwork going. If this was disclosed previous to all this, there would be no problem as I would have passed on the property, but by the time I found all out, most of this was already done. To me, they left this info out in order to get someone to agree to purchase the property asap and get them stuck in a contract.
My realtor believes I can get out and get my money back. Unfortunately, I cannot afford an attorney and even less so now.
I have lived in a flood zone (where the flood insurance was required), and I don't remember ever seeing a question on the disclosure forms I've seen about being in a flood zone (not saying it's not there, just don't remember seeing it). Did they lie on the disclosure form and say it was not in a flood zone when it was, or are you saying that they didn't point out that it was in a flood zone, and you think they should have? I don't know what the right answer is, but just trying to figure out exactly what the problem is.... Did the Contingency date pass, and now you can't get out of the deal? As for the home inspection money - I would be surprised if anyone would pay that back - but maybe if they out-and-out lied, you might be able to. I think the realtors on the site might be able to shed light on that....
It is a question on the SC Seller DisClosure form.
My question to the OP - Do you like the property except for the flood zone issue? One corner of our lot was in a flood zone when we first built out house. We added flood insurance, it's really pretty cheap.
Also, is there a problem with water standing or racing across the lot during heavy rains?
I don't recall that being a question asked on our seller's disclosure. I do know that we have had a few cases where the seller had never had flood insurance only to have the lender require the new purchaser to have it. Although this has been waived on occassion too.