Flooding: what are the risks when buying a waterside home?

PUBLISHED: 11:10 06 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 06 October 2018

This kind of view can add value to a home. Pic: gettyimages.co.uk

This kind of view can add value to a home. Pic: gettyimages.co.uk

What do you need to know when buying a house near a river or on the Broads? Or do you have one to sell? Nick Eley, partner at Watsons, discusses the options and what you need to know before taking the plunge.

10, Clickers Road, Norwich. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk10, Clickers Road, Norwich. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk





Nick Eley, a partner at Watsons. Pic: www.edp24.co.ukNick Eley, a partner at Watsons. Pic: www.edp24.co.uk





5, Dyers Yard, for sale. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk5, Dyers Yard, for sale. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

There is nothing more tranquil than living close to a river or waterway.

Imagine being thrilled when you spot say, an otter or a kingfisher, as well as enjoying an ever-changing view, like a watercolour depicting the seasons, all from the comfort of your home.

Or, if you own a boat, or are thinking of buying one, you could consider a house which comes with its own private mooring enabling you to live out that dream lifestyle.

Undoubtedly there is no better place than in Norfolk for waterside living with the county boasting seven rivers and 63 Broads providing 200 kms of navigable waterways – and all along those routes are perfectly positioned properties.

1, Riverside Court, for sale. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk1, Riverside Court, for sale. Pic: www.watsons-property.co.uk

However, the immediate concern for many when buying is of course, flooding and indeed this can put off some people from even considering looking at a riverside property.

We at Watsons hope to allay those fears; as estate agents, we have a duty to inform you if the owner has made us aware their property is at risk from flooding or if it has flooded in the past.

“Since 2000, anyone can obtain information by simply putting in a property postcode into the Environment Agency website. Here you can also obtain a free report on the flooding history of a property,” said Mr Eley.

Visit www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk

“If a property comes out on the website as in a flood risk area, you need to drill down exactly what this means – what time frame it covers and also bearing in mind that some of the information given is what the risk is if there are no flood defences.”

Mike Tims, chartered surveyor at Watsons with over 30 years experience, has specialist knowledge of waterside properties and their various types of construction. He has inspected many and has knowledge of exactly what to look for and what to consider.

Mr Tims said: “A huge part of Norfolk is considered to be in a flood plain by the Environment Agency. The biggest concern is from a North Sea surge, rivers back up because of tidal conditions and banks can fail but we don’t get flash flooding, to the same degree, as in other parts of the country because we are, generally, a flat area.

“Such factors can cause issues but are very often offset by the advantages you have of living by a river, inclulding the view and amenity which can add significant value to a property.”

Watsons are delighted to market homes by the water too - they currently have several on their books - and are fully aware of the information needed from you as a vendor to ensure the correct marketing which can include flooding issues and river ownership - some properties close to water actually come with rights to that particular stretch of water. Watsons will gain all this knowledge when listing your home to ensure the right buyer can be found.

Watsons currently has a range of properties with beautiful riverside settings.


How about these three which are all at low or very low risk of flooding from a river/sea:

1, Riverside Court, Longwater Lane, Costessey, Norwich, NR5 0TB; for sale for a guide price of £435,000.

A substantial detached house with three receptions, four double bedrooms and scope for updating, situated with a riverside garden.

10, Clickers Road, Norwich, NR3 2DD; for sale for a guide price of £325,000.

A superbly presented three storey townhouse with three bedrooms with one of the best river views in the city.

5, Dyers Yard, Norwich, NR3 3QY; for sale for a guide price of £425,000.

This Hopkins built riverside townhouse with three bedrooms is situated in a cul-de-sac location close to the city centre.

For more information contact Watsons on 01603 619916 to talk to Nick Eley, email n.eley@watsons-property.co.uk or see www.watsons-property.co.uk

To see if a property is in a flood risk area, see www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk


Watsons has sponsored this article.


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