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Watch Out For Floodlines When Inspecting Foreclosed Properties!

We all want to avoid flood-prone locations, but how do you know if an area has a history of flooding? I’ll show you one of the most obvious signs that you are probably ignoring… flood-lines! You should check this as part of due diligence, before buying a foreclosed property.

Note: This article was first published on September 26, 2011 and has been revised with updated resources.

I remember the time when I visited the Registry of Deeds in Binangonan, and I noticed something that every real estate investor or anyone buying a property should watch out for as part of due diligence, BEFORE buying a property in any area – flood-lines!

Flood-lines are the stains that remain on the walls, fences, gates, etc., after an area gets flooded. It can mean an area is flood-prone and can be a sign of things to come, unless something concrete was done to prevent future flooding.

What does a flood-line look like?

I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The flood-line on this concrete wall was pretty obvious


How about the graffiti or “art work”? Those are things you should also avoid, but that’s another story!
How about the graffiti or “art work”? Those are things you should also avoid, but that’s another story!


These may look like ordinary pictures of flood-lines, but these were the same flood-lines I saw in the same area in Pasig right after Ondoy. Yes, the floodlines caused by Typhoon Ondoy, are still very visible after 2 years (when I took the pictures above).

Where do you look for flood-lines?

Obviously, you won’t see any flood-lines if a property’s walls, fences, gates, etc. got repainted or cleaned up already. So you should look for them at the following:

  • Concrete walls, fences,  of VACANT LOTS. Those that have rough surfaces that would retain the dirt and mud after a flood has receded would be a good place to start.
  • Unoccupied  properties. Since these are unoccupied, it is less likely that they are maintained, hence you will see the flood-lines, even after several years have passed.
  • Public or private properties that are not well maintained. Just look at the pictures above!

What if you don’t see any flood-lines?

If you don’t see any flood-lines, you should still ask around the area. For sure you will find people who are more than willing to share their flood-related stories. Check out sari-sari stores, barangay halls, or even the property owners in the same street or area.

While banks will disclose any info they have with regard to flooding, don’t rely solely on them or their caretaker(s) who live in the foreclosed property, as they might not know exactly how high the flood was, if any. Or they may simply not know if it was indeed flooded.

For FSBO (for sale by owner) properties, the seller might be hesitant to disclose any information with regard to flooding, as it might make you lose interest on their property. Just ask anyway and confirm by asking others who live in the same area, as mentioned above.

Online resources for flooding in the Philippines

You can also check out the following online resources  with regard to flooding in the Philippines.

Typhoon Ondoy Maximum Flood Height interactive map(Click to visit)




What’s being done to solve the flood problem (so far)?

My wife actually compiled what’s being done to try to solve the perennial flood problem and you can check it out in the following article:

Responding To And Solving The Perennial Flood Problem

The floods are here again, it seems this is becoming a yearly thing here in the Philippines. Well, I hope not! But are things being done at all to solve the perennial flood problem? If yes, what are they? Read on to find out…

How about you, have you seen any signs of flooding in any of your target locations? Or you you have any more tools or resources to share that can help with identifying flood-prone areas? Let me know through the comments below.

Photo of author
About Jay Castillo
People encounter problems and make mistakes when buying foreclosed properties, and Jay wants to help people avoid those problems/ mistakes. Jay encountered a lot of those, which is why he started this blog in 2008 to serve as a guide where he shares lessons learned, and how to overcome challenges you may encounter when investing foreclosed properties in the Philippines … [Read more]
Avoid losing money, wasted time and effort caused by buying foreclosed properties that have too many problems, with our free 60-item Property Due Diligence Checklist. Grab your free copy now.

Leave a Comment

6 thoughts on “Watch Out For Floodlines When Inspecting Foreclosed Properties!”

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Things to Consider when Buying Foreclosed Properties
  2. Pingback: Earthquakes, Faultlines, And Real Estate Investing - ForeclosurePhilippines.com
  3. Great blog!! Nice information here. Indeed, Home inspection and home repair knowledge is a must to have when investing in rental property. It helps to know the basics of what is involved with many repairs for you can save a lot by doing so.

  4. thanks sir jay for the information. I can use it for my future reference as my due diligence. Only one of my properties are in less flood area. But fortunately there are still lot of prospect tenants looking for apartment in our place. Yes that includes in our plan to elevate it once we start the expansion. Thank you very much.

  5. Hi Jec, in a way, it can lower the market value because it can lower the demand for properties in the area, and the same applies to rental rates. I hope you’re location is at the less flood prone area of Cainta. Goodluck on your expansion, maybe you can elevate it already so it won’t be affected as much. 🙂

  6. Hi sir jay! how does the flooded prone area affect the market value of a property? because i’m living in cainta, rizal and have two properties within. Does this affect the market value, also the rental fee if i’m going to pursue expansion of my apartment. Thank you and God bless!


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