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DUplex in the studs/FEMA flood plains

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hey everyone, 

I have a duplex that we bought about a year ago from a friend of ours. It went original owner>wholesaler>wholesaler friend>to us. We typically trust our friend since they have over 500 properties and have sold us several and they did not know it was in the flood plains. the original owner tore it down to the studs on the inside and when he filed for a permit, the city mentioned that he probably knew that it required fema requirements of being raised about 30 inches. This was never disclosed. The problem is this house sits on a slab. We found the same problem once we went to get permits and since FEMA has a 50% substantial improvement clause, they required us to raise the property or some solution to reduce the risk of floods. We know ultimately we should have done our due diligence and we will never make that mistake again.  we are trying to go through all of our options and we need the help of our community. we have had this property for almost a year. we will be meeting with the city again next month to discuss our options but we wanted to be well prepared. The city has not been beneficial at all at this point.  Most foundation companies and structural engineers do not sign off on us raising the foundation due to the high damage risk and the cost associated with it. With stem walls, I know a couple of their flood guys said it may result in us also having to do a flood study in the area and another foundation guy said it may throw off property values. One other option is if we had multiple bids for rehab at under 51.5k. the appraised value is 123, with land being 21k at a total value of 102k and FEMA requirement is we have to follow the rules if it's over 50 percent. we are all in at this property at 135k and with insurance cost etc, 140k. we think the property will be worth 280-300k. Are there any solutions/ideas you guys might have for us or any point of contact you recommend I talk to? I want to resolve this property as soon as possible because I feel like it's paralyzed the rest of our deals. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you again. 

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