San Jose California has a number of areas where flooding is expected by FEMA. We have worked in many of those areas so when you mention your street, we have probably seen the street and recall the results we have already obtained for your neighbor.
If you are interested in price...call us. We set our price low enough to allow for a quick payback for most clients, yet high enough to not anger surveyors who couldn't even come close to our earlier price. It turns out that with our terms, even we couldn't make a reasonable living at our price. The corporate surveyors can't justify the effort until double our rate which still nets a quick payback if a LOMA is the outcome, but doesn't generate enough business for economies of scale or even fully understanding the process and its impact.
At our current rate if the result is an Elevation Certificate, the payback is generally the next time the client writes their annual flood insurance check. In AE zones the payback might take longer, but is still worth the effort and expense so we will discuss the trade-off before we start. The result is that we know whether to stop or proceed after the first few minutes on site.
We will almost certainly match any price anyone else offers, as long as we get their terms too.
Pay on the day of the field work: Our standard rate is due only when either FEMA or your insurance company indicate you are all set for a rate which saves you at least as much over 18 months as our charge. The payback in most circumstances in most flood zones is greater and materializes within 3 months.
Pay even if the work generates no savings. This is very common as most field crews can't determine the impact of the work on the cost of Flood Insurance. That is true for the office staff too, so if you use another team, you may be the first to know the work cannot be justified. With our team, we know, often within a few seconds of hearing the address, and generally within a few minutes of arriving on site, whether the drive was worth the time. [We reserve the right to ask you to cancel the project instead of delivering the useless document]
Client will file the request for LOMA. The surveyors often expect the client will learn the process of gathering and presenting to FEMA the documents. They provide the Elevation Certificate and the FEMA instructions for how to submit a LOMA request. I have heard homeowners describe the process. They get to find and fill in the fields on the request and then findi the documents it references and send the whole package to FEMA. There were a few blanks the homeowner left and FEMA gave them some clues and they eventually filled them in to FEMA's satisfaction...a process which took several months. When the completed package left Virginia and arrived in Colorado for a determination, it was denied due to a problem with the home's design which should have been acknowledged before the first copy was made and the first stamp was licked. [We reserve the right to not deliver the EC, but rather deliver the LOMA..it will save us the phone calls, and earn us referrals.]
Client's insurance agent may not get the best rate and will neither expect nor get any help from the Surveyor. The agent, who only has a few flood policies and only makes $50 per year for each policy, will need to learn the details of flood insurance and know when the rate proposed is correct, and will need to know how to trigger the needed review to get the desired rate. About half our Elevation Certificates are initially deemed useless, then eventually a big reduction in premium is granted with some significant effort. [We will need our full rate to overcome this insurance agent shortfall.....If you use someone else, show us how much you paid them, send us a copy of your EC from them, and your renewal quote and prepare to pay us the difference between what you paid and our normal charge. We will get you the rate you deserve if they filled the EC in correctly and the data justifies the lower rate. Pay us when the savings are known.]