The FEMA 50 Rule is associated with the National Flood Insurance Program and applies to non-conforming properties with a first-floor living area below current base flood elevation requirements.

It states that owners of these properties can only do up to $150,000 worth of work on them (based on the structure value), while it phases out over time in order to become compliant.

Structure value can be determined through private property appraisals, adjusted assessed structure values, actual cash values, or qualified estimates.

Municipalities help property owners understand their options and determine their numbers during this time, and they often don’t need private property appraisals for this purpose.