The Limits of Real Estate Buyouts as a Solution to Sea Level Rise Flooding

Many municipalities are using federal funds to buyout properties that are experience chronic sea level rise flooding. Buyout programs are initiated under the Federal Flood Insurance Program when officials estimate it’s costing more to the program to cover the costs of repair and rebuilding than to just purchase the properties and tear them down.

As with most sea level rise solutions, buyouts have their limits. In this excellent opinion piece published in Florida Today, Thomas Ruppert, Esq., a coastal planning specialists, discusses the problems faced by buyout programs, including an enormous expense to taxpayers, potential lawsuits from owners when cities and towns decide it’s too expensive to defend their property, and the risk that buyers and owners in coastal communities will come to rely on buyouts as a guaranteed solutions when their properties are inundated, when such a promise could actually bankrupt governments.

Author: Larry Richardson

Larry Richardson relies on his journalism, real estate, photography and videography experience and education to create and annual editions of "7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions for Buyers, Sellers, Owners & Real Estate Agents." Richardson, an inactive but licensed real estate agent in Florida with a dozen years of experience, also owns, which features YouTube videos with over 10 million views