There is no single source of reliable information buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents can rely on when they’re pondering how to deal with a property in a coastal community now experiencing or soon to experience sea level rise flooding. That’s why they have to practice due diligence and turn to multiple sources for answers regarding the flooding status of a property to make informed decisions that protect their financial futures.
Due diligence is discussed in detail in my recently updated book “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions for Buyers, Sellers, Owners & Real Estate Agents”. If you watch this video, you’ll get a more general sense of why performing due diligence is critical and the strengths and weaknesses of several informational resources, including sellers, real estate agents, flood insurance providers, and neighbors.
As an example of why due diligence is necessary, let’s take a look at sellers and real estate agents as sources of information. Often buyers believe sellers are legally obligated to tell them if a property floods, but the fact is that every state has its own seller’s disclosure law. The state regulations range from very strict to so loose buyers are essentially on their own. Even real estate agents don’t always know flooding is impacting a specific property or neighborhood, and they might be pressured by a seller not to disclose what they do know to a buyer. (Note: This is a risky practice that may result in a costly lawsuit.)
With the limits of every informational resource, buyers who want to purchase property in coastal communities must perform due diligence and use several sources to determine if a property floods, how soon it might flood, and even whether the road out front floods, which can make it hard to access a property. Sellers should practice due diligence to determine their obligation to disclose flooding to a buyer. Owners should use it find out what they can do to address flooding or the threat of flooding and to decide whether it’s even worth the effort. Real estate agents should understand what due diligence is so they can tell their buyers and sellers how to gather more information to make informed decisions.
When you get down to it, you never can have too much information about a piece of real estate. In coastal communities experiencing or at risk of experiencing sea level rise flooding the more information the merrier.
The point of “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions for Buyers, Sellers, Owners & Real Estate Agents” is to educate all parties about this creeping catastrophe and to show them how to perform due diligence — gather information from multiple sources — BEFORE they make real estate decisions. This is critically important to buyers in coastal communities because they are purchasing homes that actually experience sea level rise flooding and they don’t know it until the water shows up at their doors; sellers are selling properties without knowing their legal obligation to disclose flooding to buyers; owners think the flooding won’t affect them until they can’t drive on and off their property because the streets are flooded; and real estate agents are selling properties that flood — usually unaware of the problem — and they could face costly lawsuits.
I spent hundred of hours researching, writing, and editing the 2021 edition and ended up with 177 pages jam-packed with facts, charts and photos. The book is beefed up with chapters that cover: what happened over the last year; the relationship between the burning of fossil fuels, global warming, and sea level rise; what happens, in detail, when sea level rise flooding strikes a community, a neighborhood and an individual property; the pros and cons of the solutions communities and property owners are using to address sea level rise flooding; and how to research whether or not a property is currently experiencing sea level rise flooding or is soon to be inundated.
The hardest part of writing this year’s edition was forcing myself to stop as new information about global warming and sea level rise kept streaming in. The new book is much more comprehensive than the first edition. It has special chapters that cover developments in the field since the 2020 edition and a detailed description of what happens when sea level rise floodwater streams into a community, neighborhood, and individual property. It also has more information and instructions on how buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents can protect their financial future by performing due diligence — gathering information from more than one source — before they make a critical real estate decision in a coastal city experiencing or soon to experience sea level rise flooding.
The challenge to anyone involved in real estate along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines remains unchanged: There is no single source of reliable information that will give them the facts they need to know about past, present, and future sea level rise flooding. So they have to put on their detectives’ hats and find it themselves. “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions for Buyers, Sellers, Owners & Real Estate Agents” will give them the tools and insight they need to gather the information they need to make informed decisions.
Please check back often. I’ll have a lot more to say about the book, and, now that Covid-19 appears to be calming down, I’ll post a lot more updates with the latest developments regarding sea level rise and real estate.
Sorry I haven’t updated the site lately, but I’ve actually been busy writing the 2021 edition of “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions for Buyers, Sellers, Owners & Real Estate Agents.”
Managing the threat of Covid-19 threw me off my intended schedule, which was to release the book in November or December of 2020, but I’m back on track to bring you a comprehensive look at the risks involved in purchasing real estate in coastal communities that are currently experiencing sea level rise flooding or will have to confront the challenge in the years and decades to come. The new edition includes the latest developments regarding sea level rise science and the approach federal, state, and local governments are taking to address the flooding. It also has chapters that describe in detail how sea level rise flooding impacts communities, neighborhoods and specific properties, and what buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents need to do about it.
Those of you who purchased the 2020 edition of “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions” on Amazon.com will find a lot of new information presented clearly and concisely. The book will be of special value to buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents operating in coastal areas who want to make informed decisions regarding real estate transactions in areas confronting this creeping threat.
I will update the site when the book is available in paperback or Kindle versions, which should be in about two weeks. Thank you for your patience.
Once the book is released, I will get back on track to updating this site on a regular basis with the latest reports regarding sea level rise flooding and real estate.
Many buyers in coastal areas are purchasing second homes or vacation properties. Too often they’re submitting offers without first finding out if the property or street out front is experiencing sea level rise flooding or if the property is in a neighborhood or community at risk of sea level rise flooding.
This failure to perform due diligence when buying real estate can prove costly. Properties that flood can have high maintenance costs and could actually lose value. In addition, owners of properties that flood or that are in the vicinity of flooding could face high taxes — as their communities struggle to deal with the flooding — flood insurance premiums and homeowners association or condo association fees.
In this video, I give buyers tips on how to find out if a property experiences sea level rise flooding, is at risk of flooding, or is in a neighborhood or community that floods. Then I discuss the risks the flooding can pose should they go through with the purchase.
Surprisingly, finding out if a property floods, itself, can be a real challenge. For instance, often the flooding only occurs during the fall king tide season or when a storm is whipping up the water so buyers won’t see it. Furthermore, in some states sellers don’t have to disclose the flooding problem to buyers.
Sea level rise flooding is a growing problem for coastal communities along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information out there — and certainly not in one place — to help buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents to make informed decisions about how to respond to the challenge.
I created SeaLevelRiseRealEstate.com and wrote “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions” to give people an understanding of climate change and sea level rise, along with the questions they need to ask and the valuable resources that can provide useful answers, so they’ll make the right decisions based on the threats posed by sea level rise flooding and their ability to address them. To further reinforce the points made on the website and in the book, I produced five introductory videos that I’m posting on this site all at once.
The videos consist of an introductory video followed by videos that each address the central issues that should be of concern to buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents. The videos aren’t as comprehensive as the information found in “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions” but they give a great overview of the general issues of concern.