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.
Resiliency and retreat are the mantras for coastal communities coping with sea level rise flooding. Resiliency is improving infrastructure to allow people to remain in coastal areas. Among the options are raising sea walls, roads and other critical infrastructure and installing pumps to move floodwaters off valuable real estate. Retreat is moving people away from areas that flood when it’s too expensive or impossible to defend the land.
Researchers at the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering used artificial intelligence to predict where coastal residents are likely to migrate when sea level rise forces them inland. Their report might surprise you.
The study, led by USC Computer Science Assistant Professor Bustra Dilkina found that sea level rise flooding could force 13 million people in the US alone to move inland by 2100. The inland cities that take them will face increased competition for jobs, higher housing prices and greater demands on essential public services, including roads, schools, law enforcement and water and sewer services.
“Sea level rise will affect every county in the US, including inland areas,” Professor Dilkina fold USC Viterbi. “We hope this research will empower urban planners and local decision-makers to prepare to accept populations displaced by sea level rise. Our findings indicate that everybody should care about sea level rise, whether they live on the coast or not. This is a global impact issue.”
The study identified which cities and regions are likely to fact the largest influx of sea level rise refugees. The list includes Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. Smaller midwest cities could also face a spike in population from people moving away from the coasts.
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.