If you live near the coast or are planning to move nearby, it’s easy to conceptualize your potential flood risk as a result of sea level rise and extreme weather events (i.e., hurricanes). However, did you consider how the impacts of climate change might impact property taxes, insurance rates, and even the likelihood of being approved for a loan?
In an article by the NY Times, they indicate many homeowners are taking out interest-only mortgages, which do not reduce the principal owed, making walking away from a home less financially burdensome. With Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood plains expanding due to sea level rise, most mortgage lenders will not allow a loan to be purchased if a property is within the flood plain and buyers do not have flood insurance. However, getting the loan is only half the battle – flood insurance does not protect against the property losing value or becoming unsellable.
According to the latest National Climate Assessment (2018), sea level is projected to rise another 3 to 7 inches by 2030. This increase may seem small, but a few inches is all it takes for sea walls to give way, breakwaters to be submerged, and for seawater to enter residential homes. Moreover, by the year 2100, projections indicate the ocean may rise up to 51 inches by 2100, drowning some of our favorite coastal attractions. The impacts of sea level rise will be catastrophic to low-lying coastal towns. Know your risk!