What Real Estate Agents Must Know About Climate Change

Flooding, fires, snowstorms, freezing, and beach erosion are commonplace in recent years. In 2021 alone, 20 natural disasters occurred in the United States. Savvy homeowners are taking a close look at how climate may affect the value of the homes they're buying, as well as ongoing expenses. As a result, real estate agents need to be prepared to answer their questions and address their concerns.

Flooding Remains a Reality

Oceanfront and lakefront homes have long been appealing to buyers and renters. Climate change doesn't seem to be having a huge impact on that appeal, as a new study by Yale reveals that home prices aren't going down. Instead, buyers and communities are preparing themselves for climate shifts and flooding.

Areas like the Florida coast have been hit especially hard by weather. Newer and remodeled homes are being designed with climate change in mind. Many properties are being elevated on stilts. The trend, which began after Hurricane Katrina, is now being adopted in Florida and other waterfront areas. For owners who don’t want to move to higher ground, building up is the only option.

Even homes that are not directly on the water may be at risk for flooding. Rain, when unexpected and heavy, can do damage.

Flooding is one of the most significant and costly incidents caused by climate change. Luckily, FEMA now offers Flood Mitigation Grants to owners so they can prepare for the impact of future flooding in high-risk areas.

Dropping Temperatures Leave Homeowners out in the Cold

Winter storm Uri hit Texas in February of 2021. It left millions of homeowners without power. When freezing weather comes without warning, pipes can burst, costing thousands in repairs. 

The Texas real estate market is still strong. But real estate agents and homebuyers are now more aware of the impact of weather conditions on life quality. They may factor in home upgrades and the cost of improvements and insurance when selling and buying homes.

Agents and homeowners alike need to learn as much as possible about winterizing properties. It will keep home values high and reduce the risk of costly damage.

Green Features Make Homes More Appealing

A whopping 65% of home buyers want an environmentally sound home. They are willing to pay more for energy-efficient features like updated HVAC systems and upgraded doors, windows, and siding. 

New construction often revolves around"resilient building." Architects and developers now consider sustainable features to give homeowners what they want. They also include safety elements to mitigate extreme weather. 

Homes with environmentally sound features may command higher prices. Real estate agents can be more effective if they know about those elements when listing properties. 

What Can Real Estate Agents Do?

Climate change has generally not resulted in a massive shift in home prices in affected areas. But today's consumer is more aware than ever of the impact of weather on their safety, expenses, and lifestyle. 

In fact, a new rating system alerts prospective buyers and investors of the risk level in specific areas they may be considering. Savvy agents will learn the facts about the weather trends in their communities and do what they can to reduce fear. 

You may not have control over wind, rain, snow, and ice. But you can stay on top of local and national trends. Then, you will provide your clients with the most accurate and timely recommendations for buying, building, and remodeling.

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