I’m thinking about buying a new home. Should I consider the risk of climate changes?
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you probably have a checklist of qualities you’re looking for as you shop around. But have you considered how environmental factors could affect your choice? In the event your dream home is in an area that could be affected by flooding or a storm surge, you’ll have some additional factors to think about before you make your purchase.
Do your research. Seek information on the locations vulnerable to climate changes. Some of these regions are located in coastal areas. Climate changes have been linked to more severe weather events and rising sea levels, which increases the risk of frequent and major flooding. Even though there’s uncertainty as to how much sea levels could rise in the future, it’s still important that you know the risks. You can find more information on this subject on NASA’s global climate change website atclimate.nasa.gov or by reviewing FEMA’s “Information for Policyholders” page at fema.gov.
Know your insurance options. Generally, homeowners insurance does not cover floods. This means you’ll want to look into coverage options (and the cost) if you’re relocating to an area susceptible to flooding. Many insurance companies participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes flood insurance available through a partnership with FEMA. Contact your homeowners insurance provider to learn more.
Tour the home with weather-related and environmental risks in mind. When you check out your potential home’s features, think about safety. Will the home be able to withstand severe weather? Specifically, is the home equipped with hurricane shutters? Do the windows have special impact-resistant glass? What about a storm cellar? Is the roof in good condition? Are there many trees on the property?
Take time now to estimate the potential financial impact of owning a home in an area affected by the risk of climate changes, and it may help you avoid unexpected expenses and stress later.