Living near water is a "dream come true" for many, but waterfront property can be a risky investment due to climate changes over the past few decades that cause sea levels to rise. You can still find some good deals in places that are relatively safe from environmental disasters, but here are two things you should plan on doing to protect your investment over the long term.
Invest in Home Improvements That Mitigate Climate Change Issues
One thing you'll want to prepare for is investing money in making changes to your property that will reduce the impact climate change–related problems. For instance, if local experts predict water levels will rise 10 feet over the next decade, you'll want to have your house raised up enough to avoid any flooding that may occur.
In fact, before even making an offer on the home, it's a good idea to have the house, land, and environment inspected by experts who can make educated guesses at how things will change during your ownership. Their reports can provide insight into the challenges you may be up against and help you decide if you are ready and willing to take them on.
Participate in Local Government
It may seem strange to suggest government participation should be on your list of things to do after buying a home. The reality is that there are many preventative measures that can be put in place that will mitigate the effects of climate change. However, it's typically the government that's responsible for implementing those measures, and unfortunately, officials often need to be pushed by the people to do what's needed.
For instance, experts speculate putting in sea gates or a sea wall could have prevented the flooding that occurred in New York several years ago. Unfortunately, it would've cost $6.5 billion to complete the project, a cost many politicians would balk over. However, if enough of the population pushed to have it put in place or elected officials who would approve the project, the damage that did occur because of the flood may have been avoided.
Even if you buy waterfront property in a fairly "safe" place, it's essential to keep up with what's happening in your local government. It's not unusual for politicians to propose and pass laws that strip away the environmental protections that formerly made your home safe, and staying abreast of what going on can help you take action when necessary to protect your piece of real estate.
For more advice on waterfront homes, contact a real estate agent.