In the ever-evolving landscape of the housing market, a surprising factor is now causing homebuyers to think twice: the impact of climate change. The way we value and choose our homes is transforming as people like Aditi Shekar, founder of a financial tech company, reevaluate their priorities.
Adapting to Change: The Shift in Homebuying Criteria
For Aditi and her family, who once prioritized a “tech-friendly” community, climate considerations now take center stage. They often endured big fires in Northern California, particularly during periods when there wasn’t enough rain. So, they’re thinking of moving to Bozeman, Montana, where they hope it’s better for the environment and can last a long time.
Elise Grant in Cedar City, Utah, and her family didn’t want to live in St. George because it was getting drier and there was insufficient water (drought risks). Instead, they picked a house higher in the mountains. They want a home that can last a long time and is good for the environment.
Climate Concerns Shape Decisions Nationwide
In Kalamazoo, Michigan, a prospective university teacher turned down a dream job in California due to climate worries. Droughts, mudslides, and fires prompted her to prioritize a stable living environment over coastal allure.
Despite climate concerns, the housing market remains robust, with 86% of US homes selling within 30 days as of September. But as Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, suggests, buyers might be short-sighted about the potential impact of climate change during their ownership.
Understanding Climate Risks: A Guide for Homebuyers
As the housing market thrives, prospective buyers must consider climate change implications. Your home is a significant financial investment, and being informed about potential risks is crucial.
Sustainability as a Selling Point: Beyond “Location, Location, Location”
In the realm of real estate, the adage “location, location, location” is taking a back seat to a new priority: sustainability. This distinct trait is predicted to become the most sought-after feature in homes, potentially impacting property values. Eddie Seiler, executive director at the Research Institute for Housing America, warns that homes in vulnerable areas may become unsellable as insurance costs rise.
Market Insights for Informed Decisions
If you’re in the market for a home, consider the shift towards prioritizing sustainability. Homebuyers are increasingly interested in environmental features that mitigate climate change risks. Factors such as distance from rising sea levels, solar paneling, and storm-proof windows are gaining importance. As Lawrence Yun notes, consumer mindfulness about these aspects will likely grow each year.
In this changing landscape, being aware of climate-related risks and seeking sustainable features may not only protect your investment but also contribute to a more resilient and eco-friendly future.