Beachfront property in Florida presents risk to investors

| Aug 12, 2020 | Real Estate Transactions | 0 comments

Florida’s coastlines are known for their world-famous beauty. Retiring individuals and real estate developers purchase these properties for access to passive and reliable income.

However, recent research has revealed that Florida’s coastlines may no longer be the sound investment they once were. What should purchasers know before investing in beachfront property in the Sunshine State?

A shifting landscape

In July 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis signed several environmental bills into law. Key among them is Senate Bill 178, a bipartisan bill that addresses climate change’s effect on coastal properties. The law requires developers to research the environmental impact of their proposed project before beginning construction. Developers must prove the new work will not increase the local flood risk when combined with rising sea levels and sinking shorelines.

Research shows that Florida’s shoreline sea levels have risen three inches since 1993 and may rise as much as 54 inches by 2070. At these levels, over half of all Florida’s beachfront homes will flood 26 times every year.

A climate catastrophe or potential for profit?

Those looking to retire to an ocean view home in the Sunshine State must consider these factors before purchasing a home. Consistent flooding may decrease the value of the home, the resale value and heavily impact estate taxes. Before purchasing, carefully consider the age and inquire about any improvements or alterations the owners performed to limit flood damage. Buildings constructed after July 1, 2020, must take SB 178 into account and will alter their construction to be kinder to Florida’s beautiful coasts.

Individuals looking to develop these properties and turn them into passive income must consider SB178 into their plans before purchasing. New projects will require environmental impact projections and likely a higher initial investment to include flood-prevention materials and techniques. New projects that account for rising sea levels may offer new investors an attractive option compared to older, high-risk buildings.

Find answers with a real estate lawyer

Those looking to move to Florida or invest in its beachfront property can bring their questions to a local attorney familiar with Florida real estate law. A lawyer can help assess properties for flood risk, forge connections with reliable contractors and draw up comprehensive sale agreements.