Steady demand for coastal real estate despite flood risks

Coastal real estate demand strong despite flood risks
Posted at 5:13 AM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 07:38:11-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For most people, buying a home is the biggest investment they'll ever make.

So, why are more people choosing to buy homes in the Coastal Bend?

As they say, its all about location, location, location.

"I've got a fascination with boats so this was a good way to have the boat here in my backyard," said Lynn Frazier.

This Snug Harbor resident got what he wanted, living in North Beach near the canals.

FEMA requires homes in the these areas be elevated to at least 13 feet above sea level.

"We stayed here in the house during Hurricane Hanna and the water came up about 4 feet," said Frazier.

According to a new report from real estate company Redfin, the cost of homes in coastal areas that are more prone to flooding have gone up around 14% this year.

Dr. David Yoskowitz is a senior executive director at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico studies.

"Everything suggest that there's going to be more intense hurricanes into the future," Yoskowitz said.

If this is the case why are more people buying, at higher prices, despite the risk?

A CBS News report shows people with high incomes can afford to pay extra measures like flood insurance and the cost to move homes onto stilts. The Redfin report backs that up, showing 1 to 2 inches of water entering your home can cause at least $25,000 worth of damage.

That's why if you have a mortgage for a home in a flood zone, FEMA requires you to have flood insurance.

Port Aransas realtor Melissa Hladyniuk says she's sold 38 homes in the last year, mostly vacation homes in flood-prone areas.

"That area closer to the beach is called a velocity zone and your insurance can be even higher if you're in that velocity zone," said Hladyniuk.

That includes areas like the Beach Gate Development and Pelican.

"You'll see homes that have paid extra to get high-impact windows and doors so you don't have to board them up," explained Hladyniuk.

The Redfin report also shows Corpus Christi is fifth nationally on a list for cities most at risk of substantial flooding.

"The flooding that comes from those tropical storms so we have to take that into account," Yoskowitz said. "And also because we are a coastal city the issue of sea level rise over time."

Whether you are in a high-risk zone or not, FEMA recommends people look into purchasing flood insurance because most regular homeowners insurance policies don't cover flood damage.

Click here for the full report from Redfin.

FEMA also recommends looking at the flooding zone you live in.

If you are interested in purchasing a home be sure to understand your policy. Hladyniuk recommends buyers contact Port Aransas Realty for more information.