Business & Investment

Homeowners relocating due to climate change, wildfires and floods

Christy Gentry and her husband have been working on wildfires in California for the past four years.

In 2017, the couple evacuated Santa Rosa’s house for three weeks. In 2019, they were forced to shorten their trip to Hawaii When a fire approaches, remove animals and things from your house.

“It happened one after another. It was smoke, fire danger, fire danger potential, evacuation potential,” Gentry said. “It changed the way we look at our property.”

After so many fires, Gentry and her husband rented a house in Bend, Oregon in August 2020, so they could go somewhere during the California fire season.

A fire finally broke out in September 2020. I didn’t lose my house, but one of the barns burned down and I couldn’t get home until mid-November. So Gentry and her husband bought a house in Bend in January 2021 and are now splitting time between it and Santa Rosa.

“It comes down to feeling safe,” Gentry said. “Everyone has a small PTSD-I don’t even light a candle in my house.”

Christy Gentry is increasing the number of homeowners who cite climate change as the main reason for moving.

Courtesy of Christy Gentry

“Wealthy people can adapt”

Gentry is increasing the number of homeowners who cite climate change as the main reason for moving.

Almost half of Americans planning to move next year say natural disasters and extreme temperatures have influenced their relocation decisions. April survey Implemented by a real estate agent Redfin..

Last month, the UN Climate Panel Miserable report We call for an immediate response. Authorities have said that limiting global warming to nearly 1.5 degrees Celsius, or even 2 degrees Celsius, below pre-industrial levels will “in the next 20 years without a rapid and major reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It’s out of reach. ” At 2 degrees Celsius, extreme heat often reaches the agricultural and health marginal tolerance thresholds, according to the report.

One in five Americans believes climate change is already happening Negatively impacts the value of the home In their area, 35% of homeowners are already spending more than $ 5,000 to protect their homes from climate risks. According to Redfin.. Meanwhile, 79% of Americans say they hesitate to buy a home in areas where natural disasters are more frequent and severe, 75% say they hesitate to buy in areas with extreme temperatures, and 76% say they hesitate to buy. He said hesitated. A Redfin study found that they would buy in areas of rising sea level.

Darryl Fairweather, Redfin’s Chief Economist, said:

At the same time, there is no shortage of buyers of properties that the homeowners involved have abandoned. In fact, Redfin has found that more people are actually moving. Into Areas at high risk of climate change are higher than those areas, according to the report. August survey..

Affordability is the main factor. According to Redfin, counties, where many homes face high heat risk, are cheap on average.

“Climate change will definitely affect the poor more than the rich,” Fairweather said. “Wealthy people can adapt. They can change their homes to more elastic … and they can just pick up and move. You sell your home. It’s pretty easy to buy another home in another place. “

After living in San Jose, California for 39 years, Kathryn Kelly returned to her hometown of Natick, Massachusetts with her family to escape a wildfire in California.

Courtesy of Kathryn Kelly

California’s fleeing fire and rising sea levels

Kathryn Kelly returned to her hometown of Natick, Massachusetts in August after living in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley for over 30 years.

Kelly and her husband were concerned about the increasing frequency of wildfires around the San Francisco Bay Area and the impact of their smoke on the long-term health of their 13-year-old daughter.

“We want to prevent her from getting lung cancer when she’s 20 years old after breathing that kind of air,” Kelly said.

Last summer, my family ran away Bay area fire Head to your second home on Huntington Beach, Southern California. They were able to escape, but they are also worried about the potential impact of rising sea levels on their second home. This summer, the family was caught near a California fire when they returned to San Jose in June.

“The entire highway hillside was on fire, and it was very scary,” Kelly said.

These experiences encouraged families to move and they settled in Kelly’s hometown of Natick. Families are no longer worried about fires and are excited about how lush and lush their new area is.Despite Massachusetts getting its own smoke from wildfires In July, Kelly said, these concerns are exponentially high given California’s annual drought situation.

“Migration to Massachusetts does not completely eliminate the effects of climate change, but it reduces smoke and smog all year round, significantly reducing its health consequences,” she said.

NS COVID-19 Pandemic It helped to ease the road. Kelly had already worked from home for several years, but her husband wasn’t. But when a pandemic forced corporate workers to leave the office and work remotely, his work gave them the flexibility to move as long as he was close to one of their offices. ..

“Covid was such a disaster, but it was a crucial time for us to say,’This is it. This is our chance to do it,'” Kelly said.

Kim Romano decided to sell his property in Key West, Florida, after being told that it would cost more than $ 250,000 to build a house to avoid future floods.

Courtesy of Kim Romano

Give up the flood battle in Key West

The pandemic also affected the climate change migration of Kim Romano.

In July 2020, Romano left his home in Key West, Florida, to keep Seattle close to his son during a pandemic. In 2019, Romano received an estimate to grow her Key West home for 12 years. Seven feet to avoid future floods will cost her over $ 250,000. After arriving in Seattle and falling in love with the city, Romano decided to relocate instead of paying to consolidate his Florida home.

“I just decided I needed to leave,” Romano said. “Climate change mitigation costs have already begun and will be too high. I don’t want to spend that much money. Rather, I want to be here in Seattle.”

Following that decision, Romano’s son bought her a home in Seattle in May 2021, and she is currently in the process of selling her Key West home.

There are many potential buyers. In line with Redfin’s findings that more people are moving to high-risk areas, Romano said the market is hotter than ever. After buying a home for about $ 650,000 12 years ago, she and her realtor will list it for $ 1.2 million.

“Basically, it’s a great opportunity to sell,” she said.

For retired Romano, climate change is the last thing she wants to worry about as she enjoys the golden age. She rather wants to anticipate it.

“It feels like the last quarter of my last quarter, and I’m going to take advantage of it,” Romano said.

Take a look at CNBC’s documentary “American Climate Crisis” and hear more from those who are forced to adapt to climate change.

Homeowners relocating due to climate change, wildfires and floods Homeowners relocating due to climate change, wildfires and floods

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