As everyone knows, real estate value is about location. And a picturesque shorefront location is perhaps the best value in any market. But that truism comes with a caveat: When wind and water are causing the shoreline to shift, prospective buyers may temper their romantic inclinations with a dash of caution.
The Boston Globe magazine noted that phenomenon this month in a report on the Cape Cod real estate market (see: "Climate change concerns weigh on Cape home-buying decisions," by Jose Martinez). "For generations, proximity to the Cape's roughly 580 miles of picturesque shoreline was a major draw for home buyers," the Globe observes. "Today, however, that same water frontage is a harder sell. Increased awareness of rising sea levels, flood zones, and storm surge have potential buyers rethinking how close a relationship they want with the ocean, said John Weyand, a realtor with Sotheby's International Realty in Falmouth."
Not everyone is deterred, however: "For some buyers, having a home with that cove view they've always wanted outweighs the added expense of carrying flood insurance and abiding by more stringent building codes," writes the Globe.
"People worry about Boston going underwater, too," one homeowner told the paper. "What are you going to do? You take a measured risk, I guess."