Advances in science and technology have helped humans establish control over many aspects of their lives, but not the weather. Although many have tried throughout history. Weather affects our lives in so many ways: construction, harvest season, transportation options, clothing choices, natural disasters and more.
Homeowners should always understand weather-related risks before deciding to buy a house or reside in any given city. In order to prepare for possible danger or destruction, homeowners need to factor in certain risks to form an emergency plan. This includes getting the best homeowners insurance for their situation.
A recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows these considerations are more important than ever for U.S. homeowners because both demand and pricing in high-risk cities is on the rise. The 2017 U.S. Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index found median home prices in cities within the top 20 percent for highest natural hazard risk have increased twice as fast over the last half-decade.
This report examined six types of natural disasters across more than 22,000 U.S. cities:
While it may sound counterintuitive at first, one of the factors pushing prices upward in high-risk cities is growing demand. As ATTOM’s Senior Vice President notes, “That strong demand is driven largely by economic fundamentals, primarily the presence of good-paying jobs, although the natural beauty that often comes hand-in-hand with high natural hazard risk in these areas is also attractive to many homebuyers.”
Three out of the top five riskiest cities with a population of 500,000 or more are on or near the coast, including San Jose in California, as well as Los Angeles, and Seattle. Despite the documented risk from weather-related incidents, these locations continue to be desirable for homeowners because of factors like scenery, proximity to other desirable cities and job opportunities.
As USA Today reports, more than 35 million homes in the U.S. worth $6.6 trillion dollars are considered at high risk of natural disaster-induced damage. That’s nearly half (43 percent) of all single-family property in the country. Some locations face multiple risks at once. Take the Fayetteville, North Carolina metropolitan area, for instance. This locale has very high hurricane and tornado probability, plus one-fifth of the area has wildfire risk.
Knowing prices and demand for homes in cities with high natural disaster risk are rising faster than in cities with low natural disaster concerns, what can homeowners do to protect themselves? The first step is research; know your risks and develop a response plan before disaster strikes. Prospective homebuyers may choose to make an offer, or keep looking, based on an area’s risk and history. Existing homeowners may elect to reinforce certain features on their homes, such as the roof, windows, doors or foundation.
It’s also important to find and carry the best homeowners insurance for your budget. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding a policy with the right coverage.
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