Should a Changing Climate Change How You Buy Real Estate?

Across the internet homebuyers are on edge – should you buy a home near a lake or ocean, or will that be gone in 20 years? If you’ve watched The Weather Network lately you know that climate panic can be a very real thing, but you need to be able to separate out the hype from the facts.

Yes, the climate is changing and parts of Canada are seeing a drastic uptick in the amount of severe weather events, but looking at things objectively will help you make the right decision for you.

Rising Sea Levels Are a Concern

But not as big a concern as you might think. The levels are expected to rise over the next century, not the next decade.

Climate change can be a tricky subject to cover, but everyone has their worries. If you check out the latest projects from the International Panel on Climate Change sea levels are changing by inches, not by feet, and that’s over large periods of time.

Environment Canada has some great charts and graphs on the changes on their website (just google environment Canada climate change and you’ll find all kinds of great materials).

Flood Risks Don’t Just Happen Along the Coast or Lakefront

Every buyer needs to keep in mind that a 25 year mortgage can be a long time – and an area that wasn’t prone to flooding, severe weather or even wind storms and cold snaps a quarter of a century ago may experience them years later. We live in a changing world, and nothing ever stays the same.

Regional temperatures across Canada have been warmed anywhere from .7C to 2.5C above normal in the last two years, and that means risk of floods and other severe weather can increase – especially in areas where that hasn’t been seen before.

But it all boils down to understanding your risks and assessing whether or not it’s worth it. Sure,

25 Years is a Long Time

Again, most people are choose the max of 25 years for their mortgage, and that’s a long time. While Northern Ontario probably isn’t going to turn into a tropical paradise anytime soon, it’s important to remember that things do change. Buying on the outskirts of Vancouver today could put you smack in the heart of downtown 20 years from now.

But buying a home on the lake today will probably net you even more of a return tomorrow, say real estate experts. Even with a changing climate, people like to be close to the water, they like living with mature trees, and they like nice big outdoor spaces.

Instead of fretting about climate change, start looking at what environmental risk factors your property or property you want to buy faces. Is the house sitting on top of a one-time coal mine? Are they building a Sriracha Asian hot sauce plant a mile away, why are the sellers selling? What do you need to know before you buy? Make sure you do your research and find out!

The Goodale Miller Team, based in Oakville, Ontario, is the #1 team in Canada for Century 21 11 years running.  To learn more visit

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