Every American homeowner is finding out how much of a risk their property is truly facing.
This month, every current and potential homeowner in the United States has access to the flood risk score of their property (or one they are considering for purchase).
Many find themselves amazed at how high their property’s risk of flooding has been assessed to be.
America’s flood risk score is being reassessed by First Street. This is a part of a broader effort to provide current homeowners and prospective home buyers, and the real estate industry with improved information. Each property is being assessed and assigned with a score. Some have already speculated that this could have a substantial impact on the housing market across the country.
With the two recent severe storms to make landfall on the Gulf Coast this week, it is becoming evermore clear that frequent, extreme weather and the potential for historic storm surge is increasingly becoming a way of life for many regions.
That said, even after other major storms, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017, many homeowners who live in more risky areas still do not have an insurance policy to protect them against the cost of flooding damage. Among the reasons for this is that federal flood maps, which provide insurance demand guidance, are not yet factoring in the effects of climate change because they are based on historic models instead of forward-facing calculations.
The First Street Foundation is hoping its flood risk score assignments will help homeowners choose.
The First Street Foundation is a nonprofit research and technology group. It has launched an interactive website for homeowners, homebuyers and the real estate market. Since June, it has been providing data about the risk of flooding for more than 142 million homes and properties across the country. Now, one of the leading home listing sites, realtor.com, is adding those scores to all the listings on its website.
To calculate the flood risk score, First Street worked with a team of 80 scientists and researchers. Their goal is to make sure every property has been assessed. This allows current owners to understand their need for flooding insurance and can help home buyers to make better decisions for the property purchases they make including the coverage they will need.