Florida’s real estate is a popular acquisition for older Americans. The warm weather and beautiful beaches make Florida an attractive retirement destination. Additionally, many seniors purchase these properties to secure consistent income to fund the fun of their twilight years.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a few bills into law that impact these coastline properties. Specifically targeting developers, these new laws imply that these once-reliable Florida bungalows may be a risky purchase long-term.

Rising water levels impact shoreline stability

Gov. DeSantis signed several bills into law in July 2020, most centered around conservation and preservation of Florida’s natural beauty. These bills address Florida’s problems with blooms of blue-green algae that kill scores of fish, leaky septic tanks and even regulations over the iguana trade.

One particular bill addresses new shoreline construction and the impact of climate change on these projects. Senate Bill 178 introduces a new step to construction proposal projects along Florida’s coasts. Municipalities and state agencies now must submit a 50-year sea-level impact projection (SLIP) study on proposed construction before breaking ground. Florida’s Department of Environmental Projection reviews the studies before awarding any tax revenue, looking for measures to minimize potential flood damage and land subsidence (sinking).

Since 1993, sea levels along Florida’s coastlines have risen three inches. Experts think that the waterline could rise 54 inches by 2070. The state of Florida itself estimates that $300 billion in taxable property along nearly 1,400 miles of coastline will be below water by 2100.

Is Florida real estate worth the investment?

The new environmental laws concerning Florida real estate do not immediately impact residential purchasing but provide some insight to the future of Florida’s signature real estate. Property owners can expect to encounter future legislation designed to combat growing climate change concerns.

However, buildings constructed with these new laws in mind stand a chance of enduring the worst of the projected damage. Beachfront property may become quite scarce in the future of Florida real estate, and these investments could pay off in a big way down the line.

Bring questions to an attorney

Those considering purchasing beachfront property in the Sunshine State can contact a local attorney familiar with Florida’s real estate.  A lawyer can recommend competent inspectors, identify forward-thinking construction firms and draw up purchasing contracts.