As more people than ever enter retirement age, many look for new investment opportunities. Many seniors sell their family homes and retire to warmer states like Florida to enjoy their twilight years in comfort. Other Baby Boomers may purchase desirable beachfront rental properties to secure consistent income.

Studies have revealed some inherent risks in purchasing shoreline real estate in Florida. In July 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis even passed legislation addressing the climate change issues affecting Florida’s gorgeous coasts.

Sinking shorelines and rising water levels

In July, Gov. DeSantis signed a slew of environmentally themed bills into law. These bills addressed many issues, including bans on the sale of iguanas, algae containment in wastewater systems and the Sunshine State’s fragile seashore. The latter, Senate Bill 178, requires would-be developers to conduct a shoreline study of any proposed coastline construction. The study must prove the new construction will not compromise the shoreline further, considering both rising sea levels and land subsidence (sinking). Otherwise, regulators will deny the permit.

Florida’s coastlines have risen three inches since 1993. Unless people take measures like SB 178 seriously, experts predict levels may rise another 54 inches over the next 50 years.

Money pit or hidden gem?

For retiring individuals looking for a sound investment, these laws do not immediately impact purchasing decisions but may give insight into the future of Florida’s coastlines. Investors can expect more regulations and guidelines in the future, especially if sea levels continue to rise. Research implies that homeowners or landlords can anticipate flooding up to 26 times each year. This consistent flooding will reduce the property value, compromise its foundation and cost thousands in repairs.

Those looking to take the risk and develop the property for endurance should consider SB 178 before beginning construction. If properly built, accounting for rising sea levels and land subsidence, these properties may be rare in the future and provide a welcome return on investment.

Bring questions to a local attorney

Those with questions about purchasing beachfront property in Florida can reach out to a local lawyer familiar with real estate laws. An attorney can connect their clients with accredited inspectors ready for the new law and oversee any transactions.