by Maurie Backman | Published on July 24, 2021
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The moon's orbit may be changing. Here's what home buyers need to know.
A lot of us don't pay much attention to the moon unless it's particularly illuminated on a given night. But now, there's a good reason to track the moon's activity, especially if you're a homeowner.
The moon's orbit is starting to wobble, and in a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change in June, scientists say that by the 2030s, that wobble may alter the moon's gravitational pull enough to impact rising sea levels. The result? An uptick in flooding across the nation's coastal cities.
To be clear, climate change is already causing sea levels to rise. But now, homeowners in coastal and low-lying cities could, in the not-so-distant future, have a host of flooding concerns to grapple with.
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Flood damage can be a homeowner's biggest nightmare. If you're in the market for a new home, it's important to do your research and see if any given property you're looking at is located in an area that's susceptible to flooding.
If you're thinking of moving to a coastal city or area that's not very high above sea level, you'll need to prepare for the possibility of flooding. And you'll also need to take steps to protect yourself from it.
There are two ways to do this. First, have extra money on hand in your emergency fund. That way, you'll have cash reserves to tap if you need to pay for any damage out of pocket.
Secondly, make sure you have the right insurance in place. Often, homeowners insurance will not include coverage for damage resulting from flooding. For that, homeowners often need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
In fact, it's important to see if a home you're looking to buy is located in a flood zone before you buy it so you can not only know what risks you're signing up for, but also, make sure you have the right coverage in place. The best way to determine your flood risk is to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website, which lets you input an address into its flood map to see whether it falls into a danger zone or not. Keep in mind that FEMA breaks down flood zones by risk, and there's a difference between buying a home in a low-risk zone versus a high-risk zone.
If you will be buying a home in a high-risk flood zone, it's important to secure appropriate flood insurance coverage. In fact, depending on where you're buying, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance before finalizing your home loan.
Of course, it may be the case that when you research your home today, it's not identified as being in a particularly flood-prone area. But that could change over time, especially if sea levels keep rising and the moon's orbit continues on its wobble-ridden path. As such, it's a good idea to check up on your home's status every few years, because while you may not need flood insurance to start with, it could be something that becomes necessary down the line.
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