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Life @ Home eNewsletter: October 2021 for Buyers

Design Element 1

» Why house hunters should be considering climate change
» How to handle repairs in a historic home
» 5 best U.S. cities for fans of fall
Design Element 2
Flood insurance is critical
Why house hunters should be considering climate change

What things do you consider when house hunting? Probably square footage, condition, age, nearby amenities and schools. But what about climate risks?

As our weather keeps moving toward greater extremes, these are three environmental hazards that may affect your search for a new home.
Flooding. It’s common to check FEMA flood insurance maps before closing on a home. If the house is in a low-risk area, it’s thought that future major flooding is unlikely.

Unfortunately, rising ocean levels and high energy storms are changing things. “Low-risk” doesn’t always mean low-risk these days. To minimize the chance of catastrophe, be wary of buying property adjacent to high-risk flood zones. Wildfires. Climate change has led to more severe wildfires across the Western United States. In the past, developers sometimes built homes in moderately risky areas. They bet that the risk wouldn’t go up, and in the meantime they argued it was a good way to meet demand for property in desirable areas. Now, some homeowners are paying the price.

Simply put, be cautious of homes built in areas at moderate or high risk for wildfires. Snowfall. In the upper Midwest, the warming climate has a counterintuitive effect — more snow. Warmer global temperatures mean more moisture in the air. And that extra moisture comes out as snow when the air is below freezing.

Heavy snow can cause tree limbs to fall and roofs to collapse. It can also create ice dams and water damage. A house needs a strong, water-tight roof to stand a chance.  
Historic home upkeep
How to handle repairs in a historic home

From Cape Cods to Victorians, historic homes have a real wow factor — but only if they’re maintained right.

A rehabbed historic home should be comfortable to live in but still maintain its unique charm. Here are four tips to get you started. Make sure it’s watertight. Water infiltration is often a disaster for historic homes. If the roof, foundation, windows and doors aren’t in good shape, any other work you put in is likely to be ruined down the line. Go for quality over quantity. Historic rehabs and restorations take time. Don’t cut corners by buying cheap substitutes. Matching the materials and aesthetic of the original home accurately is the key to a great outcome. Minimize invasive procedures. Ripping out floors and walls can kill the historic details that made you love the home in the first place. When updating utilities, talk to your contractors about less-invasive solutions, like split systems for heating, cooling and electric. Know what’s important. Knowing when the home was built, who lived in it and its community context will help you throughout the rehab or restoration process — from fixing the foundation to the final coat of paint.  
Pumpkin Patch
5 best U.S. cities for fans of fall

1. Try Bar Harbor, ME, for fabulous fall foliage.
2. Go apple picking in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
3. Prefer pumpkins? Sycamore, IL, is for you.
4. Sip some cider in Interlaken, NY.
5. Head to Jasper, GA, for a heck of a hayride.

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