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Climate change key in home-buying process

Climate change has become an important consideration in the property process, with more buyers assessing its potential impact before locking in their desired home.

According to REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella, climate change has become “the new due diligence”, with home buyers putting this on their agenda alongside the typical building and pest inspections, utility access and land boundary checks.

“While ensuring your home is built to withstand the harsh Australian climate has always been important, in today’s world, weather and environmental conditions are being more carefully considered,” Ms Mercorella said.

“With the government estimating increases in temperature, drought periods and bushfires, along with rising sea levels over the next few decades, home owners need to research whether or not these risk factors are relevant to the area in which they’re looking to buy.”

Increasingly, prospective buyers are researching the history of the area in terms of natural disasters and other weather problems, and how these have impacted homes.

This includes major flooding, fire and severe storms occurring in the area over recent years, Ms Mercorella noted.

On the opposite end of the scale, Ms Mercorella said sellers are also doing their research, utilising councils for any information they hold about potential climate change risks to their properties.

“Vendors need to be aware that buyers will have questions with regard to the possible impact of climate change,” she explained.

“They may even cite global warming or other weather risks as reason to reduce the sale price of your property.”

Ms Mercorella said when it comes to due diligence relating to climate change and weather, it was important to “be alert, not alarmed”.

“Make sure you receive your information from credible sources,” she advised.

“Don’t make decisions based on rumours or hearsay. But as always, due diligence is crucial when making what will most likely be the biggest purchase of your life.”

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