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How Natural Disasters Are Influencing Housing Choices

As Disaster Preparedness Month comes to an end, a new survey from Realtor.com shows that at least three-in-four buyers took natural disasters into consideration when they were choosing their new home. 

September marks National Preparedness Month, a time when Americans are reminded to take steps to plan and prepare for any number of emergencies or scenarios that may affect them. 

As a single-family home is typically the largest asset most people own, 62% are concerned about protecting it in the case of a natual disaster. This number rises to 75% among new homeowners and 72% among millennials. 

As the number of natural disasters increase, 47% of homeowners report feeling more concerned about them compared to five years ago. 44% responded that their level of concern remains unchanged while 9% feel less concerned. 

In addition, 34% of surveyed homeowners would consider proactively selling their homes to avoid the possibility of future natural disasters. 

Homeowners were most worried about: tornadoes (39%), severe cold or winter storms (38%), floods (35%), hurricanes (29%), earthquakes (21%), wildfires (17%), droughts (11%), and sinkholes (8%). Homeowners in rural and suburban communities were most concerned about tornadoes and severe cold or winter storms; flooding was a top concern for those in urban areas. 

In order to help with future natural disasters Relator.com has donated $200,000 to Realtors Relief Foundation (RRF), a charitable organization dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to victims of disasters. The foundation is administered by the National Association of Realtors, which covers 100% of RRF's administrative costs so that every dollar donated goes directly to disaster relief efforts. 

"Natural disasters can have enormous impacts on communities and homeowners, and with increased frequency and intensity of weather-related events, National Preparedness Month is a good reminder of how important it is to be prepared," said Realtor.com Chief Marketing Officer Mickey Neuberger. "Our mission is to help bring people home, but it's also about helping people when their home is damaged or lost after disaster strikes, which is why Realtor.com recently made a $200,000 commitment to help aid in disaster response efforts." 

A full copy of Realtor.com’s survey can be found here. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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