The shortage of water across many states is quickly becoming the next big issue in real estate. California is currently experiencing its third year of drought and this year is the driest in the state’s history. Farmers are having challenges getting enough water to survive and some are now selling off any extra water they have to other farmers who don’t have enough. Servers in restaurants, bars and cafeterias cannot serve water unless customers ask for it. There are even hotlines where people can phone in and report neighbors who are watering lawns, washing cars, or filling pools on days they aren’t allowed to.
Many homeowners’ property values have been collapsing in parts of California where water shortage is extreme and where water shut offs have begun. Some media outlets have even renamed the state “Collapsifornia” due to the growing water concerns.
While I am no expert in water and will not even begin to give a prediction on the meteorological or agricultural implications of the water situation, I most certainly am able to comment on how this will affect real estate in Washington and Oregon. When such a large percentage of people are all concerned over an element needed for day-to-day existence, one can easily predict that many homeowners will opt to hedge their bet and will sell their home in California while they believe they still can. And from there, I expect they will be looking to both Oregon and Washington states to put down new roots.
One of the most compelling documentaries I have ever watched is called Blue Gold. It specifically details the concerns we all should have over the shortage of water in many parts of the world. It also makes a strong case for the subsequent greed that will follow water supply sources. Water potentially can become more valuable than any other commodity due to our need. If you have not yet watched this film, I suggest you do so. For more information visit this link: Blue Gold World Water Wars.
These days Californians can’t pick up a newspaper, watch the news, or go online without seeing something about the shortage of water in their state. This concern will drive what I believe will be a very aggressive migration from California to the Pacific Northwest in short order.
As a real estate agent you need to understand the motivation behind these new clients’ transactions. If your clients are moving up from California, I can promise you that one of their first concerns and many questions will be regarding the water source for a specific property or area, who owns that water source, and how many years of water supply that water source has. They may even inquire about any state regulated water rules in the area or about harvesting rainwater rules. Water is a HUGE issue and one that every real estate agent should be following very closely.