As South Carolina’s population grows and sea levels continue to rise, a group of experts across the state say now is the time to provide homebuyers increased transparency about what they’re purchasing, especially when it comes to beachfront living.
State law requires homeowners to fill out a disclosure form, which in part is intended to alert the purchaser of any prior or current issues with the property or home.
However, a recent report produced by the South Carolina Beach Preservation Stakeholder Workgroup, which was charged with shoring up beach preservation in the state, asserted that the disclosure form is not robust enough. It’s one of a handful of findings the group, convened by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Ocean and Coastal Resource Management division, made in its report. However, it was not part of the group’s formal recommendations and would need approval from the South Carolina Real Estate Commission if changes were made to the form.
The stakeholders discussed a disclosure form that would identify coastal hazards and expound on flooding threats properties faced. (...)
More transparency is part of the puzzle in helping people understand what it means to own vulnerable beachfront property.
“If that’s a risk they’re willing to take, then that’s fine. People make those decisions to take those kinds of risks all the time,” Amy Armstrong, director of the S.C. Environmental Law Project, said. “But they should be informed decisions.”
Some information is available, such as an interactive DHEC website that hashes out the details of renourishment projects around the state since 1979. But there isn’t a one-stop shop for prospective buyers to understand the coastal hazards or flood risks to their properties.