New Hawaii Disclosure: Sea Level Rise Disclosure, It’s Mandatory!

buying oceanfront properties on maui

New Hawaii Disclosure: Sea Level Rise Disclosure, It’s Mandatory!

buying oceanfront properties in Hawaii

There is not much that compares to living oceanfront, especially in Hawaii. The sound of the waves, the views of whales during their annual migration and just looking out at the vast gradations of blue can give a sense of peace and awe. With the incredible natural amenities that living oceanfront offers comes with a need for understanding and responsibility of owning such rare land.  All oceanfront, near oceanfront and also properties near streams and areas prone to flooding must now disclose the risk about sea level rise. From May 1, 2022 and moving forward, this is a mandatory disclosure given to any buyers of residential Hawaii real estate.  The State of Hawaiʻi enacted a new update to the Mandatory Seller Disclosures in Real Estate Transactions Law in 2021, codified within Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes §508D-15, requiring that real estate transactions within the State of Hawaiʻi must disclose any risk of sea level rise to the property. Risks to oceanfront properties from shoreline erosion and coastal flooding are increasing with sea level rise as documented in scientific and government studies around Hawaiʻi.

You can visit the State of Hawaii Climate change portal for more information. Click here 

Here is a good FAQ brochure on the sea level rise disclosure. Click here. 

If you want to see where your property lies in the Hawaii State Sea Level Rise Viewer go and click here then you can input your property at this website (Pacific Islands Ocean Observation System)  and check it out (make sure you click on 3.2 ft as the exposure). Again Click here.  At that link you can also read the information on the projected modeling system. According to the website “The Viewer was developed by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (UH SOEST) through a collaborative project led by the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) in partnership with DLNR and the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Planning.”

To put it very generally, the modeling was done by researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi and the Sea Level Rise Exposure Area (SLR-XA) is a combined area of risk for : passive flooding (meaning low-lying coastal plains, including but not limited to rising groundwater, backflow through storm water damage, and direct overland marine flooding); annual high wave flooding; and coastal erosion.

So be an informed buyer. The level of risk varies depending on location, the actual property itself and etc. Talk to your realtor and experts in the field if you have further questions regarding your property of interest.

As with anything to do with climate, please get the most updated information. Contact experts in the field. 

Mahalo and a hui hou…


top realtor on maui jeannie kong evarts

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