Our Resilient Future

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Well folks – it’s election season. It’s also hurricane season, which means the King Tides will be here soon.

In the last few days we have seen more articles in the press about the rising sea levels that, if true, could bring an end to the lifestyle we have all come to enjoy. (Coincident with this, and election season, is another re-authorization of the Flood Insurance program– a fine opportunity for Congressmen and Senators to get some campaign contributions from builders and Realtors. You can refer to my columns last year for my thoughts on that.)

As many of you know, I wear multiple hats in my role as a real estate broker. One such hat is serving on the board of directors of the U.S. Green Building Council (South Florida Region). I’m also a candidate to earn “Green Associate” and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Homes Accredited Professional certifications from the Council.

Regardless of your place on the political spectrum, one of the major learnings from the last couple years is that we should not necessarily look to either Washington or Tallahassee to solve our problems. 

Local action is often (though not always) the best action. We can make individual decisions, here in our own communities, to try to stem the tide (literally).

When I was in college (which was some time ago) we had a campus speaker who said the solution to our energy issues as a nation was to “stop driving Petro-Pigs and stop living in sieves.” Well to some extent, we still do. However, today more than ever, there are opportunities for improvement.

We can start with what is possible in our homes. And that’s where my journey with all of you will begin, as well. How can we reduce our carbon footprints? Can some short term costs lead to massive long term savings? Is it possible to live in South Florida “off the grid”?

From there we will expand outward to the larger structures where we work and gather, and finally into the community itself. What would a sustainable South Florida community look like, and can we achieve it – and do so ourselves?

On an occasional basis over the next several columns – interspersed with the statistics and charts that you may have come to expect – I will be discussing actions that property owners in our region can take beginning immediately to do our part to build resiliency.

As appropriate, I will loop in local experts to share locally relevant options to consider – whether you own a house, a condo, or an investment property.

Finally – and to coincide with a King Tide, so the issue will be top of mind for people – I am planning an early October public event as a capstone to this dialogue and information sharing. 

Look forward to seeing more in the near future.

James Oaksun, Florida's Real Estate Geek(SM), is Broker-Owner of New Realty Concepts in Oakland Park. In addition to having degrees from Dartmouth and Cornell, he is a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI). 


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