Ohio to be the new Florida?


By David Lindeman

Contributing columnist

I have a hot real estate tip for you today.

No, I’m not going to try to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge or a timeshare in Tahiti or a sharp little place on the Black Sea in Crimea.

I’m thinking more along the lines that if you want a long-term investment in the future resort capital of the United States, you should think about … Ohio. Maybe Casstown or Lockington.

Hah! You think I have lost my mind. That may be true when it comes to most things, but in this case logic is on my side.

All of the current Meccas for vacation dollars in this country are in trouble. Take Florida, for instance. Beyond the fact that there are way too many people in Florida already, climate change is wreaking havoc there.

Scientists are warning that large portions of the Florida coast will soon be underwater because warmer temperatures means the oceans will rise. All those beachfront homes will be like Atlantis! You can look up maps that show predictions about how large portions of Florida are soon to become part of the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, there will still be beaches, they’ll just be moving. But that’s not all. The changes also are supposed to bring dramatically larger hurricanes to Florida.

There’s even one study that says climate change is causing increased property values in Florida. I’m not sure exactly how they came to this conclusion – something about all the money Miami is spending on raising roads and building sea walls increases the value of what land is left. It seems kind of contradictory to me – I mean, if most of your house is underwater and what’s left is crushed by a hurricane, how does that make it worth more? Whatever the reason, Florida clearly is on the way out.

Lots of people have been going to Arizona in recent years instead of Florida. This makes sense if you like to live in a desert where there is hardly any water. But it appears that Arizona is getting even hotter (if that is possible) and water is becoming even more scarce. It’s going to be like living in an oven down there. Goodbye, Arizona.

California? Great if you want to live your life avoiding earthquakes and mudslides.

Colorado has become kind of trendy place and the oceans will have to rise a long way to even get within spitting distance of the Rocky Mountains. But people there are worried that the huge tourist industry, built on skiing and outdoor activities, is going to be hit hard because changing climate will bring less snow and change the habitat of the Rocky Mountains.

Then there’s Ohio. Sure, it’s humid here in the summer but the winters are getting warmer. In a few decades, people will be coming here instead of Florida to relax in the winter. Plus, we have water. We have scads of water. They’re going thirsty out West and we have so much water here that every time it rains we have trouble finding places to put it. I’m telling you, water is the oil of the 22nd century and we’re the new Texas.

Well, I hope we’re not Texas, actually. But that’s another story.

You have nice people here, a lot of history, lots of flowers and trees and we’re going to have the kind of climate people love. Yes, I know, the tornadoes apparently are getting worse and we’re a little short on mountains and oceans, but corn fields and soybean fields have a certain charm all their own. We just have to work on the marketing a little bit.

Or we don’t work on the marketing. When I think about it, I’m not sure that Florida or Arizona or Colorado are better places because people flock there to party or retire. Sure, they have more money than they used to have, but in the words of Yogi Berra, they’ve become so popular no one goes there anymore.

We might be better off hoarding our land and our water. If we can resist the temptation to build stuff on every square inch of agricultural land in this state, we might come out of this ahead.

You can see it now, can’t you? A few square feet on a rapidly disappearing beach in Florida or a few acres of beautiful land outside of Fletcher? A condo at a ski resort that doesn’t have snow or a new house in Christiansburg? The choice seems obvious to me – just make sure your house has a basement for the tornadoes and your basement has a sump pump for the rain. No place is perfect.

David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected].

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