Adobe Stock Ralf Gosch

Second homes and vacation rentals used to be sought after properties. But now, erosion and rising sea levels threaten the once prime pieces of real estate, says Troy McMullen for the Washington Post.

From New England to California, some of America’s most prized waterfront real estate is disappearing into the ocean, despite deep-pocketed homeowners spending enormous sums to put off the pain of losing their homes. In Malibu, Calif., one of the priciest beachfront areas in the country, experts estimate that some slices of that wealthy community have lost up to 50 feet of beach over the past decade. Local officials there are planning to spend $55 million to $60 million every 10 years — at taxpayers’ expense — hauling in many tons of sand to restore the disappearing beach and dunes in front of a pricey mile of real estate that includes more than 100 homes.

Waterfront property in Nags Head, N.C., on the Outer Banks, can soar well above a million dollars. The beach there has been eroding at about six feet per year, according to the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management. That’s more than four times the median rate for North Carolina’s coast. The town is spending $48 million — and raising taxes for property owners — dredging sand from the sea floor and pumping it onto beaches.

Nantucket is an upscale haven for summer vacationers 30 miles south of Cape Cod, but beach erosion and rising seas are threatening some of the most expensive real estate on the island. Some areas have lost nearly 100 feet of beachfront over the past few years, according to the Siasconset Beach Preservation Fund. Island officials — along with some deep-pocketed residents — are installing seven-foot-tall jute sandbags to line the bluff for 1,000 feet in a desperate effort to save rows of beachfront residences.

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