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Climate House Hunting: ‘Extra’ Edition

The week’s hottest real estate listings, ranked by climate risk.

A vintage wallpaper pattern over disasters.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Glued to real estate posts on The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal , Dwell , Spaces , The Modern House, or Architectural Digest and wondering how those gorgeous homes will hold up in the next decades? I have you covered.

Heatmap has partnered with my new climate risk platform, Habitable . Every Friday, we add a climate risk score to the real estate listings featured in the news this week and ask: Could you live here as the climate changes?

Using a model developed by a team of Berkeley data scientists at Climate Check, Habitable scores each property for heat, flood, drought, and fire risk on a scale of 1-10. One represents the lowest risk and 10 is the highest. Our rating for each hazard is based on climate change projections through 2050. (You can check your own home’s climate risk here. )

For today’s edition, I apply the Habitable Index to homes featured on the market this week — homes that are definitely creeping away from a minimalist style. Not quite full on maximalism, but breaking away from the pack of white walled Marie Kondo-ed homes. Read on as we rate houses with conspicuously decorative flourishes and discover which are at risk to lose all that stuff to flood or fire.

1. Saudi tycoon’s sprawling $130,000,000 high rise: high price for low risk.

Park Avenue penthouse. The Alexander Team

You could think of this 30,000-square-foot, opulently decorated Park Avenue penthouse as a steal since it was originally listed for $169,000,000 a few years ago. No one has ever slept or lived in the six bedrooms or used the nine bathrooms or marred the Hermes pillows, marble finishes, or natural oak cabinetry. There is barely a climate risk, although you’d think it might get hot up there at the top of a 96-floor building.

Featured in NYPost and listed for $130,000,000 .

2. Gilded Age mansion on DuPont Circle can remain in a power position for another 100 years.

Blaine house

Blaine House, a 7,000-square-foot, historic Washington, D.C. mansion, has served the power players of the nation’s capital since the 19th century. This commercial and residential mansion flaunts its architectural detail and millwork, extravagant rotundas, formal dining and reception rooms, and even a rooftop lap pool with views over the city. And it won’t be the end of an era — all this mansion has low flood, fire, or drought risk. Have a ball!

Featured in Robb Report and listed for $29,950,000 .

3. Chicago has a lot to offer, including a climate bunker for all your things.

Chicago. Sothebys

This steel and wood modern house in Chicago is extra. With almost 6,000 square feet in Chicago’s old town, it features fireplaces, bluestone patios, hardwood, floating staircases, open concept, balconies, and radiant floors. Only flood and fire minimalists need apply. And it won’t be too hot here to enjoy the private deck with views over the Chicago skyline.

Featured in dwell and listed for $2,625,000 .

4. A little of everything

Garden house. Zillow.

This small and perfect little house near the airport in Minneapolis manages to squeeze so much into a tiny space. Outside features crammed gardens. Inside, there’s an admirable lack of minimalism — there’s stuff but a place for everything. It’s kind of perfect — fenced in, near a dog park, designed for maximum efficiency with a good deal of storage. There is one thing: The flood risk is worryingly high, so I would worry about all that stuff in the basement.

Featured in dwell and listed for $247,000 .

5. Live inside a very, very hot, but enchanted Disney-like castle.

Disney house. Zillow

“Go for it” is what we say about this place. This over the top Golden Oak neighborhood at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando is a custom built home with no attention to detail spared. With great rooms, crystal chandeliers, marble floors, courtyards, pool areas, golf courses, and wraparound balconies — all this and the magic of discounted Disney access at your fingertips? Yes, it will be hot but you could always lay on that cool marble floor, click your heels, and say, “I’m going to Disney World.”

Featured in WSJ and listed for $9,650,000 .

6. Another enchanted spot that feels far far away from reality.


This house is quite minimal and even, dare I say subtle? But it’s only because the modern glass house doesn’t want to compete with the overindulgence of the garden. On this island outpost, you will find granite courtyards with reflecting pools, a moss garden, curved flower beds, hedges, decorative boulders, fountains, specimen trees, and 150,000 daffodils! Enjoy them while you can, though. Even though there is no risk for drought, fire, and the seabreeze will keep things cool, the flood risk offers little hope for the future of this horticultural orgy.

Featured in WSJ and listed for $8,250,000 .

7. I’m gonna take my horse to the Stonehouse Road.

Stonehouse Road house. Zillow

I love that song ”Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and feel like whoever bought this house was singing the chorus: Can’t nobody tell me nothing. This house on Stonehouse Road in Pasadena is jam packed — stone walls and fireplace, copper hoods, wood beams, and tile floors. But it is also packed with climate risk. Did anyone tell the buyer about the fire risk or drought risk? Eek! They are going to need to ride from Stonehouse Road “‘til they can’t no more.”

Featured in dirt and sold for $5,488,000 .


Ann Marie Gardner

Ann Marie Gardner is an award-winning editor and entrepreneur. She writes about design and climate and just launched Habitable, a newsletter and tool to assess your home's risk from climate change. You can read it here: Read More

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