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.


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 dwelland 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 dwelland 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 WSJand 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

Read More

To continue reading

Create a free account or sign in to unlock more free articles.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Wind turbines

Inspire a greener future. With your IRA.

At Domini, we do not invest in companies in the energy sector involved in oil and natural gas exploration and production in accordance with our investment standards. When you open a Domini IRA, not only do you help create positive environmental and social outcomes but it also helps you reach your retirement goals. Join our caring community of individual investors and you’ll inspire a greater and greener world, one retirement contribution at a time. Consider opening or rolling over an existing IRA with Domini.


The New Colorado River Proposal Buys Valuable Time

An interview with Dave White, a water expert at Arizona State University, about what a breakthrough along the Colorado River really means

A handshake and the Colorado River.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Arizona, California, and Nevada announced a deal on Monday to reduce the amount of Colorado River water they use, ahead of a bigger overhaul planned for 2026. The agreement is crucial, likely keeping the river from reaching dangerously low levels that would have put water supplies for major cities and agricultural regions at risk. But Colorado River water policy is often knotty and confusing, and it can be difficult to wrap one’s head around just what kind of impact deals like this can have.

To that end, I called up Dave White, the director of the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation at Arizona State University and chair of the City of Phoenix’s Water/Wastewater Rate Advisory Committee. He explained how things work now, what the deal means, and how he’d like to see things change in the future — particularly in 2026, when the current set of water allocation rules expire and are replaced. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading...Show less