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Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

For many people struggling to afford rent in Tampa, owning a home could provide more space, more stability and sometimes even a lower monthly cost.

If you own a house in South Florida, you might want to start thinking hard about sea level rise.

The ocean here could rise a foot or more in the next 30 years -- the amount of time in a mortgage cycle -- according to University of Miami professor Harold Wanless and other researchers.  That means if you buy a house today, and rising seas put your house at risk for flooding, your property value might decrease... but your mortgage payments won’t.

For coastal communities from Florida to Texas, this year's hurricane season may be a preview of what's to come. Scientists say with climate change, in the future we're likely to see more severe hurricanes and heavier rain events. In addition, as ice sheets melt, sea levels are rising faster, flooding low-lying coastal areas such as Miami.

Houses in areas prone to natural disasters across the country are increasing in value.

While that might not make sense, that was the finding of a yearly nationwide study by ATTOM Data Solutions, a company dedicated to crunching housing numbers.

After Hurricane Irma, there have been lots of conversations about how best to rebuild given the area's elevation and tendency to flood, even on sunny days.

3 Florida Metro Areas Had Double-Digit Rises In Home Prices

Feb 6, 2017

Three Florida metro areas had among the greatest increases in home prices nationwide last year.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

A contemporary estate has sold for $6.875 million, the highest amount for a single-family home in the Tampa Bay area in three years.

After almost a year of month-to-month declines, new foreclosure starts in Florida rose in July.

The research firm Realty Trac reported last week that foreclosure starts increased 16 percent in July from the previous July.

Florida had the nation's highest foreclosure rate in July, with 1 in 408 homes having a foreclosure filing.

Florida's foreclosure rate had declined for the 10 previous months.

Realty Trac spokeswoman Ginny Walker says the July jump is likely a one-month anomaly.

Our recent post about more people buying homes with cash got us wondering about international buyers in the U.S. housing market. Here are a couple surprising facts about who else is buying homes in the U.S. and how they are paying for them:

1. International sales only account for a small share of total U.S. homes sales.

City of Lakeland

File this one under "Who knew?"

Polk County had the highest percentage of foreign homebuyers in the country for the last half of 2011, according to the Lakeland Ledger.

The story is based on an analysis by the Inman News real estate website

Florida had six metro areas in the top ten for foreign buyers -- Tampa was ninth and Orlando third.