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5 Factors to Consider Before You Buy a Beach House

Posted on Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Are you thinking about this view? Consider whether a beach house is right for you.

If you have been dreaming about turning your beach vacation into a more permanent living arrangement, buying a home at the beach might seem to be an excellent decision. Before you invest, look at all of the factors that can help you decide whether a beach house is the right choice for your family.

1. Do You Love the Community?

If you are planning to enjoy a reclusive life at your beach cabin for a week or two every year, the community might not matter a lot. However, if you plan to be there often, or you would like to retire there, choosing the right community can be just as important as choosing the right beach house. Ask yourself these questions before you purchase a beachfront property:

  • What is the vacation culture like? Is it full of retirees, families, or young people looking for a party?
  • Is there a year-round community of which you could be part should you choose to retire there?
  • If the property is near a small town, who lives there, and will you get along with them? For example, moving to a place that is dominated by a summer-long music festival is wonderful for a music-lover, but less wonderful if you want peace and quiet.
  • What amenities are in town? This could include shops, medical care, and entertainment for days when it is windy and cold at the beach.

2. Can You Cover the Costs?

While some beachfront homes are located in highly-desirable vacation communities, others are not. Still others see a lot of rental competition from the neighbors. Knowing the rentability of the property is important if your strategy is to buy a beach home that can be rented out during peak seasons and then later on in life to use the property as your permanent residence.

When you are buying property, you need to determine whether you are buying it as a money-making investment or as a dream property for your family. If you are buying a recreational or vacation property for your family, it is best to plan to be financially self-sufficient. Know that you can cover the downpayment and monthly payments yourself. Count the cost of insurance and property taxes as well. When you know that you can cover the cost of your vacation home, any money you make on rentals will be a bonus.

Some beachfront properties are in desirable, easy-to-rent locations, while others are harder to manage and maintain.

3. How Will You Maintain Your Beach House?

If you will not be using your beach home as a permanent residence right now, you will need to consider how to maintain the home when you are not there. Some people rent out their vacation homes. Others shut them for the season. If the community is full of vacation homes, there are likely options already in place for seasonal maintenance and property management when you are not in town. Make a plan for the times you are not there so that you can plan to enjoy your beach house when you are there.

4. What Are the Hazards, and Can You Insure For Them?

Floods, hurricanes, erosion, mudslides, and even fires are all problems that might come with owning beachfront properties. Living in a beachfront property in a more isolated location can put your home at increased risk. Check with your realtor and town planning departments to see what kinds of emergency plans they have in place, and look at how easy or difficult it will be to secure and insure your home against disasters.

5. Will You Really Use It?

When you are at a beach house, the answer to this question is always a resounding “yes!” Of course you would keep coming back to this glorious location and this relaxing atmosphere. When you are home, life can get in the way. A weekend at the beach is easily interrupted by illness or other plans. Look at how far away the beach house is, the typical time you can travel after work is done, and decide how often you would actually use your beach house before you buy.

A beachfront home is a dream for many people. If you want those long hours sitting next to the ocean to become a reality, you need to do your homework. At Open for Homes, we can help. Turn to the blog at Open For Homes and see how you can find the best vacation home for your family.

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