Buying a beach house is fun and exciting. But if you overlook some important considerations, your dream could turn into a nightmare.
Things to Consider When Buying a Beach House
When you buy a house by the ocean, the process is similar to buying a home anywhere else, but it requires very careful thinking about some matters that are uniquely important considerations for beach-front homes. Here are some things you need to think long and hard about before you make a purchase:
If you plan to rent your beach house, you will attract more renters and command more rent if it is on the beach, or at least within viewing distance or walking distance. If being that close is not possible, try to be close to something else, such as popular eating spots, public transportation, or something that will make it competitive.
Owning a beach house in close proximity to the water is good for rental and for resale value, but it will likely increase your flood risks and insurance rates. In fact, you should expect your homeowner’s insurance rates to be higher than you may be used to paying.
In some places, flood and hurricane insurance may be required by your lender, and in other cases, you may not be able to get the necessary insurance. This is information you need to know before you begin looking at beach houses in any given area.
If you have found a home you like, note whether it is located in a high-risk flood zone. Even if it is not, your lender may still require flood insurance. Flood insurance is expensive. A beach home in Florida may command flood insurance premiums of $10,000 or more. Be sure to speak with an insurance agent about what you should expect to pay. (In fact, it pays to shop around for the best insurance rates).
Near the ocean, a house will be subject to grueling winds with pelting sand and salt water. This acts like a corrosive sandpaper against the home’s siding. Make sure the siding and the roof are able to withstand the unrelenting weather. If you can find a beach house with a fairly new roof, that is a major plus. Replacing a roof can cost around $25,000. Even better if the roof is metal. Metal roofs are very durable and highly wind-resistant.
If the area is prone to flooding, you will want a beach house built on stilts. The home’s construction materials should also be wind and flood-resistant. Concrete is best able to hold up to high winds, rains, and high temperatures.
Another aspect of the home’s ability to withstand severe coastal weather is the windows. In some locations, building codes for new homes require “hurricane-proof” windows. The windows in older homes, however, may not comply with updated building codes for windows. Hurricane windows are expensive, but they are worth the investment. They will help protect your home, and they will lower your insurance expenses.
Wear and Tear
Keep in mind that renters will not treat your property with the same care that you will. Think of ways to keep damage to a minimum.
At the beach, people will have lots of outdoor gear. Make sure the house has a place to store it all, such as bikes, beach chairs, beach toys, and so forth.
Along those lines, think about how the house will stand up to a beach lifestyle. People will be tracking in sand and salt water, so think about an outdoor shower of some sort where people can rinse feet and beach shoes to keep it to a minimum. Have a convenient place outside to hang wet towels and sandy swimsuits, too.
Consider whether you will be able to keep up with renters, maintenance, and cleaning yourself, or whether a property manager would be better for you. If you are not planning on living nearby, or if you expect a lot of turnover, a property manager is likely preferable to trying to do it yourself. The expense of a property manager is likely well worth the money. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to deduct the expenses.
A property manager will also manage the deposits, rental agreements, and other aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship for you in a way that complies with applicable local laws. If you have a tenant that leaves the property heavily damaged, the property manager can get it back in shape quickly so that you are not left with a vacancy for any longer than needed.
Contact Katie Zarpas Group For Information on Buying a Beach House
When you are thinking of making an investment in a beach house, you want to work with the experts. The professionals at Katie Zarpas Group are known for their expertise on beach house properties. Contact us for more information and to get help from our experienced waterfront property agent, Katie Zarpas.