Buying a beachfront home, whether ocean front or lakefront, is an exciting decision. While it may be tempting to envision dreamy sunsets over the water, don't bury your toes in the sand just yet. There are several things to consider before making your purchase.
1. Access or Frontage: A big question to ask your real estate agent is whether the properties you will be seeing have beach access or if the houses are located directly on the beachfront. While houses with beach access are considerably less expensive, you will have the inconvenience of having to pack up all your gear and lug it to the beach.
2. Frontage Feet: The price of waterfront homes is determined as much by the frontage feet as the square footage of the house itself. Obviously, the more feet on the water you can get, the better. If the amount seems low, say 60 feet or less, make sure you ask about any restrictions on adding a dock. Some states have laws concerning dock setbacks and placement.
3. Number of Bedrooms: While the frugal side of you may be thinking that you only need enough space for your immediate family, know that you will have guests. Once friends and extended family realize you have a beachfront home, they will hint at getting a weekend invite. The more bedrooms you have, the more people you can accommodate.
4. Rental Rules: If your beach house is located in a community with an HOA, you will want to do your due diligence regarding rental rules. If your plans include short-term rentals to help pay the mortgage, your dreams may be dashed. Many HOA's and even some municipalities prohibit short-term rentals.
5. Flood Insurance: Being near the water means you need flood insurance. Inquire about the availability and cost before making an offer. It only takes your insurance agent a few minutes to look up the property. If the house is located along the coast, is in an area with recent flooding, or located near a high water table, they may not offer coverage at a rate that you can comfortably afford. It's better to know in advance.
6. Public, Shared, or Private Beach: Be sure to ask what type of beach the home is located on. On Lake Michigan, for example, many lakefront homes are located on public beaches, near state or local parks. There are some parcels, however, that have a deeded, private beach. While people can still walk by at the water's edge, they cannot spread a blanket out on the sand and stay. A shared beach is simply a private beach that is now shared by a group of homeowners in a development, instead of a single homeowner.
Buying a beachfront property will ensure years of fun in the sun, if you make an educated decision on which property is best for you.Share
1 August 2019
Although I've never worked professionally in the real estate business, I sure know my way around it. How, do you ask? Well, I have simply rented a lot of different places and worked with a lot of different landlords and real estate agents. In the past 7 years I've lived in 11 different houses or apartments, none of them my own. In finding those 11, I have looked at literally hundreds of apartments. I used to hate house hunting, but now it's kind of fun. You just need to know what you want and the right questions to ask. Hopefully this blog can help you learn some of the tricks of the trade from another renter like yourself.