Are you thinking about buying a beach house? There are reasons you might think you want to, but before investing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in a property, make sure it’s the right move for you. Having a beautiful cottage on the beach might sound like a dream come true, but there are some downsides to making that beachside purchase. Let’s look at some reasons to think twice and reconsider.
Beach homes are expensive
When you buy a second home, you make an investment in real estate — and there are few assets as expensive as real estate. While the value of your home may go up over time, it could take years before you recoup your initial investment in the property. And if you’re thinking about buying a beachfront condo or vacation rental, know that it may take even longer to break even because these properties are more expensive than inland properties. If you’re renting out your home during the off-season, you’ll still have to pay taxes on it even if no one is living there.
High maintenance costs
Most people don’t think about maintenance when looking for a vacation home. Find out whether the property you’re considering will require regular upkeep or renovations before deciding to buy it.
The maintenance costs associated with owning a beach house can be significant. For example, as a homeowner, you may need to replace decks or patios after years of exposure to salt water and other elements that degrade wood over time. Replacing decking and installing new railings can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of your deck and whether it needs an upgrade or total replacement. Do you have the time or money to deal with this type of maintenance?
You’ll also want to keep up with regular roof maintenance, which can be expensive if you hire contractors rather than do it yourself. And if you’re planning on using your property year-round, prepare for the cost of heating and cooling systems during those winter months when the temperatures are too hot or too cold.
You may not be able to sell it later
If you’re not going to use your beach house as your primary residence, there are other considerations. First, if you want to sell it, you may have trouble finding buyers. Beach houses are often second homes, and people looking for primary residences don’t necessarily want them. If you can’t find takers for your place at the price you need, it may not be worth much in terms of resale value.
Plus, after spending year after year vacationing there because you feel you must since you bought it, you may grow tired of the place and want to sell it. Selling a beach home can be a hassle.
High insurance costs
Since beach houses are more likely to get hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters than other types of homes. That means you’ll pay higher property insurance premiums on a beach house. The cost of insurance can increase dramatically if your home is in an area with frequent tidal flooding or storm surges.
The good news is that home insurers often offer discounts for beachfront homeowners who take steps to protect their property from storm damage. If you live in a high-risk area, consider installing hurricane shutters and window guards, as well as floodlights and motion sensors on your property — all of which can lower your premiums.
Along with the usual risks of a residential property, beach houses have additional security concerns. For example, the ocean is an ever-present threat. It’s important to ensure your house is secure against potential flooding or storm damage that could come from hurricane season or even just high tides. This can include waterproofing the basement and installing flood controls like sandbags or levees.
Additionally, beach houses are often isolated from other homes and neighborhoods. This means there are fewer people around to help in case of an emergency. It’s also important to install surveillance cameras near entry points (such as doors and windows) so you can keep tabs on what’s happening while away from home.
You may think you want to buy a beach house, but there are many considerations that go into buying a beach house. You should consider whether you’re buying the property for vacation purposes, as a second home, as a primary residence or retirement home, as a rental property, or a business opportunity. These are just some of the considerations that go into buying this type of property. A beach house isn’t for everyone, but if it’s in the cards for you, hopefully, this article gives you a few things to consider before taking the plunge.