Buying a beachfront property is a big decision in terms of private ownership. Beachfront condos or houses are not necessarily cheap and require more attention to detail than ordinary properties.
You can even turn your beachfront property into a rental house and make additional income. Because of various factors, you need to be careful and make thorough research about the type of property you want, where you want it, and how much you are willing to spend.
To help you out, we are going to talk about the most important issues you need to consider before investing in a beachfront property.
Depending on the location, the price of all types of properties varies and beachfront properties are no exception. Deciding on where you want to buy a property will help you in making the right budget.
For instance, properties in Panama City Beach, Orange Beach, and Ocean City are comparatively cheaper than places like Key Biscayne or Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina. But at the same time, there is Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and Myrtle Beach condos for sale are comparatively way cheaper than other places.
The location also affects rental income if you ever want to put your property up for rent. People visiting the beach would prefer to stay at a place near the waters and would even pay more for places closer to the beach.
This is the same with the beachfront properties in popular destinations like Costa Rica where the most popular types of properties are beachfront houses and condos. If you want to purchase a vacation home then purchasing one in Costa Rica can be a great investment.
2. Distance from the Water
This correlates to the previous point, but it is still worth mentioning. If your house is close to the beach then aside from the rents you will also get a good resale value.
But here is the catch, if the property is very close to the beach, then there is a higher chance of being affected by natural disasters, especially floods. You might have to pay higher HOA and insurance fees for that. You will also have to think about necessary repairs and maintenance fees.
If you think all this is affordable, then stay close to the beach. If not, it will be best to move a few blocks away.
3. Flood Insurance
You can not ignore flood insurance when calculating a budget for a beachfront property. It is even mandatory for mortgage properties to check for insurance.
Some properties require it legally, but it’s best to have flood insurance since almost 20 percent of flood-related claims come from zones beyond the risk areas.
Floods can be devastating and if you are not prepared, one heavy storm can destroy your belongings and investment overnight. The repair and maintenance costs to fix all that damage will be high.
4. Real Estate and Borrowing Costs
Beach properties are more expensive than one inland. For instance, the median price of houses on the best beaches of Costa Rica costs about $350,00. The mortgage rates of beachfront properties are also higher than primary homes.
The interest rate is also an important factor to consider. Even a difference of 1% in interest can cost you about $500-600 a month. So make sure to check the initial price, mortgage rates, and interest rates of your preferred property.
5. HOA Fees
If you are buying the beach house as a second home then you will only be visiting it occasionally. That means you will need a good HOA or homeowners Association community to look after your house when you are not around.
Their services include pool cleaning, gardening, pest control, landscaping, and managing lease agreements. Depending on the community your HOA fees can drastically increase.
For instance, in Costa Rica depending on the area the HOA fees can range from $50-$700.
6. Foundation and Construction
Your property should be weatherproof to withstand the harsh coastal weather. If your area has high flood risks or frequent storm surges then you will need a durable house.
The best properties are the ones built on stilts. Concrete and naturally durable wood can withstand harsh temperatures, strong winds, and heavy rain. Concrete is arguably the best material for beach properties both inland and near the waters.
7. The Durability of roofs and Windows
Aside from the basic construction of the house, you also have to consider the roofs and windows. Roofs in beach houses have to be more durable than normal roofs to withstand severe weather. Metal roofs are incredibly durable against strong winds and are perfect for beaches.
As for the windows, you will need impact windows. Hurricanes and storms are common near beaches and impact windows will protect your house from strong winds or debris blown by the wind.
8. Upgradable Options
Whether it is your vacation home or primary home you would want to upgrade and add more features. Make sure to consider the kind of upgrades you can do, and how much they will cost in that area.
The most common one you can do is kitchen upgrades. This is also important when you want to rent out your place.
Renters choose houses instead of hotels because they then have the freedom to cook for themselves. You can add modern tiles and solid surface countertops. Using contact paper instead of paint can also be a good idea to make the place look new.
You can revamp your master bedroom. If you can view beautiful sceneries from your bedroom then install big windows that are easy to open and close. Add some nice potted plants on the front yard, or on the deck to get the coastal vibe.
Lastly, do not forget about the flooring. There are plenty of options. The most common one is the wooden floor, but you can choose a more customized one like an epoxy floor that is waterproof. This will be a great investment and make your house more durable.
Your house needs to have the necessary amenities including a garage and an outdoor shower. Amenities increase the resale value and rental prices. But do not purchase a house with unnecessary features.
If you do not want a pool don’t purchase a house that has one, because it will only raise your maintenance cost. The most common and necessary amenities your place should have, are fast Wi-Fi, streaming services, conveniently placed electrical adapters, a quality outdoor space, a heating system or a fire pit, and simple yet unique decors.
10. Maintenance Expenses
If you are using the place as a second home then you should hire a property manager to handle the place when you are not around. The manager can take care of maintenance, manage tenants, collect payments and handle lease agreements. Depending on their services they will charge you about 6-12% of the collected rent, so make sure to include that while making the budget.
11. Rental Facilities and Restrictions
If this is your vacation home then you should consider putting the place up for rent when you are not around. Therefore, it is very important to calculate if your purchase will bring in a good return on investment. You should always do your cost-benefit analysis.
In this case, your costs are the maintenance fees, HOA fees, taxes, and property management fees and your benefits will be the rental income.
In most cases, houses that have two to three bedrooms can be rented out easily. But if your beach house is in an HOA community then you have to check their rules and regulations about renting.
Many HOA communities have strict guidelines when it comes to renting and this can scare away possible renters since they want to enjoy a carefree vacation and avoid places with strict regulations. Also, look around the neighborhood to get the right rent price.
Now, this is not a deal-breaker, but it is something you should consider. Beaches are great, sunny, windy, and you might want to keep your windows open all day.
But bugs and pests are very common in beach areas, and they will enter your house even if you install window screens. They come inside mostly during the evening, so it is best to keep everything shut for the evening. And if you ever feel like there are too many bugs and pests then it is best to call in exterminators right away.
There are various types of costs to consider, and the decision can sometimes be overwhelming. But if you allocate the costs of each of the sectors we mentioned above and weigh out all the pros and cons you should be able to decide when and where you want to purchase a beautiful beachfront property.