Whether you’re looking for a second home, retirement home, or just want to move to a better location, owning ocean front homes is a dream of a great many Americans. While living by the sea and the many activities it provides can be amazing, there are many pitfalls that you can fall into while you’re looking for property close to the ocean. Not only that, with the high price tags associate with beachfront property compared to land further inland, if you make a mistake it has the potential to cost you a lot of money. Whether you are looking for your property online or in person, here are some tips to help you find the home of your dreams.
Know Your Budget and the Local Housing Market
The first thing that you need to look at is of course your budget. If the payments on the home are going to be a little too much for you, you may need to look into buying ocean front property somewhere with a lower price tag or move your property search a few blocks inland.
But just having your budget in mind doesn’t cut it, you should also be aware of the local real estate market. If you’re not a realtor can help you out with this. Knowing the local market will let you better discern if the oceanfront property is a good time to buy and where the good neighborhoods are. You’ll also be able to bargain better because you’ll know if the home you are looking at is overpriced or not.
Check the Home Carefully
With any real estate deal you need to check the home that you’re thinking of purchasing carefully, and this is nowhere more important than when you’re looking at ocean homes front homes for sale. Have a licensed contractor come in and inspect the property for you before you buy to make sure that there are no problems with the foundation or piping. Ocean front homes are particularly vulnerable to storms and degradation from salty-laden air and water, and any little imperfection and spiral out of control into a full blown problem if it’s not treated in time. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you buy the home.
When you’re having the home inspected, also take some time and look at local building regulations. What are you and aren’t you allowed to build on your property? What about the existing structures? Are the allowed to be there or not? Are they grandfathered in under the law? Different structures, like a pier that’s grandfathered in when no more are allowed can dramatically affect the resale value of a property. On the other side of the coin, if you face steep fines and removal costs for a particular structure, you might want to think twice about buying. You should pay particular attention to whether you are allowed to build jettys, rock walls, or other structures that can help stop shoreline erosion.
Check the Property the Home is On
In addition to the actual house, you should also check the land your potential future ocean front vacation home is on. First, find out how beach access is dealt with. Do you have a private beach or is the beach in front of your home designated as a public beach? Even more importantly, make sure that if no road leads right up to your property that the lean on the property next door allowing for road access is sold with your lease and doesn’t expire. If not, buying it back might be particularly pricy.
Also take a look at the land itself. If you want your home to last for the longest time possible, there should be an assortment of foliage, including tree, plants, and sand dunes. These will all help with drainage so your house will flood less often, and will also help to protect it from the battering forces of most storms.
Talk with Neighbors
Finally, make sure that you talk with a few of the neighbors before you complete your purchase. Ask them about the home, neighborhood, the town in general, or anything else you might have questions about. Knocking on doors might elicit some annoyed responses, but if you see the around outside, don’t be afraid to say hello.
Whether you’re looking for a new home, vacation home, or ocean front rental homes, make sure that you do your homework and find out everything you can about the property that you’re buying before you plunge into a 30-year mortgage. You’ll find that you’ll get a better deal and are more satisfied with your purchase.
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