It’s the classic American Dream: you have your own home and your normal life, and, after years of hard work, you find that you have enough to afford your very own beach vacation home. It’s a great luxury to have your own private beach house getaway where you can return year after year to soak in the sun and relax on the sand.
So you will want to consider your choice carefully, to make sure that you are making the smartest possible investment. Let’s take a look at the top five things to keep in mind when choosing your best beach vacation home.
Every real estate agent will tell you, your home choice should be all about “location, location, location”. So look for an area that will best suit your needs.
Would you prefer your beach home be right on the shore, with ocean views? Or off the sand, but closer to restaurants and bars? Would you like your vacation home to be secluded and peaceful, or close to a happening local scene, with exciting cultural activities to enjoy? Consider the property values in the area. If they show steady appreciation rates, you know you are making a smart investment.
Deciding between beach towns is the first step. After that, you will want to employ a qualified realtor to help you find the best home for you in that ideal location.
2. Imagine: Picture Your Life in That Space
When you are on vacation, what do you like to do? How do you spend your days? Picturing yourself in your new vacation home is the best way to take into account all the spaces and gadgets you will need to have there.
Are you a movie buff who will want to download and stream your favorite films? Make sure you have high speed Wi-Fi in your vacation home so you don’t have to worry about glitchy entertainment. Do you love a good outdoor barbecue? Look for a home with a back patio, spacious enough to place your grill- and a table and chairs, for outdoor dinner parties in the warm beach air.
3. Try Before You Buy
There is no better way to get a real feeling for how you will like living in your new beach vacation home than to give it a try. Often, beach properties that are already on the market are still being rented at the same time. So you can take a few days to relax and soak in the atmosphere, giving your prospective new home a thorough “test run”.
See what the lighting is like at different times of day in your possible new beach vacation home. Explore the beach views- and look out for any unexpected disturbance or issue that may prevent you from enjoying yourself. Discover what you love about the house and make notes about what you would change. Investigate how you would use each room, and what kind of amenities are nearby.
Are there restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops within walking distance? What about nearby attractions? Is the street noise outside the house too much for you, or is the house as tranquil as you would have hoped?
Your beach vacation home is a space you should want to return to year after year. Giving a prospective new house a test run is the best way to learn how you would feel returning to that space over and over again.
4. Home Inspection
A home inspection is very important before purchasing any property, but with beach properties in particular, there are specific things to be aware of. Hire a qualified professional home inspector who has beach property experience. The salty air, the proximity of the sea, the ample sunshine: all of these will have an effect on your house. You will want to be sure that the house is in good condition before you purchase it. Ongoing maintenance is to be expected, but hiring a qualified home inspector can help you make sure to avoid a “lemon” with surprising damages.
For a home right on the shore, you will also want to bring in a geological surveyor who can inspect the nearby shore. That expert can determine whether the shore is eroding or stable, so you know that your house will not be susceptible to changes in the coming years.
Additionally, you will want to look into tide and storm surge patterns so that you have a clear understanding of how floods might damage your home- and how likely they are to occur.
Once you have purchased your vacation home, you get to decorate it. If you are considering renting out your beach vacation home while you are not using it, your décor choices will be vital to ensuring your rental income. Choose warm, welcoming, cohesive color schemes and comfortable, attractive furnishings to entice holiday renters to enjoy your space as much as you do.
Include thoughtful touches and funky highlights to give your space personality, but avoid filling the rooms with old hand-me-down furniture. Explore different design theme options for inspiration. A nautical theme that emphasizes navy blue, white, and red splashes can welcome visitors to the beach feeling. Or for a rustic feel, you can embrace natural colors and materials, neutral color schemes, and plenty of warm wood.
Just make sure your space reflects the kind of atmosphere you would like to enjoy- and that you would like to share with prospective holidaymakers. Stick with a casual and cozy environment- anything too formal and you might interrupt your feeling of being on vacation!
Choose Carefully- and Enjoy the Search!
Unlike searching for a new home to move into, the search for your beach vacation home allows you the luxury of taking your time. Carefully evaluate each option and consider all the benefits each house will afford. Choose an area you love and try to enjoy the process of searching for your ideal beach home- after all, the purpose of the home will be for you to relax and enjoy it!