It is easy to get caught up in all the excitement of searching a beach house and pick the first place you see. Though it is tempting to get distracted by picturing yourself relaxing on the beach, you need to also think practically and make a smart investment. There are some common blunders that a lot of first time beach house buyers make, but being informed can help to prevent many issues. Make sure you avoid these common mistakes when you are shopping for a home along your favorite coastline.
Being Distracted by Cosmetic Appearances
This big mistake can actually cause problems for new homeowners through two different methods. Many buyers accidentally ignore a house that could be perfect for them because it looks a little grimy and outdated, yet it is also fairly common for buyers to end up with a poorly designed home because they were just impressed by fancy decorating or trendy countertops. Try to keep in mind that things like wall color, cabinet stains, sink fixtures, and furniture placement are entirely temporary. It is quite easy to change interior design, so you need to instead focus on looking for properties with the right location and layout for your family.
Only Sticking to Popular Areas
Many people decide to buy a beach house after having had a great vacation in the same area, so it makes sense for them to start their real estate search in their favorite beach city. However, you may severely limit yourself if you do not try exploring other nearby towns and neighborhoods. For instance, with the rising trends of US citizens buying property in Mexico, many are focusing on the world-famous destinations like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas. The touristy areas are definitely fun and charming, but when you actually plan on living in town, somewhere a little more residential may be preferable. By taking the time to look in less well-known spots along the coast, you can end up with better deals, more beautiful views, and more convenient neighborhoods.
Not Getting a Coastal Home Inspection
If you only have the standard real estate inspection when you pick your beach house, you may end up with a property that looks fine now but will be destroyed by the next hurricane. Take the time to find someone with more geological and meteorological knowledge. You need someone who can predict erosion rates and explain how the home’s orientation may affect its ability to withstand storms. Such a detailed inspection might cost a little more and take more time, but it is worth it in the long run.
Planning to Pay the Mortgage With Rental Payments
It is easy to make this mistake when you just take a quick look at typical rental payments in the area and compare it to the cost of a mortgage. However, the sad reality is that financing a beach house purchase is not as simple as renting it out as a vacation home when you are out of town. Keep in mind that rental income is going to be cut a little due to water bills, electric bills, repairs, and other basic maintenance costs. You will also need to be prepared to pay taxes on this income and stay within local renting regulations. It is still possible to use your vacation home as a part time rental property, but analyze costs and expenses closely so that your profits are easily identified.
Not Paying Attention to the Neighbors
Many novice homebuyers do not realize that the neighbors nearby can make a huge difference to their level of enjoyment. Even the best beach house can become unpleasant with nightmare neighbors, and if you plan on hosting parties with all your friends, a quiet retirement community might not be ideal. Likewise, those who want peace and quiet should avoid areas known for noisy nightlife. You also need to consider whether you want an area with a lot of rental properties or an area with full-time residents. Take the time to walk around the property at different times of day to get a feel for the neighborhood.