Owning a beach house is a dream many people have in common. How nice would it be to wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and drink a cup of coffee on your porch as you watch the sun sparkle on the ocean? While beachfront living might sound like a fantasy, it is an attainable dream for some. Like lots of things in life, though, it has its drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to buy your dream beachfront property.
You live where people pay to visit. Simply living in Charleston means spending every day and night in a vacation destination. Living on the beach? Even better. People pay big bucks to visit Charleston, especially to stay right on the beach. But you get to live there, and it can feel like a vacation every day. Even if you’re not really on perpetual vacation, you’re a lot closer than most people!
You don’t even have to leave home to do sunrise yoga on the beach or go for an afternoon swim without. There’s no need to pack the car, find parking, or plan your beach day around traffic patterns. Plant your toes in the sand with a few steps outside your back door! Beautiful sunrises await you every morning, and ocean breezes greet you every evening.
There’s always something to do! Go for a walk and hunt for seashells. Spend the day surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, or just playing in the sand with the kids. Keep an eye out for dolphins. Sit on the deck with a drink and a good book. There’s no “I’m bored” at the beach!
Open the windows and take advantage of those oceanside breezes. Consider those cool ocean breezes an asset. Opening windows on both side of the house can encourage a cross-breeze and help keep your cooling costs down in the warmer months.
The value of your home is higher than similar homes that aren’t on the water. A home that’s identical to yours but isn’t on the water doesn’t have as much value as yours. Since oceanfront land often comes at a premium, homes on the beach tend to retain value longer.
Need supplemental income? You’ve got the perfect earner. If you like to travel or just need a few extra bucks, renting out your beach house should be pretty easy. Homes on the beach stay booked in the spring and summer, and sometimes into the fall months. Take advantage of the high number of tourists during these times and rent out your home to vacationers. You could very well make enough to cover your mortgage payment for a while without much effort.
There will be sand in your house. Like…everywhere. No matter how much you sweep and/or vacuum. No matter if you have an outdoor shower and numerous outdoor spots for people to knock the sand off before they come in. Living at the beach means being okay with a certain amount of sand inside.
Salty air and sand can take its toll on your home’s exterior, your car, and other outdoor equipment. Salty sea air combined with humidity and wind can wreak havoc on your stuff. You’ll definitely need to keep up with exterior maintenance, more so than people who live farther away from the water. Car maintenance is a huge factor too. Consult with your mechanic to come up with the best plan for protecting your car from salt, sand, and general dampness.
Tourist season can be pretty annoying. Summer is obviously the high season at the beach, and it can get kind of irritating for people who live here year-round. You’ll have to deal with parking at the edge of your lawn, blocking your driveway, and trying to cut through your property to get to the beach. It’s all part and parcel of oceanside living. (There’s actually an easy fix for this one, though! Rent out your home during the summer, make some extra money, and go be a tourist somewhere else.)
Insurance policies can be pretty steep. Hurricanes and other tumultuous weather, rising sea levels, and beach erosion are very real threats in Charleston. Because of this, insurance companies charge a lot more for beachfront properties than other similar properties in the area. You’ll need to make sure that your mortgage broker factors this in when helping you decide on affordability. Be realistic about the fact that damage due to weather and the elements are more likely.
You’ll have lots of people wanting to visit. This could actually be a pro or a con, depending on you (and your friends and family). Owning a beach house is like owning a boat—you’ll suddenly have a lot of close friends you didn’t know you had. If you like having lots of visitors, it won’t be a problem for you. But if you like your solitude and don’t like to play host or hostess, it could be a problem.
There you have it. In order to decide whether or not beachfront living is a good idea—or if it’s even an attainable goal—you have a good amount of thinking to do. Look at the pros; look at the cons; and decide which side outweighs the other for you and you alone.