Home again, home again… We just got back from a week-long trip to the beach. Becky and I take the kids to Hilton Head a lot. Her grandparents lived there and she has been going there since she was just a toddler.
Anyway, the time has come where we’ve decided that we are going to really look for a house there, so today I am partnering with James Hardie® to bring you 10 tips to remember when buying a beach house.
We go there several times a year, usually at least once every other month. The money that we are spending on renting would be better spent on a house that we owned. We could spend the same amount, but know that we are putting it towards a mortgage (plus, we are planning to rent it out, so we figure a few months of the mortgage will be covered by the family renting it).
Here are 10 things that we know we need in a beach house:
1- Is it far enough above sea level?
In Hilton Head, if your house is below 14 feet above sea level, you will pay MUCH more in taxes. Most of the older houses will actually go from paying just a small amount to paying $30,000 a year in taxes, because of this new tax law.
2- Is it build well?
I want our house to be build well- it needs to stand up against the strong ocean winds. I would need the siding to be strong. (Becky and I love the siding from James Hardie® for this reason. We see it a lot in the south.)
3- Design & Look
We both know that we want a coastal blue color, but we need to know that the design of the house is one that we like. It is harder to change the design of the house than the colors. Pick a layout that works for your family. Remember – square footage can look different depending on the layout of the house.
4 . Location, location location.
You may or may not want to be on the water…. but pick the location that works best for you. You can change the house, but you can’t change the location.
For rental purposes, remember that the closer you are the beach, the higher your chance of renting it to someone else. People go to the beach to see the ocean. (We go to bike, but we are not the ordinary renter)
5- Square Footage & Rooms.
Does it have enough room? The house that we recently stayed at was perfect. It was two houses connected with a courtyard. We stayed with Becky’s brother’s family and her parents. Her parents stayed in the house next door and our family stayed in one house, while her brother stayed in the connected house. It was perfect!
Yes everyone wants an upgraded house. New furniture, bright kitchen, roomy decks, clean modern bathrooms. Think about how you will do the upgrades or decide if you want a house that is turn-key (You’ll pay more for that, so make sure it’s worth it).
It’s important to buy in a neighborhood that has amenities. It will make renting easier and we don’t want to have our own pool (more maintenance is required for that).
You pay for location, but remember that you will be paying for any damages or repairs, too. Be sure not to go over your budget. Have an inspector that you trust (Your realtor can suggest some great inspectors).
9- Storage in the home.
If you are buying at the beach, they will want to have bikes, beach chairs, etc… do you have a storage area? Garage? Car port? Area out back that can be covered?
10- Outdoor shower.
We always stay in a house with an outdoor shower. Six kids (our four plus my niece & nephew), plus 4 adults and 3 dogs at the beach make for a very messy floor if they come inside with sandy feet (and paws) to get a shower. An outdoor shower is a must.
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Precious Leyva says
I appreciate the tip on looking for a beach house with storage areas. I know that I typically bring a lot of gear to the beach. Having a place to put all of my stuff would make things a lot easier.
Deb Pearl says
My husband and I have been thinking about buying a beach house, but we don’t really know what to look for in a beach house. That is a good idea to see and make sure that they have some sort of storage area. It would be nice to have a place to keep our outdoor furniture when we aren’t using it. Thank you for all the things we should look for in a beach house!
Ashley Turns says
Since my husband and I recently came into some good money, we are wondering how to find the best beach property to buy. So I like your advice to see what amenities the neighborhood has to offer. We will be sure to find a beach property with a lot of great amenities nearby.
Rosie Beckett says
My husband and I recently decided that we want to buy a summer home that our children and grandchildren can enjoy together. You make a great point that you should make sure the home is in a good location. I want to make sure it is close to the water but also not too far from a town with amenities and groceries. Also, I definitely want to choose a house that has a lot of storage space because this will give me peace of mind that we can fit all of our summer appliances.
Bethany Birchridge says
I love how you mentioned to buy a beach house in an neighborhood with amenities, as it will help save you money. My friend wants to buy a vacation home, though she hasn’t been sure where to start. These tips will help her know what to look for in a beach house, so I’ll be certain to share them with her.
Kit Hannigan says
Thanks for talking about how people should make sure their prospect beach house is built strong enough to stand up against strong ocean winds. Me and my wife are planning to burn part of our savings to invest in a beach house. That’ll make planning for future vacations easier. We’ll be sure to look for reputable inspectors to evaluate if our prospect beach house property would be strong enough to environmental conditions in the coastal area.
Mickey Mansfield says
It is nice to just jump in the car and head out. No more worrying about… “did I forget something?” I highly recommend getting your own inspector and not one that and R/E agent or broker recommends. This will help with any unbiased opinions.
Frank Delaware says
It’s always been a dream of mine to have a beach house, and we were thinking about how to get one. I really like that you say to think about how you will do upgrades later on in it’s life. I know that if we ever decided to sell it, that would be an important part of how much it will cost.
Michael Lee says
My wife and I have been talking about looking for a beachfront home for sale that we could rent out when it is not in use. You make a good point to have an outdoor shower, I hadn’t thought about that. It would make cleaning easier if people were not tracking the sand in with them from the beach.
Ellie Davis says
I liked that you mentioned you must consider how well the house was build when looking for a beachfront property. My father is looking to buy beachfront property, and we are looking for advice. I will recommend him to consider how the house was built to take it into consideration.