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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