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Owning a house on the coast is most people’s idea of a slice of paradise. The incredible sunsets, the smell of the salty, balmy air and the soothing sounds of crashing waves is definitely a daydream for most.


Aside from the daydream of a house on the coast, there are a few realities that you will need to be aware of. We often get so caught up in the idea of owning our own seaside home that we overlook certain realities that make themselves apparent only after you sign the offer to purchase.


It is important to make yourself aware of the realities of what it takes to maintain a house on the beachfront. A beach home is not only a gift of tranquillity that keeps on giving. It has a great return on investment (ROI) should you choose to sell or rent it out as a holiday home.


4 realities of buying a house on the coast


  1. Additional House Insurance

When purchasing a home near the beach, your home insurance policy may be slightly higher than average. Although flood damage is included in most home and building insurance policies, living near a large body of water poses a higher threat of property damage than more inland houses.


  1. Flood prone areas

It is important to ask your real estate agent about the history of flooding in the area you have chosen to buy in. If they are not able to give a precise update, your insurance provider has detailed metrics of all high flood areas.


  1. Structural aspects

Although this is something to look out for when looking at any potential house, a house on the beach may come with its own set of structural issues. This includes a long list of patent and latent defects as a result of long term exposure to sea air. Many building materials such as metal, wood and cement have a shorter lifespan near salty air and will need to be replaced more regularly.


  1. Renting out your beach home

If your beach home is only used during the school holidays, it may be a worthwhile venture renting it out on a short term basis. This is an excellent stream of rental income that is just begging for you to take advantage of.


How to choose the perfect beach home


When on the lookout for your little ‘slice of heaven’ on the coast, there are three things that you should first assess.


  1. Location

It is important that you choose the location carefully as this can play into a number of factors such as building and home insurance, maintenance and potential flooding. Make sure that you ask around and enquire about the state of the property market in a certain area. This allows you to get a feel for a certain area and what you could expect.


  1. Budget

Be realistic about how much you will use your beach home and then decide on a budget of how much you are willing to spend. If this will be your primary home, determine how much budget will have to be set aside for additional home maintenance.


  1. Rent before you buy

To get a feel for an area and what you may be in for when owning a house on the coast, it is a great idea to first rent. Not only does this give you first-hand experience of a potential area in terms of safety, you will be able to assess possible wear and tear on a home exposed to the elements without having to first buy a house.