Almost everyone is familiar with the saying that real estate is all about “location, location, location” and beachfront property is no different. Depending on how close to the beach you are and which beaches you are trying to live near, your property value is going to vary accordingly. After this though, there are five very important factors that you have to take into account when buying beachfront property that probably wouldn’t cross your mind when you’re buying a suburban home. Be on the lookout for these to make sure that you pay the right amount for your land.
#1: The Tides Play a Huge Role
Probably the most important factor that you have to look at when buying beachfront property is how the tides are going to affect the shoreline you’re hoping to have access to. Gentle predictable tides will almost always be more desirable than huge swings in tides. If the tide goes out too far, it can leave a large stretch of mudflats exposed. This will leave you looking at huge expanses of mud instead of gently lapping waves coming into the shore, make you walk the whole way across the flats sometimes getting stuck up to your knees in muck if you want to go for a swim, and possibly leave any boats you might have tied up high and dry. In many areas with extreme low tide the smell associated with it may take some getting used to as well.
Also be on the lookout high tides that come in too close to the property that you are considering buying. Having a balcony that allows you to stand out over the water at high tide may sound cool in theory, but it leaves the structure there open to large amounts of salt degradation and flooding. If there’s already a house on the property, try as much as you can to check the different plumbing fixtures to see if they’re corroded prematurely.
Before buying your beachfront home or parcel of land, make sure that you look at it at both high and low tide so that you know you are getting what you want. It something isn’t to your liking, find another property or ask for a discount on the price.
#2: Make Sure You Keep Your View
The view is one of the main attractions of owning land right next to the beach. From the time the sun rises in the Atlantic to well past when it sets over the Pacific, you’re guaranteed to get great views from any oceanfront property that you own. You’re also likely to pay a premium for the properties that have the best view.
If you are paying a premium to get a great view, make sure that you will be able to keep it. If you buy a home or condo that is away from the beach by a few blocks, but is still the highest building in the area, you’ll still get great views that you’ll likely pay a little bit more for. Before you do this though, make sure to check the building regulations in the local area. If someone decided to develop a lot in front of your building into another building or hotel higher than yours, instead of staring at sunsets at night you’ll be left staring at the back side of the brand new 4 Seasons. Not only that, your property value will take a hit as well. Make sure that you’ll be able to keep your view for years to come.
#3: Look At How the Sun Affects Your Property
When you’re examining the view that you have on your property, also look at how the sun rises an sets relative to your property and how long your parcel will be in the sunlight. Does your land get sun most of the day? Or is there a large building that blocks the sun at certain times of the day. If you’re looking for land on the Pacific coast, this is not as big of a deal unless you’re an early riser because the sun will always set over the ocean. However, if you’ve got property on the Atlantic coast, having a big building directly behind you could give you an early sunset and cast a shadow over your beach house. You also need to take how far away from the tropics you are when considering this.
In the tropics, the sun will rise and set in largely the same location, making it a huge deal if something blocks the sun at the end of the day. However, in more northern latitudes, the sun changes the degree of sunrise and sunset much more, meaning if there’s something between you and your sunset, you’ll only have to endure it for a few weeks.
#4: More Plants Means Better Beachfront Property
When you’re looking at buying property right on the beach, one thing that many people overlook, but you should take into account is how much plant foliage is there and if there’s any natural dunes that protect you from the sea. More plants mean that land is going to have better drainage and in heavy rains the land will not wash away into the sea. Plants will keep your home better protect you and your property from excessive rain, by making sure you home and the area around it doesn’t flood as much, and also from the occasionally heavy storm that brings high tides because the dunes create a natural levee of sorts.
#5: Examine the Existing Structure
When you’re buying a home you should always have someone check out the structural integrity of the building. But, when you’re buying beachfront property, you have to be incredibly diligent in your structural checks. This is because buildings by the sea degrade much easier than those further inland due to the harsh, salt-laden sea breeze.
The easiest way to do this is find out how long a building has been standing in a certain area. Look at the walls, roof, floors, fixtures, and anything else you can observe to see the extent of any degradation. If the building has deteriorated much faster than you would suspect it to, it may be built in a bad location. Bring this up and demand a lower price. If the building’s been around for longer than 10 years and still is in good shape, it shows that the house was built well and is in a good location to resist the elements.
Buying property right on the beach is incredibly exciting. Follow these simple tips and make sure that you do your homework and follow these tips and you will have your dream home in no time!