What if your ultimate fantasy became your ultimate nightmare?
For many of us, having a house on the beach is a lifelong dream. It would be like being on vacation all the time...right?
The truth is that it's very easy to make common mistakes when buying a beach house. And these mistakes quickly turn your "dream home" into a daily nightmare.
Fortunately, you can avoid these easy mistakes and start living the dream. Keep reading to discover our comprehensive guide to the 8 mistakes you must avoid when buying a beach house!
1. Blowing Up a Budget
Sometimes, there is an overlap between the mistakes of buying a normal home and buying beachfront property. For example, it's easy to let your budget blow up.
You're basically buying a beach home for the view and for the fun factor. But some people end up spending more than they can afford in an attempt to get better views, more exotic locations, and so on.
Before you do anything else, determine to the dollar what your budget looks like. Otherwise, your attempt to own two homes might end with you having no home at all.
2. Too Far
Speaking of exotic locales, we have a simple rule: make sure you can drive to your beach house.
Some people love the idea of getting a beach house somewhere far away and exotic. However, this has a number of logistical problems.
For example, you'll have to snag a plane ticket every single time you want to go on a vacation. And not just for you, but for the entire family!
Ultimately, you'll end up either spending way too much per trip or taking fewer trips. Maximize your beach home's value by choosing somewhere within driving distance!
3. Skimping on Insurance
Insuring your vacation home is very different from Insuring your primary residence. And if you don't get the proper insurance, it can be absolutely disastrous.
For example, beach houses are more susceptible to flooding. Therefore, you should strongly consider flood insurance.
Planning to rent the property out (more on this soon)? Standard insurance typically does not cover renter damage, so you may need additional coverage options.
Obviously, all of this affects your budget. Remember to account for this before you buy anything or you may end up way over your head!
4. Ignoring Maintenance
You may not visit your beach house for fun throughout the year. However, you're going to need to visit it throughout the year due to maintenance.
Think about the number of things you have to fix around your own home throughout the year. Many of those same problems can occur in a beach house, but no one is around to fix them.
Your only real options are to visit the beach house and do the maintenance yourself or to hire a trusted local to do the maintenance for you. Either way, make sure you are prepared for the investment of time and money that maintenance takes.
5. Relying on Renters
Some prospective beach house buyers think that the cost of the house won't be a problem. They say "we'll just rent out the home when we're not using it and that will cover everything!"
However, this is a terrible plan for a simple reason: you cannot rely on rental income.
First of all, renters are most likely during warmer months. That means there will be long stretches of time where you are likely to have no renters.
And don't forget that you're on the hook for the water and electricity that your renters use. If you're not careful, that can dramatically cut into your profit margin.
Long story short? Consider rental income a cherry on top of purchase instead of a reason to make a purchase.
6. Family First
Speaking of renters, we have some very simple advice for beach house buyers: get the home that you and your family want.
Do you have a family with lots of kids, pets, and so on? You'll want to consider that before finding a home at the beach.
We mention this because many beach houses are set up as investment properties meant to be used by one or two people at a time. If you're not selective, you may get something that is too small or inconvenient for your particular needs.
Overall, you want a home that will help you have fun with the whole family!
7. Skipping Research
When buying beachfront property, most people focus on the property itself. However, it is equally important to do research on the neighborhood around that property.
For example, are you hoping for a quiet getaway at your beach house? Then you'll want to make sure the area doesn't become "party central" for college students when Spring Break rolls around.
You'll also want to find out if the neighborhood has a high crime rate. You'll only be visiting this place so many times throughout the year, and you'll want to make sure your stuff will be safe when you're not around!
8. No Inspector
Our biggest piece of advice before you buy a beach house is to hire an inspector. Specifically, you need to hire a coastal inspector.
It may be tempting to simply use the person who inspected your current home. But this person may or may not be familiar with the various dangers and issues that a coastal property must face.
However, you can hire coastal inspectors who specialize in inspecting beach houses. Such inspectors will be well-suited to warn you about the dangers of salty air and to detect major issues that were hidden by a fresh coat of paint.
Trust us: hiring a coastal inspector is an investment that almost immediately pays off in terms of saving you money!
Buying a Beach House: The Bottom Line
Now you know more about mistakes to avoid when buying a beach house. But do you know who can help you find that dream home?
At JP Real Estate Experts, we specialize in helping people find beach homes in the Myrtle Beach area. To start making your dreams come true, just contact us today!