Most people have the goal or dream of owning their own little beach house. Either to have a holiday escape from urban life or a serene place to go live when we retire, being able to enjoy nature in the process. There are many pros and cons when buying a beach house. It’s pros vs. cons. Let’s go!
The pros of owning a beach house are that you don’t pay for accommodation while on holiday. You have the option of renting it out for income and qualify for certain tax benefits. The cons are regular property maintenance, high real estate and insurance costs, and property management costs.
Owning a beach house will come with extra costs compared to owning a residential home located inland. That does not take away from the fact that you will stay close to the sea, which benefits are more of serene and healthy nature if you are not renting your property out, and on some things, in life, you just can’t put a price on. This article will discuss the pros and cons of owning a beach house regarding what is different from owning a property that is inland.
Pros Of Owning A Beach House
Life is a beach. Owning a beach house comes with many positives besides the apparent fact that you own property close to the ocean. Here are some of them:
Greek physician, Hippocrates- “The father of modern medicine”- often prescribed ‘Thalassotherapy’ to his patients, which is a combination of seawater immersion together with the application of sea mud and algae to help with ailments such as:
- Body Aches
- Skin Conditions
- Low Back Pain
Some of the known benefits of living a life by the sea include:
- Decrease Respiratory Inflammation
- Cure Skin Diseases
- Increases Vitamin D-Levels
- Good For Your Cardiovascular System
- Natural Anti-Depressant
Renting out your beach house should not be difficult in peak seasons. The rental income can cover your mortgage payments on your holiday home over the spring and summer months, even into the autumn months in some popular areas.
Pros Of Renting Out Your Beach House:
- Income: Vacation rentals generate much higher income than traditional rental properties.
- Tax Benefits: Owners of vacation rentals can write off certain business-related expenses such as property management fees, mortgage interest, insurance, marketing costs, property taxes, and repair costs (consult your real estate attorney to see which tax deductions apply).
- Appreciation Of Property: Real estate property increases with inflation. Your beach house will probably appreciate as time goes by as per any long–term investment.
- Free Accommodation: Some rental property investors claim that hiring out their properties in the peak season generates enough income to let them stay in the house for free during the off-season periods.
Owning a beach house puts you directly where other people need to pay and plan to visit. You have access to the ocean, and that in itself is massive! No planning required, no packing of a car, no sitting in traffic, or spending lots of money when you want to swim in the ocean or tan on the beach. You get to grab a towel and a book and walk to the beach.
The beach is an entertaining environment for both adults and children. Fishing, surfing, swimming, kite-surfing, bodyboarding, boat rides, collecting seashells, building sandcastles, or just walking on the beach are all options for how to spend your day.
What is more attractive than retiring at sea?. Initially, you can rent out the home while you are still actively employed. Other people paying off your retirement home is an excellent idea and paves the way for moving in and enjoying life when retirement comes along.
Cons Of Owning A Beach House
For every positive, there is a negative, every action a reaction, and every pro a con. Purchasing a beach house is not all sun and games. Here are some of the considered cons you need to know about before making that final decision when buying a beach house.
Owning a seaside property exposes it to the elements. In this case, the elements are salty sea air, water, humidity, strong winds, and sand.
The combination of water and salty air tends to seep into metal, oxidizing, resulting in rust. Rust occurs at a much faster rate than it would in suburban inland living areas.
If any part of your house is made from metal and not from hot-dipped galvanized steel/stainless steel, then they can be at risk when it comes to corrosion and rust:
- Window Frames
- Doors/Door Frames
- Gates & Fencing
- Garage Door
- Motor Vehicle
- Outdoor Equipment (Barbeques)
Maintaining, fixing, and replacing rust-affected parts of your beach house will cost you money and time. You can, however, treat them to help preserve them.
- Replace steel frame windows with fiberglass frames.
- Treat your motor vehicle and bicycles with salt neutralizers.
There will be sand! And lots of it. Staying close to the beach is fantastic; having sand in your home is not. The broom and vacuum will become your best friends as you sweep and suck up the continuous supply of fresh sand delivered to your home. A small price to pay when you have the ocean as a neighbor. However, people suffering from OCD may struggle with this.
The relaxing ocean breeze will dust the exterior of your home with an almost invisible layer of sand, thanks to condensation from humid air, and together with salt and seagull poop will start to break down wood and stucco over time.
- If your home has an Aircon, be sure to replace the HVAC filter on a monthly/quarterly basis.
- Use a pressure washer and clean water to wash the exterior of your house every 3-6 months.
- Inspect all the wooden elements regularly and treat the wood with appropriate stains and waxes to help the surface resist water damage and associated corrosion.
Depending on the location of your beach house and into what climate you buy into, damp could affect your home. Most beach homes do get their fair share of wet weather. Coastal rains, constant drizzles, sea mist, and fog are some of the elements that your house will potentially face, especially during the autumn and winter months.
When wetness envelops your home constantly, it leads to dampness, which in turn gets into every nook and cranny, targeting minor defects in the house. Small cracks could invite damp into your home, which can turn into mold, or worse yet, toxic mold spores, and this can cause costly issues for you and your beach house.
- Look for any defects in your house and fix them immediately. Even if it’s just a tiny crack, dampness only needs a small gap between inflicting severe damage.
Real Estate Costs
The bottom line when purchasing a beach house is that you will pay more than you would for the same house not located at the beach. Mortgage interest rates on vacation properties are also higher than primary home properties, and you can expect a higher down-payment as well.
Homeowner’s insurance is costly, mainly due to the mandatory flood insurance that you need to take out to cover the beach house against floods due to hurricanes and such. The cost is highly dependent on the area you buy-in.
If you are renting your property out and you do not live close by, then the chances are good that you will need a property manager. A property manager helps with daily tasks, marketing, dealing with lease agreements, and collecting the rent. A decent property manager could charge between 6-12% of the rental income.
Every dream will cost something. Be it money, time, hard work, sleep—the same with owning a beach house. As listed above, there are definite pros and cons. The biggest pro is that you get to stay at the beach in your own home, getting to experience a great part of nature while on holiday, or every day if you are so lucky.
The cons are real and need to be considered. Cons are the dream crushers of life, and some of them can be avoidable, with some extra precautions and effort from your side, making the choice of owning a beach house a little easier.
Life is a beach!