First Home Facts

Check Into These Things Before Buying A Beach House

For many people, buying a house on the beach is the ultimate dream. So once you find a home you love, it can be tempting to just jump right in and make an offer. However, it is often wise to take a little more time and thoroughly check into the home before you put in a bid. With your real estate agent's help, here are some things you should check into before buying a particular beach house.

Is the house up to current building codes?

Have an inspector walk through the house and specifically tell you whether the house meets current building codes. If the home does not meet code, you may have trouble getting a homeowners insurance policy. And homes that don't meet code are at a higher risk for storm damage. This is a good idea before buying a home in any area but especially so when buying on the beach since storms and hurricanes can cause substantial damage to homes that aren't built just right.

What are the HOA requirements?

Most beach homes are a part of an HOA. The HOA likely has some regulations as far as what you can do to the home and whether you can rent it out when you're not there. They may specify what rental agencies you can use, for example. Before buying the beach home, you want to make sure any HOA requirements don't interfere with your plans for the property. You would not, for example, want to buy a beach house with plans to rent it for 40 weeks a year only to find the HOA only allows 16 weeks of rental each year.

Is the beach public or private?

Assuming the house is right on the beach, you want to determine what happens at that part of the beach. If it is a public beach, there will probably be people around a lot. Ask yourself if that's something you want. If the beach in front of the home is private, then you (and maybe a few neighbors, depending on the contract) will be the only ones using it. This can be refreshing, but it generally also means you need to maintain the beach, which adds to your costs.

If you check into the stipulations above before buying a home on the beach, you're more likely to buy a home that you love and which actually serves your needs. Contact a real estate agent for more information about beach houses