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6 Tips for Buying a Home on the Beach

Making the decision to buy a beach home is exciting for you and your family. Beach homes offer excellent views, a relaxing atmosphere and plenty of recreational activities, and the communities often have a relaxing, small-town feel. However, before you make a purchase, you should thoroughly research the home and the area in order to ensure it has all the amenities and local attractions you desire.

1. Examine the Weather and the Land The first thing you will want to do is examine the year-round weather and the land beneath and surrounding the house. You will want to know if the soil is stable or if it is experiencing erosion and how many severe storms, like hurricanes, the area receives each year. If possible, you may want to consider a home that’s built on stilts, which will better protect you against flooding and soil erosion.

2. Call a Local Insurance Agent Beach homes often require additional insurance policies other than homeowners. Additional insurance policies you may want to consider include flood insurance, umbrella insurance and high-value home insurance. Certain homeowners insurance endorsements, if they are available, will also increase your financial protection. Common endorsements include water backup and sump overflow, watercraft, personal property replacement, inflation guard and guaranteed replacement cost.

3. Spend Time in the Area Before you purchase your beach house, you will want to spend some time in the area. The best way to do this is to rent a home near the location where you wish to live. Living in the area for a short time can help you determine where the grocery stores, shopping and entertainment areas are located. You’ll also get a chance to speak with the locals to find out what they like best about the area and the best places to shop and dine.

4. Interview Local Real Estate Agents While you are in the area, make time to speak to more than one real estate agent. Real estate agents often have the inside scoop on the available homes, the pulse of the market and the local attractions. By working with a local real estate agent, you may be able to find a hidden gem that contains everything you need in your beach home at an affordable price.

5. Determine if You Are Staying Seasonally or Year- Round If you are planning to stay year-round, you’ll want to make sure businesses and grocery stores are open year-round. In smaller communities, especially those that cater to tourists, many businesses may close during the off-season. If you are planning to only stay at your vacation home a few weeks a year, you’ll need to decide if you want to rent your beach home during the times when you are not there. Renting out your beach home can help provide you with extra income that can offset the costs of the mortgage and insurance.

6. Get a Thorough Home Inspection Once you decide on your perfect location and beach home, you will want to schedule a thorough home inspection to cover any hidden problems with the house, including the support structures, roof, plumbing and HVAC system. If the inspection does uncover problems or maintenance issues, you can use that information to negotiate the purchase price in your favor, or you can ask the current homeowner to make certain repairs prior to finalizing the paperwork. Once you purchase your perfect vacation home, move-in and enjoy. Beach homes are great for individuals, couples and families who are looking for easy access to water sports, lounging on the beach and enjoying an evening drink on the deck.

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