Waking up to the choking call of seagulls and having all your cares washed by the salty ebb and flow of the beach by your doorstep could surely lengthen and sweeten your years on this earth. However, the unseen costs of owning your own beach house could negate the investment benefits.
Based on popular Floridian and Galveston ocean fronts, these beach apartments’ average cost ranges from $264,000 to $312,890. Most mortgages will require down payments of up to 20%. On top of the monthly repayment, there’s a flood or hurricane yearly premium which in Florida can go up to $10,000.
Dependent on how you plan to use your dreamy beachfront condominium, there can be further unplanned costs, from something as seemingly minor as air conditioning to those troubling maintenance costs. The world of beach real estate is froth with financial pitfalls, but it is also a substantially lucrative investment with yearly home prices going up by upwards of 20%.
The Real Cost Of Owning A Beach House
Knowing what to expect when going into this market is important but also knowing when to go in is often just as crucial in reducing the overall overhead. Florida, Galveston, Orange Beach, and Lahaina have some of the most sort-after beach properties.
These giant coastline paradises average anywhere from $264,000 to $350,000. Average is the emphasis here because flat rates can soar way past this amount and into the seven-figure range. To make up for this lavish cost, some beachfront owners opt for renting out their properties for the balance of the time they aren’t using them.
This rental situation immediately brings up costs past the extent of the mortgage, cable, utility, and insurance. Due to these assets being high-value properties, the tax bill can be crippling. Plus, advertising the waterfront bungalow as an income property has additional costs. Real estate agents and marketers must be paid to ensure the property’s success in the rental market.
Some unfortunate waterfront property owners might also get into tenant disputes and require money for the litigation process. Air conditioning can be a surprising hole for beach homeowners due to most states acknowledging air conditioning as an essential service. Therefore, any maintenance costs are solely shouldered by the owner.
Because of the many minutiae involved in possessing the coveted seafront properties, capable owners will hire property managers to ensure that their slice of heaven doesn’t bleed them dry.
Managing The Value Of A Waterfront Property
Maintaining and managing a beach condominium involves much more than signing rental agreements and collecting rental fees. The owner is solely responsible for ensuring that everything in the house remains functioning and the house itself remains in heavenly shape.
Everything from landscaping, painting, electricals, roof and floor upkeep, and pest control requires money from the owner. Everything needs to be handled in a reasonable time frame; otherwise, the tenant is allowed to use some of the rent for repairs or can even exit the lease without any penalties.
As you can see, running your sea home as a rental property can quickly turn into a full-time job. This is where most investors dodge the stress bullet of turning into fully-fledged real-estate investors and choose to hire a property manager.
Yet another overhead cost. However, hiring a good property manager significantly improves the bliss of owning your beach condo. This extended entity ensures the already mentioned tasks run smoothly and deals with all matters concerning renters. A decent property manager can charge between 8% and 12% of the collected rent with a job well done.
It’s not surprising that some beach cottage owners choose to leave the extra home vacant throughout most of the year, but there is still merit in renting out the property.
Benefits Of Renting Out Your Beach Cottage
If done wisely, renting out your beach home can pay for itself. Some owners choose to lease out their vacation homes during peak tourism seasons and have a reliable income stream.
With some seafront destinations averaging an Airbnb cost of $289, renting out your own short- and long-term can see favorable returns. Especially considering that the monthly repayment on a million-dollar property over 30 years would be $4,774 on a 4% interest rate. Having the property fully booked for 30 days almost pays for two months of the mortgage.
The fear of dealing with unruly tenants or costly property managers can be enticing enough to leave your beach home vacant for the times it is not in use.
Why Not Just Leave Seaside Vacation Properties Vacant?
It is tempting to join the leagues of shore houses that have perpetually closed curtains. But even this option has its drawbacks.
Furniture and other things on the property require basic upkeep, even if no one is there to break them. The sealant begins to leak, the lawn gets overgrown, the pool starts to breed new organisms, paint peels, walls crack, rain gutters give, and the furnace needs a tune-up.
These minor inconveniences have become so familiar to you in your primary home that you no longer have to continually give them your full attention. Still, on a vacation home, they need conscious dealings. The costs can quickly and quietly sneak up to $3,000 for a $300,000 home.
Home experts advise putting aside 1% of the total purchase price of the seaboard condo each year towards maintenance.
Over time, in-house appliances will also require replacements and refurbishment. There’s also a need for proper security since the house will be vacant for most of the year. So, it’s generally advised to store away an extra 2% of the retail price for all this upkeep each year.
Is A Coastline House Worth The Trouble?
With all the expenditure and overhead seemingly spelling doom, it might appear to be prudent to stay away from them.
However, owning a foreshore flat can be a rewarding investment in the right market and location. With the already mentioned rapid increase in beach property prices each year, it can be a worthwhile asset.
These properties will not only make vacationing a wonderful experience but will also allow for a splendid retirement. Just buy within your means, read the market, and have a cushion that won’t detrimentally affect your security finances.
Beach condos are a beautiful investment that can be entirely giving if approached with prudence and reservation. There’s plenty in life satisfaction, family bonding, vitamin D replenishment, and warm sand where it shouldn’t be.
If buyers pay attention to all the potential financial pitfalls and realize that owning one of these sacred lands is a long-term investment, there’s no reason to be scared off by the dollar signs flying toward your face at incredible speeds.