Seaside living is a dream for many, an idyllic lifestyle of surf, sand and sun. While it may seem perfect, it’s not suited for everybody and there are a few practical things to consider before diving in the deep end and purchasing a coastal abode.
Firstly, when you’re searching for a seaside property you should make sure you’re aware of any public space between your house and the water. If the block you’re considering is right on the beach front there is probably some space in front of it that’s free for the public to use, so if you’re really uncomfortable with people passing by the front of your house or kids swimming in the waters in front of your block then it probably won’t suit you. Also consider how busy the beach is, go there on a weekend or on the school holidays to check out what the foot traffic is like on the beach and how busy it gets.
If you’ve got kids, safety can be a real concern with beach living. The ocean, in fact water in general, can be a really hazardous place for kids and adults alike, so when choosing a home near the beach you’ve got to be able to be sure that your kids will be safe there and you can rest easy with the peace of mind to know they’re not in danger. If you feel like you have to watch your kids 24/7 without blinking just to ensure their safety then the relaxing effect of coastal living will be all but undone.
You will also have to consider erosion if you’re looking at blocks right near the shore. Coastal erosion is a natural process and changing shorelines are common, however in some places this may impact upon residential blocks that are close to the ocean. It might be a good idea to research the areas you’re considering to determine what degree of impact coastal erosion has had thus-far and is predicted to have in the future.
Living by the sea may have some effects on the maintenance requirements of the block, house and contents of a home located close to the water. Sea spray and mist in the air means that the salty ocean water often gets into homes close to shore, and high winds aid the process. Electrical issues are common as wires are corroded and salty residue builds up. Rust is also a common problem in beach houses and parking your car near the ocean everyday will mean it’s more prone to rust issues so a garage may be necessary.
Sand caught in strong gusts and gales can also be damaging to property over a period of time, weathering exteriors quickly, stripping paint, causing harsh wear to outdoor furniture and interfering with landscaping and gardens if they aren’t resilient to coastal conditions.
Visiting one of the many display homes precincts around booming coastal areas is a good way to get an idea of the best materials and construction methods for the sea side conditions.
Most people who move to a beachside home do so for the lifestyle. They want to experience the laid-back coastal life, hear the ocean from their bedroom windows, relax in the sun with sea spray in the air, lie on the beach or swim or go fishing whenever the mood takes them. If you’re considering a move to the beach then all these things should suit you. It sounds idyllic but you must be practical – if you don’t really like going outdoors, you don’t like being around other beach-goers, or you’re only going to go to the beach a few times each month then maybe spending money on a seaside property and dealing with all the aforementioned considerations aren’t really worthwhile for you. Be realistic about your lifestyle.
– Written by Katie Jones
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