5 Essentials to Know About Buying an Oceanfront Home

Oceanfront homes, beach home, waterfront homes, living on the beach 5 things to know before you buy a oceanfront home

By Land and by Sea

The salty sea!  Imagine the breathtaking views, the sun glistening off the water, the laughter and fun had by all.  Nothing compares to living by the ocean’s edge. 

Deciding that your dream is to own an oceanfront home is exhilarating,  but there are a few factors that need to be considered.

What is your personal lifestyle preference?

Now it is time to decide on a style, but you must also decide how you want to utilize your oceanfront home.  Do you want to enjoy the view from a rocky coastline vista and fish? Walk the jagged peaks and valleys looking for marine life, fishing, and excitement? Or, do want to live along a sandy beach?  Enjoy swimming, boating, and sunbathing, the very epitome of your inner happy place?

Will you need food insurance?

Check FEMA maps and talk with your insurance company.  Whether you are paying cash or financing your home, and if the latter, your lender will require flood insurance.  It is best to err on the side of caution than to not cover your largest asset against flood damage.

Between buyer due diligence, your Realtor ®, research on FEMA maps and your insurance company, it is best to make certain you understand the possibilities before you purchase your oceanfront dream home.  Furthermore, take into consideration the different categories of flood zones. Understand and educate yourself on the 100-year flood (for more information, check the FEMA and National Flood Insurance Program websites) to the structural integrity of the home you want to purchase.  Will it withstand flood waters, storms, and high winds?  The type of zone your home is in will determine what type of insurance you need to protect your investment.

Oceanfront homes, beach home, waterfront homes, living on the beach 5 things to know before you buy a waterfront home

What is the history of the oceanfront home?

It is essential to know the history of erosion of the beach in front of your potential oceanfront home.  What is the condition of the seawall, who is responsible to care for them and maintain their integrity?  Buyers and their Realtor should ask the local code enforcement officer, the State’s Department of Environmental Services, and the seller and neighbors.  All the information you can gather is paramount when you are considering purchasing.  Is there an association?  If so, talk to them about the history of the property.  Find out what type of insurance they have and what is covered?  Who is responsible for damages, and if there have been any claims made?  Find out if any major storms have impacted the property. Have the utilities– cable, water, sewer, electricity, and internet been impacted, and for how long?

Does the City/Town supply your water and sewer?

If the answer is no, then you have private water and sewer.  There are local and state requirements must be followed if an outdated system needs to be upgraded. The home inspection process will inspect the systems for you to determine the overall health and type of system that is currently in place.  Remember, it is important to not only have your septic and leach field diagnosed, but your water quality needs to be checked as well.

Are you in the Zone?

It is up to the buyer and their Realtor® to check with the City/Town and State regulations to determine if future renovations and upgrades are allowed.  And if so, are there any special restrictions or guidelines that must be followed.  This could impact additions, an expansion that increases the footprint of your home and even the height.  You must also find out if you want to move utilities, is there a requirement or will it be grandfathered?  Check with the State and local government when it comes to sewer and leach field, and if you will have to move your heating and cooling systems to higher ground if you choose to renovate in the future.

Understanding the local area, rules, and regulations when purchasing an oceanfront property is imperative.  Your Realtor® will educate and guide you through the process.  It is important to ask informative questions that will ensure you understand what will be required of you to own an oceanfront home.  No one wants to be told after the fact they can’t renovate or there is a problem that should have been addressed upfront, or they do not have adequate insurance. Knowing in advance what it will cost to own and maintain a beautiful oceanfront home is essential.



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5 Essentials to Know About Buying an Oceanfront Home

Davis & Co.