This one is something we don't have to deal with here in the Sunshine State but would I really want to have the ability to WALK to the beach if I had to climb those stairs to get back home again? I don't think so............................
Walk to the Beach! Uh, No Frickin’ Way
Living along the coast in Carlsbad, I often get requests from buyers seeking primary or vacation homes to enjoy a slice of the Southern California life where they can “walk to the beach.”
I get that, as I would enjoy that, too, and have in past homes.
It’s a loaded request, since first and foremost it brings with it the issue of price.
How MUCH are you willing or able to pay for the privilege of walking to the beach?
Many buyers, in the general region but more so from other areas, think that with the shift in the market these last 6 years that Southern California bargains are to be found within walking distance to the beach, or looking right at it.
Sure, oceanfront and nearby homes have dropped in value, too, but waterfront property and homes near the beaches still command top dollar for the privilege of ocean views and a short walk, or perhaps your own private stairs to the beach (that REALLY is a premium in price, as much as a few hundred thousand dollars). It is nearly impossible to get approval to build stairs these days if they don’t exist and true oceanfront property on the open market is not plentiful and it remains pricey.
Related to that question IS the issue of stairs in your walk to the beach, and the streets themselves. If you don’t care, the options are greater, but if you want to be able to walk out your door onto the beach or not have stairs to navigate (due to the bluffs), the choices are fewer.
- You can’t do that in Solana Beach, for example, and the Del Mar Beach Colony, which is at beach level, starts at the mid 7 figures for that honor
- Carlsbad also has a limited number of true ocean front homes, primarily near Carlsbad Village and at Terramar where the beach can be at or very near your doorstep
- In Encinitas you need to be close to Moonlight Beach (Lofts at Moonlight Beach are a good example) or you have a lot of stairs…but great views
- Cardiff has no homes that are direct ocean frontage but many with great views on the hills and close to the beaches and downtown.
The other issue that really gripes me are agents who advertise a home as being walk to beach, when that walk is, shall we say, fairly substantial. First of all, those looking for a “walk to beach” aren’t generally willing to walk a mile or more, in my experience, and usually they want considerably less, even if they can’t afford it. Maybe a couple of blocks at best.
I saw a home today, in fact, when previewing homes for several clients, that is 1.7 miles from the beach (I measured it in my car for god’s sake). The agent, attempting to lure buyers, decided that marketing the home as walk to beach might be a selling point.
I think it’s misrepresentation.
Walk to the beach? No frickin’ way.
Sure it’s possible. But I could also walk from my home to San Diego, about 35 miles, if I wanted.
Walk to beach DOES mean different things to different people. Far be it for me to second guess HOW close that means buyers. I steer away from that issue but suggest people test it out themselves so they can be comfortable.
“Walk to the beach” also raises potential fair housing issues. I’m not getting into that discussion here, and I’ve seen debate about whether talking about “walking distance” violates fair housing or not. It COULD be discriminatory so best avoided in advertising. Wonder what Fair Housing has to say about "walkscore?"
Suffice it to say, “walk to beach” is far more complex than one might think at first glance. It bears further discussion to be sure what buyers really want and will tolerate when seeking a home that is "walk to the beach."
If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, the housing market in general (or locally), or otherwise assist you, friends or family in a home search or sale, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JeffDowlerSolutions@gmail.com
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