For many people it is a dream to live on beach front property. Not just to have stunning ocean views, but for the sand to literally be in your front yard. You might have dreams of falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and walking out your back door with sand between your toes. This is an amazing dream, and hopefully you are going to make it happen, but the reality is that there are many things to consider when buying beach front property, things that might possibly ruin your dream if you don't take the proper things into consideration when deciding what beach front property is right for you.
I have sold beach front property for over 10 years and always advise my clients to take the following things into consideration when deciding where to buy their beach front property.
Private vs. Public Beaches
If you do not live near the beach you may not even know the difference between a public and a private beach, so let me explain some of the major differences. With public beaches you have to adhere to the laws of the city, county or state, depending on what kind of beach it is. Some of these laws may include: no alcohol on the beach, no bonfires, and no dogs on the beach. The laws of public beaches will vary by location but if it is a public beach you must adhere to them, regardless of whether your house is on the beach or not.
I sell a lot of beach front property on Beach Road in Capistrano Beach, in Orange County, California. The properties in this community are located beachfront, on private beaches. Many of my clients choose to live or buy property here because they want to be able to treat the beach like their own property. They may want to have a cocktail in their front yard, which happens to be the sand, or they might want to put volleyball net up for their kids on the beach with no restrictions. They like the flexibility that being on a private beach has to offer.
One important thing to consider when buying beachfront property is public accessibility. Even if your property is on a private beach it may still be quite accessible by the public. You may want it to be very accessible. You might want your friends to be able to walk over from the public beach. On the flip side if you are a celebrity, public figure, or simply a very private person you may not want your property to be easily accessible to the public or paparazzi.
One major thing that people often forget to consider when buying beach front property is how much parking they will have with their house or community. It is very important to confirm how much parking you will have for the specific property you are buying. Sometimes even if you have a driveway you might have to share this driveway with another house. You should not make assumptions that the driveway is all yours. It is also important to ask about overflow parking or extra parking within the community when buying a beachfront property. There is nothing that is more frustrating, than having a party, and making your friends circle around the neighborhood for an hour, because you do not have any extra parking.
One good thing about the beach front property on Beach Road in Capistrano Beach is that there are approximately an additional 60 spots within the community that are open for guests those that own property there. This is one thing that many of clients like and see as a pro when buying within this community.
Since 60-70% of beach front properties are second homes, and because people who buy beach front homes typically have a substantial amount of money, something that is very important to take into consideration when buying beach front property is how much security your property will have. Does the property have any other security other than the local police or Sheriff that might drive by once a night? If you have a guard gate you have that extra protection, as well as you might have a security guard that is patrolling 24 hours a day. This will dramatically decrease any break-ins or crime on your property.
You can't assume that buying on the beach is like buying anywhere else. Many times there are many more restrictions on doing any kind of remodels. Even for things as small as painting your deck. There can not only be restrictions within each community, but also within a city or a county. Some areas even have specific instructions on the amount of money you can spend to remodel or fix up a property in a year, or within a certain time span. This is why it is very important to work with a realtor that is familiar with the area you are looking to buy in, and also is up to date on the various restrictions. These restrictions are constantly changing....and a good realtor will stay up to date on these changes.
It is very important to consider your lifestyle when deciding where to buy beach front property. If you are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, then you want to stay clear of boardwalks in front of your property. However, this kind of property does appeal to a certain kind of person or lifestyle. If you like a faster pace, or like people watching this might fit you perfectly. There is a huge difference between say beach front properties in Newport Beach with and Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach. With Newport Beach you have a boardwalk in front of your house, right before the sand. It is great for people watching because there are bars and restaurants on nearly every block and there are people biking, walking, and rollerblading by all day long. However Three Arch Bay is gated, has no boardwalk, and not really any bars very close by. If you are planning on buying beach front property in an area you are unfamiliar with I would suggest that you discuss the kind of lifestyle you are looking for with your realtor.
I am very familiar with beach front property in Orange County. If you are looking to buy in this beautiful location, I would be happy to help you find the perfect beach to fill your needs and fulfill your dreams!