Location is a major factor in a home’s market value. Where a house is located in the country and particular state and city is part of the equation, as is the home’s surrounding area, like whether it’s on a beach or even has surf break access.
Houses on the water on the West Coast are typically priced higher than those on the East Coast. The most affordable beach houses can be found on the northern East Coast, as the location is not ideal compared to houses on Florida’s southern beaches.
For example, you can find single-family homes in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for less than $200,000, whereas small condos on the beach in Miami, Florida, could cost around $1 million. However, all states have more affordable beaches in less populated areas.
Within California itself, the northern beaches are more affordable to live on than the southern ones. You’ll likely spend at least $1 million for a house on the water in California, but the most desirable views can reach $50 million to $100 million.
Beachfront property insurance
Homeowners insurance coverage for beachfront properties is much more expensive than policies for a house inland. This is because insurance providers consider beach houses risky due to extreme seaside weather and coastal erosion.
Beach houses often require additional or special coverage. For example, mandated flood insurance is common due to hurricane possibilities, especially on the East Coast. Your beachfront property might also qualify for high-value homeowners insurance, which in some cases includes higher liability limits.
For a primary house, it’s recommended to put aside 1% of the home’s value for annual maintenance costs. However, for a beach house, which requires more regular maintenance, you might want to consider budgeting for a little more.
Being exposed to the ocean’s elements can take a toll on a house. The salty air and humidity can rust metal doors, windows, motor vehicles and outdoor equipment. Strong winds can damage the house and outdoor equipment over time, and the humid air and coastal rains can trap dampness, resulting in mold. The costs of preventing or fixing these issues vary. Every year, set a time to run through a home maintenance checklist to minimize worsening problems.
Additionally, living on the beach means you need to anticipate natural disasters and severe weather and the damage it can cause to your home. Tropical storms set records in 2020. U.S. coastlines were hit with seven Category 3 or higher hurricanes, four Category 1 or higher landfalling hurricanes and 16 other tropical storms in the same year. Hurricanes bring strong wind damage and major flooding that you need to prepare for.