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10 Things to Look for When Buying a Beach House

Beach houses are the ultimate investment. They can be a place of rest and relaxation and serve as an additional source of income. When considering beach houses, there are a few “musts,” regardless of your budget or location.

This article gives you our top ten things to look for when buying a beach house. Read on to learn more.

Proximity to the Water

When looking at beach properties, you need to determine how important beach access is to you. Do you mind a five-minute walk, or do you want something on the water? Before you begin house shopping, you need to make this decision so you don’t risk compromising what you want regarding proximity to the water.

Insurance Rates

Beachfront properties bring with them notoriously high insurance rates, especially if the home doesn’t meet local height requirements. For this reason, homes on the same street might have drastically different insurance rates.

Before signing a contract, make sure you know your home’s insurance costs. Sometimes, older homes that aren’t up to modern codes could cost you thousands in insurance.

HOA and Property Upkeep Costs

Most beachfront and beach-adjacent properties are part of neighborhoods with an HOA. And while HOA fees typically won’t break the bank, you want to know the cost before you sign the dotted line.

Additionally, you need to consider property upkeep costs when shopping for a beach house. Due to the salt water and strong winds, these homes often require significantly more maintenance than inland properties.

As you budget for your beach house, remember to include HOA fees and upkeep costs to ensure you can afford your property.

The Integrity of the Foundation

Perhaps the most crucial factor when choosing your beach house is the foundation. A robust and well-built foundation is essential for shoreline properties. As mentioned above, wind and rain batter beach houses. Many beach towns experience tropical storms and hurricanes. Without a strong foundation, these homes won’t have much life left when exposed to the elements.

Before you buy, your inspector should meticulously evaluate the beach house’s foundation. They can tell you if there’s cause for alarm.

Sometimes, you might fall in love with a property with some minor foundational issues. A structural contractor can make foundation repairs, giving you peace of mind that your home will be safe and structurally sound for years.

Square Footage and Rooms

Beach house owners will tell you that you aren’t the only one who will be enjoying your home. As you think about your ideal space, plan for more rooms than you currently need. You’ll almost certainly be sharing your home with friends and family –– or even renting it out through VRBO or Airbnb.

You want to ensure you’ve got plenty of room for you, your family, and your guests to relax.

Is it Well Built?

As with other homes, not all beach houses are created equal. Your beach home will likely be one of your most significant investments. You wouldn’t cut corners on new construction, and you don’t want to cut corners on a home that’s already built.

As with any home purchase, request a thorough inspection of potential beach homes to ensure structural integrity.

Neighborhood Amenities

While beach houses are great for being at the beach, you won’t spend all your time in the ocean. You’ll want to buy in a neighborhood that has all the amenities.

For example, many beach neighborhoods have pools, tennis courts, and meeting spaces. However, some beach homes are in communities without these amenities. Consider the pros and cons of living in these neighborhoods and decide accordingly.

Outdoor Shower

Whether you live alone or plan to have a home full of guests, an outdoor shower is a must for anyone looking for a beach house. You’ll inevitably track in sand to your home. But if you have an outdoor space where you can rinse off (and rinse off children and pets!), you’ll have a much easier time keeping up with sandy floors.


If you’re looking for a beach house, you’ll likely spend much time at the ocean. That means you’ll have, at minimum, chairs and an umbrella. If you have children or guests, you’ll probably keep toys, boogie boards, and even more chairs and umbrellas at your home.

You need ample storage to house all your beach equipment. As you shop for your home on the beach, make sure you have sufficient and accessible storage for your beach toys.

Height above Sea Level

Every beach house should meet the local regulations for minimum feet above sea level. This should not be an issue if you’re purchasing a newer build. However, some older beach houses were constructed before mandatory minimum levels were implemented or updated to modern standards.

Your home’s height above sea level is important for two main reasons:


Beach houses that don’t meet the minimum height requirements can cost you thousands more in insurance (as discussed above).


Three-foot piers are insufficient to protect your beach home from flooding associated with storm surges. You want your home to be high off the ground to prevent flood damage should the waters rise. A structural contractor can lift your beach home to safe heights that not only prevent flooding but that prevent outrageous insurance premiums too.


Buying a beach house can be thrilling, but it can also be stressful. This guide helps you cover all the bases when beginning the journey to beach home ownership.

And if you’re looking at the perfect beach house, but its foundation needs attention or lifting, the team at DeVooght House Lifters will work with you to make your beach home safe and stable for years to come.

Connect with our team to begin a conversation today!

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