Designing A Truly Unique Luxury Home

« Back to Home

What Should You Watch For While Buying A Beach House?

Posted on

Buying a beach house is a dream opportunity for many people. You still have to approach the situation with an eye for what could be wrong with the property, though. With a beach house, you also need to be aware of some of the problems specific to these types of locations. Watch for these four possible issues when checking out a beachfront home.

History of Storm Damage

People in coastal areas are pretty good at bouncing back from storms. Even if the house is in a location that doesn't see lots of damaging storms, you need to know how severe things get when the weather turns bad. A location may develop localized flooding issues, even if the surrounding area seems relatively safe. Likewise, the property could be well-protected except if the wind comes from one direction.

Visit the local museum or library and ask to see the photos of the region's historical storm damage. Ask about the area where you're looking to buy, too. Talk to the neighbors so you can learn what has happened in the area during their lifetimes.


Coastal areas also can experience significant erosion. Search satellite imagery of the area online with a tool. Check the survey data from the county's registry, too. Look at the history of the coastline. Also, look for evidence of efforts to fill in or pile up sand dunes.

Some erosion is expected. However, you don't want your dream property to become a continuous civil engineering project.

Basic Services

Many beach communities aren't exactly urban centers. This means that finding basic services can be challenging. Make sure there are nearby grocery stores, doctors' offices, hospitals, auto shops, airports, and so on.

Also, see if the road system is sufficient. Particularly if you're looking at moving onto an island, you want to know that there will be multiple evacuation routes if a major storm is bearing down.

Check the prices, too. Especially if you're looking to settle down at your beach house, you want to know that you can afford to live there. Smaller communities often pay more for groceries, toilet paper, and other basic items.

Peak Traffic

A beachfront region can be downright sleepy in the offseason. However, you should look at what traffic is like at the peak of tourism in the area. Highly touristed areas can be surprisingly difficult to get around when the tourists flood in during spring break or the summer.

Contact a local realtor, such as OBX Real Estate Resource - Catherine Brown Strachan, to learn more.