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4 Big things to consider when buying a beach house

Written by Ben Saravia,  
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Wouldn’t it be nice…The crisp sea air accompanied by the soft sound of waves greeting you every morning as you stumble out of bed. Not even thinking about shoes, you take the short and lazy stroll to the beach. It really is the classic lifegoal, to get that dream house by the beach and enjoy all that it has to offer. What could be more Australian! And with over 35,000 miles of coastline and 10,000+ beaches nationwide, you are spoilt for choice!

But before you start picking out hammocks and parasols to adorn the deck of your new coastal property, make sure that you are fully aware of the top 4 things to consider before taking the plunge (pun intended!).

Salt Damage

Everyone loves the idea of living close to the beach. In Australia, the intense sun and salty air can combine to quickly attack metallic structures that are not adequately protected against rust. This happens not just in your home, but across your possessions as well. For example, car paintwork exposed to the sun weathers quickly and can become porous which then allows salt and moisture to enter and rust your car, bicycle or washing machine. Newer cars will offer greater protection than older vehicles but are not entirely exempt. Ensure that you buy a home with a garage to store your vehicles and larger items, but be ready to see rust sooner than you might have expected.

Sea Wind and Rains

Ocean storms and winds in Australia can be ferocious, especially with La Nina weather patterns in participation. Coastal homes do not have the protection offered by land and so will often take the full brunt of winds and rains approaching the coast.

The solution is to ensure that you buy a home with great structural integrity that was built for purpose. This can be easier with newer builds. Look for a property with strong designs and robust foundations. Apart from the visual inspection, also ensure that your building inspector has experience with coastal properties and knows what warning signs to look out for.

Sea Levels and Storm Surges

Whilst emotionally we all want to be as close to the sea as possible, you will want to be far enough away so that during sea surges and hide tides, your dream property is not damaged or even washed away! You will want to ensure that your house is built above sea level and even allows for rising sea levels over time. It might not seem like a problem today, but your surroundings may be completely different in 10 to 15 years time!

Increased Maintenance

All these factors and more can lead to one important consideration: Maintenance costs. Properties in coastal areas tend to have increased maintenance costs. Greater winds, increased salt and moisture levels, all these factors that wear on your home and mean that it will require wood repairs, repainting, replacements and other works that will be unavoidable over time. It is not that these things should be considered a deal-breaker (life is too short for that) it is just that you should be aware of them before you move in, after all, life is also too short for regrets!

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