Imagine watching dolphins swim in your own backyard. Picture glancing out your kitchen window one morning to catch the resplendent glow of a sunrise reflecting over the expanse of the Atlantic.
If purchasing a beachfront home in South Florida is on your radar, these visions aren’t merely some distant pipe dream. In fact, they may soon be your reality, just like these images have become the reality of many other people.
Every year new families choose to satisfy their love for the ocean by purchasing a beachfront home in South Florida on one of Florida’s many stunning beaches. Your family can be among them.
There are distinct luxuries and challenges to buying a beachfront home in Florida, so here are several things to consider to help you effectively navigate the market:
Things to Consider if You’re Purchasing a Beachfront Home in South Florida
What is your goal for the property?
Determine the purpose of your property before choosing where to purchase your beachfront home in South Florida.
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s worth mentioning.
As an example, retirees may want to know how close their property will be to public beaches. A remote or private beach will offer a quieter living option that matches the picture many have in their minds of the ideal retirement.
On the other hand, if you’re investing in a vacation rental property, popular tourist destinations will turn a more consistent profit than most remote locations. Determining your property goals will help you distinguish which beaches are optimal for your needs.
Keep in mind that certain cities in Florida experience more pronounced tourist days and seasons than others. A quiet beach on a weekday can transform into a loud, bustling destination on the weekend. Research each city carefully to know about fluctuating crowds and foot traffic.
Reflect: Will this property become your new full-time home? Is this a seasonal house that you’ll only inhabit for half the year? Will you turn it into an investment property on the short-term rental market?
Once you’ve a clear picture, communicate those goals with your real estate agent. Simple communication upfront can streamline the search process by removing irrelevant properties from the selection of homes you consider.
Be Aware of the Risks and Downfalls
of Waterfront Living
Hurricanes and tropical storms
Beachfront living is an incredible luxury that comes with one glaring risk: storm surges. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding are real risks of owning a beachfront home. Prioritize your family’s safety by taking appropriate safety measures like…
Purchasing comprehensive insurance
Everyone loves a bargain. But when it comes to finding flood and hurricane insurance for your beachfront home in South Florida, don’t make your decision exclusively based on the price. Prioritize quality, comprehensive insurance coverage over finding low-cost offerings.
Fortunately, whether you get insurance or not isn’t up to you. Florida Law requires proof of wind and flood damage coverage in addition to your standard home policy by the time you close on a home. So: perform your due diligence by researching and consulting knowledgeable insurance specialists who know the best coverage for your home and city.
Unincorporated vs. incorporated areas
According to Investopedia, “Many Florida beaches are part of incorporated cities, while others are part of unincorporated areas run by individual counties. Fire services can affect your insurance rates, and response times are important for safety.”
Be aware of your home’s proximity of fire stations, hospitals, and police stations if you are looking at more remote areas of the coast.
In some areas, beach erosion is an ongoing issue. You should ask about beach upkeep to learn who is responsible for preserving the beach and implementing preventative measures to keep the beach where it’s supposed to be.
Public vs. private beach access
I mentioned the concept of a “private beach” earlier. It’s worth noting, according to Florida law, you can’t necessarily prevent all foot traffic from “your slice of the beach.”
If your property is on or near a public beach, expect to have foot traffic and beachgoers near your home. For some people, a bustling beach is their preference. Others expect complete seclusion, which means even one or two casual beachgoers nearby comes as a disappointment.
In other words, always consider a property’s proximity to public-access beaches. It may help to glean from the experience of people living or working nearby the home you’re thinking of buying. Ask around. If the prospective home is part of a homeowner’s association, for example, inquire about foot traffic, especially regarding tourist-heavy seasons.
How to Find a Beachfront Property
in South Florida
Work with a reliable real estate agent
Finding the right real estate agent makes all the difference when purchasing a home. By working with an experienced, communicative, and proactive agent who knows your local market, you can save time and money on your ideal property.
Vet multiple agents until you find one that understands your interests and puts your goals front and center. It’s important to find someone who’s easy to work with yet competitive at the negotiating table.
If you’re still looking for a South Florida agent, contact Chris Donati. As an experienced agent with an eye for quality, he’ll connect you to the property you love.