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Buying a Beach House on a Budget

Owning beachfront property is a dream for millions of Americans. If you’re not a millionaire, it might seem like a dream that’s forever out of reach, but that’s not necessarily the case. Just follow the advice below and you’ll be well equipped to make that dream become a reality.

Pick the Right Location

The most essential element in buying a beach house on a budget is knowing where to look. Unfortunately, that is often easier said than done. There are plenty of lists online that purport to tell you where the most affordable beach properties can be found, but the real estate market is a slippery beast. Fort Lauderdale houses for sale are expensive one week and affordable the next.

So how do you know where to find the right location? The aforementioned lists can help, but what’s really key here are three things: research, knowledge, and dedication. Investigating and paying attention to fluctuations in real estate values can help you gain a better understanding of how to strike when the iron is hot. If you’re having trouble finding a property that accommodates your finances, don’t jump the gun. Just keep looking, waiting, and saving.

Renting It Out to Others

Depending on how much time you spend in your beach house, the property could sit empty for long stretches of weeks or even months. Obviously, you can save a lot of money by turning off utilities and other services during these periods, but it might be even better to rent the property out to other beach-goers. There are plenty of vacationing tourists willing to pay a nice price for a few days enjoying the sun and the shore.

Of course, you have to be comfortable with the idea of strangers staying in your house when you’re not there. Get past that hang-up, though, and the money you earn by renting your property out could very well cover the costs of maintenance and utilities, plus a nice profit on top of that.

Understand the Downsides

Buying a beach house on a budget isn’t always easy, especially if that budget is especially tight. It’s important to consider the hidden costs of owning such property. For instance, taxes in these areas are usually higher due to the extra work municipalities have to put into maintaining beaches. Worse, flood and hurricane insurance is often a necessary evil that could tack on hundreds or thousands of dollars in expense over the years.

If the main reason you want a beach house is to have somewhere to go for the occasional summer vacation or weekend getaway, consider renting as an option, not to make money this time, but to save it. In other words, maybe owning a beach house isn’t right for you. It might be more economical, depending on your financial situation, to settle for a short-term rental or even a time-share.

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