Buying real estate on 30A is similar to purchasing any other kind of property; however, there are some differences. To begin, for many, beach real estate is an investment; it’s something that is both enjoyed by the property owner but is also meant to draw income. For others beach real estate is a permanent residence. Typically, the priorities of these property hunters are different from those previously mentioned. By knowing what you want and working with a realtor who knows the lay of 30A, you’ll be signing paperwork on your dream beach property before you know it.
You Can Always Get What You Want
Buying beach real estate is fun and exciting. Whether you are moving to a new locale to start living the 30A life or making an investment, you are going to want to prioritize your property wish list. Pick three must haves and up to five important but not necessary property features. Make sure you and whoever else is investing with you agree on the list. Here are a few ideas that smart property buyers take into consideration:
- Curb Appeal / Resale: Even if you plan to keep the property for 25 years, you still want it to be in an appealing area. Not only does this mean that any neighbors who might move in near your will more likely be the type who will care about their property’s outward appearance, it also means that your property will have a greater likelihood of appreciating substantially in value.
- Location: Though similar to curb appeal, location is somewhat different. Location is usually a high priority on buyers’ lists. Is waterfront essential? Does the home have to be in historic downtown? Does it need to be walking distance to certain destinations? One thing to be mindful of when making location a priority is whether or not the desired location is affordable. If your number one priority is location and you’re shopping in an area that doesn’t have many options for your budget, be prepared to compromise on “move in ready” condition, those quartz countertops, or on square footage.
- View: A panoramic view of waves crashing against the shore is great, and it’s most likely to be especially important to investors who will be renting their property throughout the year.
- Size: Speaking of square footage, the amount of space is often very important. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms are usually a bigger focus for those who plan to live in the property rather than using it as an investment. When a property is an investment, an extra bathroom is great, but since no one will be spending their time in the house to do much more than eat and sleep, it’s not as critical.
- Condition: Does the property have to be updated with modern, sustainable materials and be move-in-ready or can it be outdated (this often means a more negotiable price tag)? Are you looking for a fixer-upper or a flip?
- Personal Wish List: Is a big kitchen or a double garage going to be a deal breaker? Is a home with a pool a must-have? Make sure you add it to your list.
Once you list the features you want the property to have, give them rank. As noted, identify the top three to five items. Determine which items are essential for you to buy the property and which items are flexible.
When you know some of these particulars, it makes it much easier to shop for property. Thanks to the Internet, you can do some of your own preliminary homework identifying properties that fit the bill. Many prospective property buyers visit Realtor.com or similar sites to begin their search. Though these searches are useful and can help you decide the style of real estate (ex: bungalow, cottage, beach house, etc.), there are certain things they can’t provide, which is why when buying beach, you’ll want to work through a realtor.
Where a Realtor Who Knows 30A Comes In
A realtor who lives in the area can save you time and money. A realtor familiar with 30A may know of properties that fit your criteria list off the top of her head; additionally, she will also know what local comps are and how long homes have been on the market; she’ll be able to help you negotiate a more realistic price for the market if the home you have your eye on is priced too high.
Additionally, she’ll be an advocate on your behalf because while she certainly wants you to buy in 30A, she doesn’t want you to make a decision you’ll regret.
- She’ll point out issues with a property that you may not consider. For example, if you’ve never lived on the beach, then you won’t instinctively know what environmental issues to be aware of relative to the property (and yes, your inspection should uncover any concerns, but your realtor can steer you away from a project home if you’re looking for move-in-ready).
- In addition to making sure you’re not investing in a money-trap, your realtor can help you figure out which area is best for you. Each town in 30A whether it’s WaterColor, Destin, Panama City, Seaside, Pensacola, or Rosemary Beach has its own character and identity. Working with a realtor is like working with a dating service for property matches; by getting to know your personality, she can isolate the towns that seem like the best fit. She can also act as your tour guide through the top towns, so you can ultimately pick which one you like best.
- For investors, she can advise on which areas are tourist hot-spots; if you’re buying to rent, then you’ll want your property to be located somewhere a lot of people want to be during travel season.
So from helping you find the right community to making sure as many of your wish list items are met, your 30A realtor can help you find the property you’ve always dreamed of on 30A. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign the paper work and start packing.
There’s no living like 30A living, so start making your beach real estate must-have list and call coastal living expert Melissa Clements, who will help make your dreams of owning property on 30A a reality. From finding the right community to negotiating the deal, Melissa will be your support system through the entire buying process.
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