Beach Life – The Different Aspects of Owning Real Estate by the Ocean

Owning a house on the beach or near the ocean is a dream held by many. Oceanfront property is attractive because of the unique lifestyle it offers and the investment opportunities it can provide. Although not without certain drawbacks, owning real estate on the ocean can be extremely fulfilling either as a residence, investment property or both.

The positive aspects of actually living on the ocean are numerous. In general, it tends to be a very healthy lifestyle. First, there’s that giant natural swimming pool in the backyard. Water sports like surfing, body boarding, and simple swimming are some of the best full-body, low-impact workouts available. Walking or jogging in the sand naturally enhances our most simple and effective exercise, with amazing results. Geographically being near an ocean generally means easy access to seafood, which is a staple of a healthy diet. Living on the ocean is intellectually stimulating and very relaxing. The ocean serves as a giant movie screen displaying an endless IMAX film about the magnificent and truly awesome power of nature. It is an amazing environment to raise children, constantly engaging them both physically and intellectually. Though medical data may be lacking, no one can deny the benefits to one’s spirit and soul gained from a life on the beach. It’s no accident, according to one resident I spoke with recently, that “all of our neighbors have this happy, relaxed nature about them.” A little unscientific research lead me to a theory that the spiritual connection with water dates back to our early ancestors. Back when large bodies of water represented a lifeline for food and sustenance, the feeling of calm, security, and belonging that seems to come with living near the beach is deeply ingrained within us.

In terms of an investment, real estate near the ocean is a desirable addition to anyone’s portfolio. For all of the reasons listed above, people flock to the ocean, and the demand for a home near the beach is always very high. The age-old philosophy about land, “they’re not making any more of it” specifically applies to beachfront property. One could argue that due to erosion and/or climate change, that beachfront property is in fact diminishing, which naturally pushes up the value of existing ocean real estate. As a rental property, a home on the beach can be a great source of income in which the amount of rent you charge a tenant is limited only by demand, which during the on-season is very high. Beachfront property is generally known as a sound investment.

There are certain negative aspects that come with owning real estate on the ocean, both for investors and full-time residents. Just as the roaring ocean is the biggest draw to living on the beach, it also serves as its greatest threat. Nothing is more powerful than a storm coming in off of the sea. As anyone who has been in such a storm can tell you, it is a truly frightening experience. Immediate threats to one’s safety are the 1st to be concerned with, extremely high winds can wreak havoc on glass windows and weak foundations. If in the worst case scenario, the waters start to rise and flood your home, leave and seek safety immediately. Which leads us to the greatest threat: flooding. As recent current events have demonstrated, our weather and climates appear to be changing at a rapid rate. Personifying the fear of every beachfront property owner, harrowing home videos easily found on the internet have shown us how quickly rising waters can wipe a home completely off of the map. Many people are very uneasy with the thought that they could lose their home in literally the blink of an eye.

It’s not all a rosy picture for investors either. A beachfront property can command top dollar as a rental, but not necessarily year-round. An investor must take into account the seasonal fluctuations of demand. During the off season, there might not be a renter at all, leaving the investor to take care of maintenance and upkeep. If an investor simply assumes that rental property income will be a constant, they are in for a very rude awakening. Ah, the off season, where a beachfront community can seem like a ghost town. Granted some residents absolutely savor the peace and quiet, most consider the general shutdown during the off season a negative. It can be an isolating feeling when a once bustling beach town becomes quite desolate, where even basic local services and amenities can be hard to come by.

For some folks, living on a beach is like heaven on earth. For some investors, a home on the beach can be a cash cow. Drawbacks do exist, and a home by the ocean is not for everyone. However for an active family or a savvy investor, life truly is, a beach!

Dylan Taft is an experienced Hudson Valley real estate professional working in home sales and purchases. Visit Dylan’s professionally optimized website for more information on property taxes, and details on the Ulster County NY real estate area.


2009 Sales Season vs. 2008 | Rehoboth Beach Delaware

2009 January 1 – August 12
92 single family home sales
Highest Sale Price: $4,500,000
Lowest Sales Price: $160,000
Median Sales Price: $492,500
Average Sales Price: $664,974
Average Days on the Market (for those that sold): 217
Hottest Selling Community:  Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club with 15 total sales.

2008 January 1 – August 12
104 single family home sales
Highest Sale Price: $2,700,000
Lowest Sales Price: $99,999
Median Sales Price: $549,950
Average Sales Price: $773,708
Average Days on the Market (for those that sold): 181
Hottest Selling Community: Summercrest with 12 sales closely followed by RBYCC with 11 total sales.

While I’m at it I might as well throw in 2007

2007 January 1 – August 12
146 single family home sales
Highest Sale Price: $3,995,000
Lowest Sales Price: $209,900
Median Sales Price: $599,555
Average Sales Price: $829,539
Average Days on the Market (for those that sold): 185
Hottest Selling Community: Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club with 24 sales.

What can be learned from this? Prices are down significantly and homes in Rehoboth Beach Country Club are always in Demand.  For more in-depth stats corresponding to any local town or community in the area feel free to contact me at


Buyer traffic is increasing.

My wife and I were extremely busy with buyers this weekend.  For us Saturday & Sunday resulted in four offers being written and as of today (Tuesday) two ratified contracts and possibly another two before the week is over.  We even encountered a bidding war on a home that has been on the market for over a year.  Hallelujah! The local market is picking up again and I won’t have to sell my Grandmother to the highest bidder on Ebay in order to pay the electric bill.

Village of Cinderberry Clubhouse

Village of Cinderberry Clubhouse

While  I was out showing homes on  Saturday I discovered a hidden gem located in the center of Georgetown. True, the location is a good half hour drive from the boardwalk but at this distance from the beach you don’t have to worry about tidal waves.  The name of the community is the Village of Cinderberry The Village of Cinderberry is a 50 and over community of approximately 170 homes and as of this writing (Feb 10 2009) about 80% occupied.  New construction homes are still available but if you are looking for the real bargains take a look at the re-sales. The median re-sale price in the community is $244,900 but currently the  least expensive home is  a real steal at $176,900.  6 Bayberry Street is a 1425 SF 2BR/2BA home with a single car garage in a beautifully maintained 50+ adult community with a very nice community center featuring an indoor pool, athletic center and huge auditorium for community events.  Pre-owned three bedroom models are available with asking prices starting around $234,900 Yard maintenance, community center upkeep, cable tv and internet service are all covered under the HOA fees.
For questions about this active adult community please contact me at 302 258 4368.

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