Moving to the Beach: Pipe Dream or Realistic Goal?

moving to the beach
There is nothing like a relaxing vacation on the beach. The cool sea breeze, fresh-from-the-ocean seafood and tranquility of watching the ocean waves make many seaside towns popular destinations to visit.

If you find yourself dreaming of moving to the beach or your parents have expressed interest in retiring to a coastal community, your first thought might be if you or they can afford it. To help determine if you can trade in your briefcase for a beach towel, check out the following financial considerations:

Jobs can be plentiful

Many beach communities have incredible local economies filled with tons of job opportunities. Depending on the size of the city, tourists need places to stay, eat and buy souvenirs; this typically translates into plenty of available jobs at hotels, resorts, bars, restaurants and shops. Many beach cities are also thriving metropolises that are like any other large city in terms of their workforce. San Diego, Honolulu and Miami are all examples of places where you might be able to arrange a transfer through your current job, or find a similar position.

On the other hand, some of the smaller coast towns have an off-season where tourists and jobs are scarce. Before you make the decision to relocate to the beach, be sure that your job will be secure all year long.

Housing is often expensive

As you might suspect, having a view of the waves 24/7 tends to come with a hefty price tag. Properties near the beach — both rentals and homes for sale — will always be more expensive, as the demand to buy them is constantly present. If you and/or your folks are serious about relocating to a coastal town, spend an adequate amount of time shopping for apartments and homes to get the best deal. If you’re not ready to buy, renting an apartment might be the right fit for you. Start your relocation homework from the comfort of your couch and check out the variety of apartment listings in San Diego online and see if any of the rents will fit in with your budget.

Seafood is reasonable, insurance is not

Chances are good you will pay more for your home insurance if you buy a home in a coastal town. The closer you are to the ocean, the greater the chances you will contend with issues like increased humidity, salty air and damage from rainy seasons. Give your insurance agent a call and discuss what home insurance rates would be in different ZIP codes of the coastal towns you like the best — this will help you decide if the move is within your budget.

Bargains are out there

If you are feeling discouraged by the high price of living in your No. 1 dream beach town, you might want to see if another region in the same state is more affordable. For example, Great American Country lists four affordable beach communities, including St. Augustine, Florida, where the median price of a home is $245,000, and Lubec, Maine, which offers 97 miles of rugged coastline and an average home price of $179,000.

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