A general misconception, although an understandable one, is that you cannot move to the beach because it is too expensive. While it is true that the cost of living will most likely be more expensive by the beach, don’t rule out a move to the sparkling seas quite yet.
If you really, with all of your heart want to live near the beach, you simply need to think creatively.
When we sold our home in San Diego in 2003, we made $200,000 in equity in only two years since we had bought it. That is big-time profit! That same home we bought in 2001 for 320,000 and sold for $520,000 is now worth $800,000. That is intimidating housing market inflation.
In the years since we moved away from the beach, I figured we may never get back into that market again with the high inflation costs.
But like my mom always said, where there is a will, there is a way. Follow these 10 pieces of advice and you may find yourself living at the beach sooner than you think.
In our previous house that was located east of Sacramento, we were paying over a thousand dollars each month for utilities. Our gas was run on propane and our electric company was a minimum of $350 a month even after all of our energy saving measures. Every August our electricity bill alone was $800.
Before we made the move to the beach, we did some calculations and figured out that by moving to the beach, our bills would be cut in half. While mortgage or rent was more money each month, bills were way less.
We moved to a community in San Diego with a community pool, which we pay for in our HOA. But, by not having a pool and a large yard to maintain, we were saving hundreds of dollars each month in maintenance fees.
When you live at the beach, you live outside a majority of the year. What you don’t need any more is big house with a big yard. Why? Think of it like this: when you go on vacation do you ever ask yourself if you really need that big expensive hotel room when you will be spending a majority of your time outside exploring your surroundings? While it isn’t a perfect analogy, it does ring true when you have a house near the beach. You will be drawn to spending more and more time outside. Where I live, the weather averages out to 72 degrees year-round, which means a lot of time is spent enjoying outside our home.
When the kids complain about our small yard, I remind them that the world is their oyster; in front of the house, not behind it! Get those bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades out, and go explore! (And if the Gen Zers need to know how the Gen Xers did that, they can watch Stranger Things 🙂
3. Staycation For The Win
To save money from our move to the beach, we kept our vacations to a minimum for a few years. As a family, we were all good forgoing the big vacation; plus, we now lived in a place where others are flocking to vacation!
For ideas where to weekend away close to home, read 5 Fantastic Roads Trips From San Diego.
For a little skiing, Big Bear is only two hours from San Diego and we can rent a nice Airbnb for $150 . . . and our dog Lulu can come.
Or check out this Airbnb home in Joshua Tree, only an hour and a half from our home at the beach. For $150 per night, we can get this beautifully decorated bohemian beauty and you better believe we will be soaking in that Jacuzzi overlooking the dramatic desert landscape.
4. Home Cooked Meals
Eating out at a restaurant now costs our family of six at least $100. Dinner out with friends is even more expensive! Since eating out is now a luxury, we opt for home cooked meals, a healthier and cost-effective option.
We have friends over for taco night or our favorite — an Asian lettuce wrap bar (email me for the recipe!) — and it costs a fraction of the cost and we all have just as much fun.
5. More Job Opportunities
Where there are beaches, there is also tourism and commerce. My coastal city has become one of the biggest tech hubs in the nation. In the suburbs where I used to live, there were never any jobs and I was stuck working $100 freelance gigs or even – gulp – for free to get my work out there in the world.
Since moving to the beach, there are dozens of new, well-paying writing opportunities in San Diego suberb. Knowing that there are many options for work makes it a little less scary to move to a higher cost of living beach town.
6. Location, Location, Location
A realtor once told me that real estate always appreciates well close to the beach. First of all, there is a segment of society who will always want to live close to the beach, giving your property an instant win for resale. Secondly, with beach properties come endless rental opportunities for an extra stream of income.
“If it’s close the beach and walkable, whether it’s in L.A., Santa Barbara, or Santa Monica, people will always buy,” said Tami Pardee, CEO of Halton Pardee + Partners in Greater Los Angeles. “They wait for those homes to come onto the market.”
7. Say Goodbye to Costly Indoor Entertainment
The beach is cheap entertainment my friends. Who needs expensive pay to play indoor entertainment areas for kids like bounce houses and trampoline gyms when you have the beach? Pack your swimsuit and make some sandwiches for a free day of play in the sand and sea. I always say, everyone is happy at the beach.
8. Cancel Your Gym Membership
When you live in the warmer climate beach towns, there is opportunity to exercise outdoors year-round. No need to pay for gym memberships when you live in nature’s playground. Save yourself a hundred plus dollars a month on gym memberships and go for run or walks on the beach. In many beach towns, there is free yoga on the beach on the weekends.
9. List Your Home on AIRbnb or vrbo
A survey of vacation homeowners from Savills and HomeAway fournd that in 2018, the average rental income on vacation home was $21,000.
To make a few extra bucks, we decided to rent out our home the on Airbnb. We got $600 a night – you heard me, a night – renting our house out while we were out of town. That kind of money definitely helps pay the big mortgage. Just make sure that your neighborhood allows for Airbnb rentals before you take the plunge or you may be slapped with a fine by the city.
10. Better Health
The subject has been researched for decades. Are people really happier by the beach? The answer is yes. Researchers from the UK researched the effect of moving near a coast and found that moving closer to the sea “significantly improves people’s well-being,” while reducing stress and encouraging physical activity. There is a potential to save money on therapy bills and doctor’s visits when you live near the beach!
While there are obviously many other factors involved in buying a beach house not mentioned here, such as higher property taxes, these 10 ideas give a different think outside the box perspective on how you may be able to make your dreams of living near the beach a reality.
Living near the beach has changed our entire perspective on life and given my children hobbies they would have never had otherwise. Surfing, skating, and other outdoor activities reign supreme in our house now, and we are grateful we made the move.