Maintaining coastal properties

by Lisa Brook on August 26, 2014

coastal_property

Owning a coastal property is a dream come true for many people, offering striking views, a more relaxed way of life, fresh, clean air, open space, and total escapism to those who are lucky enough to realize their vision. There is nothing quite like waking up to the sounds and smells of the ocean and, whether they are retiring from the rat race or looking for a vacation home away from it all, purchasing a beachfront home is the ultimate goal for many Americans.

As with many dreams, though, owning a coastal property isn’t always plain sailing, particularly when it comes to the maintenance of a beachfront home. Whether it’s repair work to a home’s exterior, or freshening up the interior décor, keeping on top of a coastal property is essential in order to keep the dream alive. This constant maintenance can often feel like a chore, but it needn’t; after all, taking care of something as valuable as a home will ensure that it continues to thrive year after year.

Maintaining that dream beachfront home

Unfortunately, the very elements that coastal property owners are searching for can also be the most damaging to their new home. The sea breeze, salty air, warming sun, and white sand are responsible for bleaching or fading paintwork, bubbling and blistering exterior surfaces, rusting metalwork, wearing down and corroding surfaces, and causing issues with damp and mildew. However, with the right maintenance, the elements needn’t become an issue; coastal properties simply require a little more TLC.

Firstly, it is essential to invest in dedicated wood stain and paint, and to be sure to regularly wash down, treat, prime, and repaint exterior walls well before any issues arise. This will have the added bonus of keeping a coastal property looking fresh and inviting – just like its surroundings. The salty air and sand carried by the wind can also cause problems for a property’s metalwork; homeowners need to be vigilant when it comes to treating and repainting their fixtures and fittings to keep everything in excellent working order.

It is essential for any damage to be caught early and homeowners should be aware of potential problems before they arise, preventing the need for costly repairs and replacements later on. Homes with stuccoed exteriors, for example, will need extra special care and maintenance as they can crack if damaged by the elements. It is also essential to keep beachfront homes well ventilated and moisture-free, and to treat all woodwork with stain and specialist paint to keep the elements out. If carried out yearly, these simple, yet vital, tasks should keep coastal properties looking fantastic.

The interiors of coastal properties are equally prone to the elements. Potential damage includes the corrosion of floorboards by sand and salt water and the destruction of carpets. Tiled floors work fantastically well in beachfront homes, offering better protection from the elements and a cool surface for homeowners to walk on during the hot summer months. Plantation shutters are also a great idea for coastal properties. Not only do they look great, they also serve to protect windows from the beautiful, yet destructive, coastal conditions. Again, maintenance is essential; homeowners should ensure that all appliances, including air conditioning, are kept in good order.

A beautiful, attainable dream

Maintaining a coastal property can seem daunting, but it really needn’t be. External assistance, such as that offered during professional inspections and repair work, can help homeowners to make the most of their properties, while there is ample advice available online. Homeowners should never feel alone when it comes to looking after their beachfront retreats.

Ultimately, the opportunities for enjoying a coastal property far outweigh the more intimidating task of looking after it. After all, how many people can say they wake up to such breathtaking views every day?

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As we’ve stated in previous articles, Americans are purchasing vacation real estate, second homes and recreational property at a more rapid rate than in recent years. From Minnesota to Southern Florida, Americans are once again pursuing vacation property while the conditions are right. Several market factors can help explain this strong demand and trends point to a continued increase in discretionary real estate spending in the near future. We know a mix of growth in equity markets, pent-up demand, stronger consumer confidence in the real estate market, stronger consumer personal financial health, historically low mortgage rates and more realistic pricing have driven this resurgence in vacation real estate purchases, but who is buying this property?

According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey, the following information describes these vacation or second-home buyers:

  • Their average age is 43 years old
  • Their median household income was $85,600
  • 33% said they were likely to purchase another vacation home within two years
  • More than 8 out of 10 second-home buyers said it was a good time to buy

At United Country Real Estate, we sell more vacation and other non-urban lifestyle real estate nationwide than any other real estate company and we are definitely seeing these trends in secondary real estate purchases. In addition to vacation real estate, recreational land has been showing steady growth from the end of 2013 to present. Our analysts have been tracking similar statistics to the NAR report about who is buying these properties, but we have spotted unique characteristics of the recreational property buyer. Our recreational real estate buyers are typically cash buyers and able to put down more than 30% on these transactions or pay 100% cash. That said, United Country Real Estate has a strategic partnership with one of the strongest land finance groups in the U.S., and has also been able to help more buyers secure land and second-home financing if needed.

Additionally, auctions  play a large part in real estate transactions in the rural areas of America, and recreational property is no exception.

“Using the blended model of auctions and traditional real estate services gives us a marketing advantage that other brokerages simply can’t offer,” said Mike Jones, president of United Country Auction Services. “This process provides an incredibly transparent transaction, which when properly marketed, reveals the true market value of a property. Being able to leverage both traditional and auction marketing methods gives our national network of brokers, agents and auctioneers the competitive edge needed in today’s ever-changing vacation, second home, recreational and land marketplace.”

As the leader since 1925 in lifestyle, small city and town, country and lifestyle real estate nationwide, United Country Real Estate is predicting continued stability, strength and growth in non-urban real estate.  These markets were more stable during the recession and have rebounded strongly over the last few years. Stop by our office and we can discuss what trends we are seeing in the property you own or are interested in considering in the future.

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Vacation Property Selling Again

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Farmland Values Hold Their Value, Hit More Highs in Multiple States

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Housing Remains Best Investment by Gaining Traction in 2013

February 5, 2014

Housing prices continued to strengthen in December rounding out a year of recovery in 2013. CNN reported on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which showed a 13.6% increase in housing prices nationwide. United Country reported strong increases in nationwide homes in the smaller cities, towns and surrounding, non-urban, market they service in 2013 as well, […]

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Rural Housing, Land Market is on Fire

December 13, 2013

The housing market is looking up nationally and especially in the non-urban regions. CNBC reported a 25.4 percent increase in sales during the month of October. At United Country, we saw a 26.9% increase in October home sales versus 2012 and the numbers keep climbing. In November, we saw an impressive increase of 37.8%  in […]

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