Wake up and walk from your home to the ocean, and spend weekends surfing and playing footy on the beach… there’s no denying that owning a house on the beach is the ultimate Australian dream. While beach homes have always seemed to be inaccessible for buyers, there are plenty of ways for you to turn your dream of owning beachfront property into a reality.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to buy a beach house in Australia, here’s what you need to know.
Finding the cheapest beachfront property in Australia: location, location, location
If you’re looking for affordable waterfront homes, the best option is to look outside the capital cities. Median prices for a house on the beach range from $175,000 in Seaspray, Victoria and $440,000 in The Entrance, NSW; while the median price in Sorrento, Victoria, or Sunshine Beach, Queensland, is well over $1 million.
In 2018, the most affordable suburbs for beachfront properties in Australia are:
- Seaspray, VIC, with a median price of $175,000
- Loch Sport, VIC, with a median price of $182,500
- Cape Jervis, SA, with a median price of $202,000
- Golden Beach, VIC, with a median price of $212,500
- Port Albert, VIC with a median price of $216,500
- Portland, VIC with a median price of $220,000
- Wallaroo, SA, with a median price of $250,000
- Kingston South-East, SA, with a median price of $255,000
- Wonthaggi, VIC, with a median price of $258,500
- Streaky Bay, SA, with a median price of $260,000
It’s also important to consider growth rates if you want to make capital gains. Although they’re more expensive, beachfront properties on the Mornington Peninsula are a great long term investment: with a median price around $700,000, and an annual growth value of 9%, these waterfront homes are ideal if you’re looking to sell in the future.
Buy out of season for a better deal on waterfront homes
While it can be tempting to buy a beachfront house in the lead-up to summer, you’ll be more likely to secure a better deal during autumn or winter. Prices rise in spring and summer as people start considering their holiday housing plans, or as tourists visit a new spot and fall in love with it – and this demand generally drives up house prices.
If you have your sights set on a specific location for your beach house, it’s best to research the historical median prices and market demand per month. This will give you an idea of when prices are at their lowest.
Do your due diligence before buying a beach house
Owning beachfront property can be amazing, but the maintenance costs can quickly add up if you’re not careful. Due to their location, beach houses are prone to erosion and wind damage, as well as water damage and mold. Look for a property with brick foundations, and make sure to conduct a thorough inspection to make sure there aren’t hidden issues that could cause financial strain down the line.
Looking ahead, you’ll also need to have budget set aside for repairs and regular check-ups to make sure your house doesn’t have any structural damage. Many quieter beaches may have fewer tradesmen available, which also means you may have to wait a long time for repairs or renovations – or pay a premium.
Consider renting out your house on the beach
Whether it’s your holiday house or your main home, beachfront property is always hot on the market – and this means it’s easy to rent out for short or mid-term stays. If you’re going away for the weekend or on holiday, try listing your property on home sharing platforms like Airbnb. Likewise, if you’re planning to live in your property during certain times (like weekends), or only over a few months in the summer, you can also consider renting it out on weekdays or for longer stays.
RELATED: Renting your property on Airbnb
If you’re buying a beach house with the intention to rent it out, look for a place with a view of the ocean and more bedrooms. Both these factors will significantly increase the likelihood of your property getting rented out, as well as your rental yield.
Whether you’re looking to invest in a permanent home by the sea, or a holiday house for family summers, there are plenty of ways to turn the Australian dream of owning waterfront property into a reality.
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