While having a sea view is desirable in a holiday property, beware the potential downfalls…
For Brits, a home by the coast goes together like love and marriage.
But our all-too-recent knowledge of problems like floods, global warming and property insurance – all features of living in Britain in recent years – means we must be practical.
‘Decide where your personal limits lie. There are cliffs that have stayed put for 100 years and others moving inland by a foot per decade. It’s like buying a leasehold: 999-year lease excellent, 99-year lease OK, 20-year lease bad,’ explains David Brooke-Smith of Stacks Property Search, a buying agency operating in many coastal areas of southern England.
If you take the plunge – figuratively speaking – there are sensible tips for shrewd buyers. For example, do not get carried away buying a property for its view without a survey, especially if the area receives ‘full frontal’ coastal storms. Many sea-view homes are high maintenance because of wind and salt damage, so budget for this. Visit out of season to judge a seaside town during winter months, when some shops or facilities may close.
Also ensure a would-be home is not at risk of having a development built in front (removing the view that may have persuaded you to buy in the first place) and, finally, check those tidal conditions and flood prevention programmes. Such practicalities are important but, for most people, they are a price worth paying for families of all ages to enjoy living by the water. Here’s the lowdown on Britain’s three most popular coastal locations for second homes according to a survey for the National Association of Estate Agents.
Dorset: ‘Poole and Sandbanks have some of the UK’s most expensive real estate, with a distinct Miami/Malibu feel. To the west is Swanage, a traditional seaside town with the nearby Purbeck coastline boasting some of Dorset’s loveliest landscapes,’ says Robin Gould of Prime Purchase. Knight Frank is selling a 26-acre site with uninterrupted views of Chesil Beach and holiday cottages included, plus consent for an eight-bedroom modern home for £3m.
Wales: Go beyond Swansea and the coast is amongst the most unspoilt in the UK. There’s the Worm’s Head on the Gower, right up to the dolphins swimming off the northern coast near Anglesey, with great value for money. At Langland on the Gower there is a six-bedroom Georgian-style modern home with amazing bay views on sale – and all for just £995,000.
Cornwall: Padstow, Polzeath and Rock are north coast tourist honeypots. ‘If you’re buying as a holiday let, then there’s great demand all year,’ says Jonathan Bramwell of The Buying Solution. The south coast is more sailing oriented – and nowhere more so than St Mawes, close to Falmouth. Summer and Winter cottages, in a north Cornwall cove, have five bedrooms between them and the most stunning location. Selling as a pair for £3m through Jackson Stops & Staff.