Best place to buy a small house by the ocean?

Old Aug 11th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Best place to buy a small house by the ocean?

OK Here's my plan. In 10 years I'm packing up everything and buying a small house by the ocean probably somewhere in the US but I'm open. I want to be able to walk on the beach every day without too many neighbors. Could go warm or cold weather. However, I don't want to be so far from a city that I get "island fever". Thoughts anyone?
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Save a whole lot of money before you start looking.

Any house on the ocean and near a city is going to be a fortune.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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I know that the real estate sales in the Outer Banks, NC, have been bad, recently. OBX is about two hours from Norfolk, VA. A lot of owners live there in the winter, and then travel for two months in the summer while their house is rented.

Topsail Beach is further south, and real estate prices might be more reasonable there.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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This is a complicated question. It very much depends on your finances, health, and unknown future real estate situations 10 years ahead.

10 years ago, I would have said Maui. But now, unless you have upwards of 2 million to spend, forgettaboudit. In 10 years, at the current rate of inflation, you would need 3+ million to purchase the same property.

It sounds like you need to do some retirement planning. There are many sites on the web that can start you looking. I think you need to do a great deal of research about what sort of financial situation you will be in, and take a hard look at affordable real estate. I think you will be lucky to find a condo in a beach town in 10 years.

How much were you thinking about paying for a place?
 
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 01:30 PM
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How big a city do you want to be close to?

Think about the Oregon or Washington coasts, keeping in mind that Seattle-Tacoma, Eugene, and Portland all require that you drive inland.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Be aware that "on" the ocean and "near" the ocean can make a huge difference with taxes and insurance!!
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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You're absolutely right, nytraveler. Any place on the ocean will rip a hole in my pocket, however, I've decided that's what my pocket will be intended for even though I expect it will be a fortune.

And yes, Ag3046, this move will be reliant on many conditions that can't be foreseen. I don't know if I'll have the good health or the bucks or even the same desire to live at the beach 10 years from now but I know that chances of it just "happening" are slim and none. I donít have a solid figure on what Iíll be able to spend but that's why I really appreciate everyone's comments. It helps me ready myself to be able to make a choice rather than feel like I have none to make.

And thanks for your Maui suggestion, however, I just got back a month ago and although I love it there, I would definitely suffer from island fever within a year. And yes, I recognize that I could travel off the island but that's not my intention. Many thanks for the suggestion, though.

I did stay in a great beach house in Emerald Isle, North Carolina about 15 years ago and loved it. As I remember the sands were white and clean and the ocean both inviting and accessible. Perhaps you're right, FlyingMaltese, The Outer Banks or even Topsail Beach may be just for me. Have you been there recently?

At the other end of the spectrum, how about ocean front property in Maine? Iíve never been there. Any thoughts?


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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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I'd suggest somewhere like the Delmarva peninsula (like Rehoboth or Lewes) or the Jersey shore. Yes, it will be crowded during the summer but you will have at least 7-8 months of relative quiet. Both locations are within 2-3 hours of three major metropolican areas (Washington-Baltimore, Philly-Wlimington, or NYC).
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Wait, that's my dream! You mentioned Emerald Isle, NC. That is where we vacation for two weeks every September. Yes, the beaches are still great. We've been going for over 15 years and while there has been some development, it is more in the nature of good things (from my perspective) like a couple of restaurants that don't fry everything and a good wine store. Anyway, I've been looking at real estate prices on and off, and a nice beachfront house, not too large, not too ancient is easily $1 million plus. You can get a couple of rows back for $600,000 to $750,000ish.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Cape Cod may be your answer. Only an hour from Boston it offers 15 towns to choose from each of which has at least one side on the Ocean, some with a beach on the ocean and another on Cape Cod or Buzzzards Bay.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 08:06 PM
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Second Delmarva! Doesn't get quite the same hurricane activity as NC or quite the same long winter as ME.

Outside the US, if you're open enough...go with Cuba. In ten years, hopefully the differences will be worked out and there is amazing coastal land in Cuba for reasonable prices.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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So, can an american buy property in Cuba? If so, how? If not, how does one go about setting up something for "the future"?
 
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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I'd second Delaware peninsula altho' I'd much prefer cliffs !

I know the only coastal real estate I could afford is deeded timeshare
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 08:29 PM
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This may be seem like a strange suggestion but many southern californias (as well as canadians) are retiring to the baja pennisula to nice developments in or near Rosarita Beach, Ensenada, etc. The prices are a little better, and Mexico now allows foreigners to buy property (there are restrictions so check with a reputable banker). I know people who have done this and are extremely happy.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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Ag3046,
I highly doubt an American could rightfully buy a property in Cuba right now.

Political differences aside, the OP asked about 10 years from now and my post stated that in TEN years, HOPEFULLY our differences would be worked out...and therefore, Americans would be able to own property in Cuba.

The OP did not ask about buying a house NOW for "the future".

A lot can change in ten years.

Sorry for the little detour from the actual post...I was serious about my thoughts on Cuba.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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nanabee - we know of a few who have done this as well - no one I am very close with to ask - is it still the leasehold where it "expires" in 100 years or something like that? I remember some strange law like that? Or was that one too many margaritas in Puerto Nuevo??
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 09:22 PM
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dawnnoel:
yes i believe it is a 100 yr lease, but you can also sell the property as you would any real estate here in the u.s.

there are very large numbers of u.s. and canadian expats living in Puerto Vallarta, Gudadlajara, Carmen la Playa, Merida, etc. It might be worth checking out as another option.
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 09:37 PM
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True...you don't say whether you are American or not. Makes a difference to a minor degree. Cuba - if you're Canadian you are OK. If US citizen, you can't. In fact, you can't even go there without cause and US approval (even tho you can have a great week there via Bahamas or Mexico as example and be sure they don't stamp your passport either way, which is not a problem!). We are retiring in 2 years to Costa Rica.....you can have the high cost of American beaches....and everything else!
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Old Aug 11th, 2007, 10:09 PM
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All the new developments in Baja are FEE ownership - not 100-year leases. That's the big new attraction.
 
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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thanks dmlove for that information.
what is fee ownership mean for an american or foreigner?
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