HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
There’s a lot to consider when in the market for a beach house
BEACHY is a term Anastasia Howard hears a lot in her line of work as a Mornington Peninsula real estate agent.
It’s the key search term buyers use when they’re looking for a holiday home along the coast from Rye to Portsea.
While many find their little piece of paradise, others discover that owning a holiday home is not for them.
“We find that a lot of our turnover is from people who have bought a house within the past 18 months or two years and then find they don’t use it like they thought they would,” said Ms Howard, managing director of JP Dixon’s Rye and Portsea/ Sorrento offices.
She said it was a good idea for those considering a holiday home to try before they buy.
“That’s quite a common occurrence,” she said. “About 5 per cent of our permanent rentals are people that just use it as a holiday home.
“They rent it permanently and just come down and use it on weekends and when they’re on holidays.
“They’re often doing that so they can see how much they’ll use a home, or whether they enjoy maintaining a property.”
Others tried by renting homes in holiday destinations short-term before buying.
Ms Howard said being close to the beach and having outdoor living areas were key features on the ‘‘must have’’ lists for holiday home buyers.
“They’re coming down to relax, so good outdoor entertaining areas are always sought after, not only in their own homes, but for people who intend to rent their property, because guests are looking to enjoy outdoor spaces,” she said.
She said there were two types of buyers at the southern end of the peninsula: those who wanted a nearby bay beach and those who wanted an ocean view.
Ms Howard said the ocean views were gorgeous all year round and were connected to walking trails in coastal reserves, while bayside properties were closer to shops.
Great Ocean Road Real Estate, Lorne, director Ian Stewart said the best ocean views were often from more elevated blocks.
“It comes down to what’s the primary consideration — are you looking to purchase for your own use and enjoyment where you want your kids to be able to come and go without mum and dad having to be a taxi service, or is it totally uninterrupted views that you’re after,” he said.
Mr Stewart said 66 per cent of buyers in Lorne were from Melbourne and as the temperature rose so did demand. “The moment the seven-day weather forecast comes out and it’s looking hot for the weekend, our accommodation phones are ringing off the hook, as everyone’s thinking let’s sneak down to the coast for the weekend,” he said
While it’s not uncommon for coastal dream homes to have multimillion-dollar price tags, demand is still strongest in the middle-price bracket on both sides of the bay.
“There’s huge demand for the less expensive little beach houses because there’s always those buyers out there who have $500,000 in their pocket,” Ms Howard said.
“Buyers are often saying they want a beachy feel to their house. If they’re living in the suburbs of Melbourne, they don’t want to come down to a suburban-type house here.”
Ms Howard said good capital growth meant a holiday home could be a solid investment.
And those happy to rent out their holiday home could generate income to pay the bills.
Bellarine Property managing director Christian Bartley said the days of the holiday beach shack were numbered, with buyers paying up to $3.9 million in Barwon Heads.
“Now we’re seeing an increase in demand for four bedrooms, a pool and garaging,” he said. “The home down here is reasonably similar or even better than their primary residence.”
But finding a holiday home in and around Barwon Heads could be a greater challenge than having the budget.
Mr Bartley said better capital growth prospects meant more buyers were holding on to their properties, even if they were not using them as often.
“If you’re not using it, put a tenant in it,” Mr Bartley said.
“It’s worth holding onto an asset if the market is performing well.”