Is a beach house a good investment?

Pros and cons of investing in a beach house
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Salty sea breezes. Epic orange sunsets. The sound of waves lapping onto the sand. It’s little wonder that waking up in a beach house is every traveler’s dream. It’s also a dream of smart investors hoping to capitalize on the coast’s universal appeal.

Vacasa manages beach vacation rentals from San Diego to Sandbridge, Costa Rica to Cape Cod. We’ve seen the upsides and challenges of beachfront vacation rental properties and know exactly what to expect. Let’s break down the pros and cons here.

bright and open beach house on the oregon coast

Pros: Buying a beach house as an investment

Higher rates and occupancy

A beach investment property can be a fantastic earner. Generally, travelers are willing to shell out more and pay a premium to stay at the beach over inland destinations. Even better, it’s not uncommon for beach homes in popular destinations to be booked out entirely during peak season.

A lifestyle of health and wellness

Warm sand, soothing ocean waves, fresh air in your lungs. Owning a piece of coastal property isn’t just an asset for your portfolio, but also your well-being. Not to mention the seemingly endless activities and adventures—surfing, swimming, paddleboarding, boating, biking, and more.

A personal seaside retreat

Family beach bonfires at sunset. Early morning jogs on the shore with your dog. Having your own beach house can make this all happen. Plus, there’s no better place to stash your water toys, such as paddle boards, surfboards, kayaks, and beach cruisers.

A future retirement home or sizable nest egg

Years from now, your home’s value could be up and your mortgage payments paid down. Consider investing in upgrades and amenities that can boost your appreciation, such as a pool or a hot tub. When the time comes, you can cash in on the profits from selling your home. Or, kick back and enjoy your well-earned retirement in your beach house.

Tax benefits

If you rent out your beach house for more than 14 days a year, you may be eligible for vacation rental tax deductions. Possible tax-deductible expenses include HOA fees, cleaning costs, property management fees, and furniture and supplies. We recommend reaching out to a CPA to help you understand the vacation rental investment tax codes and tax laws for your state.

The fire area overlooking a the ocean during sunset at a Fort Bragg vacation rental.

Cons: Buying a beach house as an investment

Ongoing maintenance and expenses

Salty sea air and constant exposure to the harsh coastal elements can take a toll on beachfront properties, requiring regular upkeep and repairs. From repainting the exterior to replacing corroded fixtures, these costs can add up over time.

Environmental concerns and natural disasters

Hurricanes and tropical storms can happen in many beachfront locations. These natural disasters can cause severe damage to properties, resulting in expensive repairs and potential loss of rental income. Insurance premiums may also be higher in these areas due to the increased risk of hurricanes.

Seasonality

While the summer months may bring in a steady stream of vacationers, the off-season can be much quieter. Depending on the location, you may have to rely on a few peak months to cover the expenses for the entire year. Or consider locations that appeal to snowbirds and other visitors year-round, such as Southern California and the Gulf Coast.

How to get more bookings during low season >

Changing regulations and short-term rental laws

Many cities—beachfront or not—have local laws and regulations that can limit how long you can rent out your vacation rental property, how often, or if you can rent it out at all. Your best bet? Refer to our latest list of top places to buy a beach house. This list only features destinations that allow short-term rentals, ranked by return on investment.

Mounting property management responsibilities

Vacation rentals take work. From marketing to house cleaning, to communicating with guests, to adjusting rates, to stocking your home, to juggling multiple booking calendars. Many vacation homeowners compare it to a second job. One solution: Vacation rental property managers—like Vacasa—who can relieve you of these hassles and handle everything to care for your vacation home and guests.

See what Vacasa can do for you >

Tips for maximizing your beach rental income

1. Consider destinations that offer more than just a beach

Think beach boardwalks with restaurants, shops, parks, and family-friendly activities. These types of coastal vacation spots draw more travelers than those without fun attractions.

2. Choose a beach house right on the water

It could be worthwhile to invest in a waterfront property that opens right to the beach versus a home that is blocks away.

These properties are generally more sought after by guests, can command higher rates, and are easier to market.

3. Evaluate beach markets with year-round potential

For many destinations, peak season is during the warm, summer months. During this high-demand period, you may expect back-to-back reservations and consistent rental income. During the off-season, it’s likely those bookings will hit a lull. Try not to depend on a single season of income.

It’s important to note that several beach destinations may not be obvious year-round gems until you take a closer look. For example, the blustery Oregon Coast surprisingly continues to lure tourists even in the winter, with its opportunities for storm watching.

4. Look for optimal beach house features and amenities

With the right amenities, your beach rental can stand out from the competition and maximize your property’s earning potential. Some amenities beach-goers appreciate:

  • Pool
  • Hot tub
  • Golf cart
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor living space, such as a deck, patio, or lanai
  • Portable beach chairs and umbrellas
  • Portable cooler
  • Boogie boards
  • Beach games and toys
  • Beach cruiser bikes
  • Roasting sticks for s’mores
  • Pet-friendliness

Beach house investment FAQ

With a well-kept property, in a popular destination, with sought-after amenities—yes, it’s possible for a beach house rental to pay for itself by offsetting your mortgage and other expenses.

Start with your favorite stretch of coastline. One of the perks of owning a beach home is having your own seaside retreat to escape to. Then, consider our list of the Best Places to Buy a Beach House which highlights destinations that typically deliver a good return on investment. It’s also a smart investment strategy to consider beach locales that draw visitors year-round and that offer attractions such as fun beach boardwalks, dining, shopping, and other family-friendly activities.

Many amenities can boost your beach rental bookings.

  • The closer you are to the beach, the better your profit potential. Rentals with ocean views tend to command a higher rate than those without.
  • On average, being pet-friendly can earn you as much as 15% more rental income.
  • A pool—whether private or included in the condo community—is considered a top amenity for beach-goers.
  • The same goes for outdoor living space, hot tubs, boat docks or slips, parking, and an outdoor shower to wash off after a day on the beach.

Yes, a beach house can be profitable. Travelers are generally willing to pay a premium to stay at the beach, especially if you buy a property in a popular beach town or right on the shore. During peak season, it’s not uncommon for beach homes to be fully booked.

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.