1. Invest your time in careful budgeting
The good thing about buying a house, and especially a beachfront house, with a spouse is that your credit scores help each other. We were both reasonable with our expenses for years, as we were dreaming about owning a house on a beach for a long time. Still, there was so much paperwork, and going through the approval process was quite stressful. Not to mention timing the end of the lease and the purchase of our new house.
So, we had to calculate every little detail and hope for the best. In the end, we somehow managed to omit a few things that could have somewhat complicated our relocation. If you plan on following our steps, do make sure you:
- Keep an impeccable credit score for your pre-approval. It gives you an edge over other people interested in buying the same beachfront property
- Don't spend every last cent on the house purchase. There are so many expenses following, closing costs included. And we actually split them with the seller 50-50
- Plan your yearly expenses, particularly beach house insurance, pest control, and maintenance, but also the local real estate taxes
- Take into account what, when and from how far are you relocating to the California coast, and avoid unpleasant last-minute surprises
- Consider renting your beachfront property. We were not planning on it at first, but we got a few offers to rent it while we're away
2. DOn't forget about moving costs
Moving expenses were almost too much, but it was our fault entirely (another raised eyebrow). In the end, we had to plan the budget carefully because we came dangerously close to our upper limit. Our savings were drying up just too quickly. You'd expect it when buying a beach house in California, but not on that level.
And that has nothing to do with my insisting (now both eyebrows went up) that we find a beach home in lovely Marin County that is perhaps a tiny bit more expensive than other beachfront locations in the Bay Area. We were saving for this; it made perfect sense to get the best of it. However, we almost made an oversight that could have ruined everything at the last moment. We hadn't asked for a moving quote on time, and we were about to move plenty of heavy things long-distance, during peak season.
Luckily, we got a good recommendation and arranged for an interstate move with unexpected ease. Even though we seriously considered moving on our own at first, we ultimately gave up on a DIY move. Now, when I look back, I'm happy that we did. We had so much other work to complete before the move, and I couldn't possibly think about packing, loading, driving, and unloading. We're still unpacking, almost a year after the move, but I blame the slow beachfront life for that.