Buying a coastal cottage? Here’s what you need to know

Published Dec 3, 2018 – 3 mins read

Are you thinking of buying a coastal cottage? With our help, that dream can turn into a reality.  There are beautiful cottages available all around the UK coast and demand for them is high. That means that if you see one you like, you may think with your heart and not your head and jump in to buying a property that may not be quite right for you in the long run.

When searching for properties located in prime coastal locations, many of the factors you will take into account will not differ significantly from those associated with any other property.

There are though some other factors that are perhaps also relevant when considering coastal living …

Which coastal location in the UK?

Some coastal locations are superb and already highly sought after. That has the big attraction of meaning that probably the local infrastructures are already in place and well established for coastal cottage occupation. That might also mean though that competition for properties will be high.

However, not all coastal locations in Britain are already highly developed in terms of the property market and prices.

Many of the most established coastal locations are within easy reach of London, further afield there are some areas that are becoming more popular. In the northeast and northwest of England there are several coastal towns we are increasingly asked to find property within, despite hearsay they get a surprisingly large amount of sun year round.

What will the property be used for?

It’s important to understand what the local regulations are relating to that.  Some local authorities have rules designed to prohibit property purchases as second or holiday homes.

Will your coastal cottage purely be for use of you and your family as a weekend or holiday retreat, as a permanent home, or as a holiday let? If the former, then you don’t have to worry about choosing a property that will appeal to holidaymakers, so maybe can choose somewhere more remote.

If the latter and you need a mortgage, you’ll need to ensure your mortgage is specific to the use of the property – a financial advisor will be able to help you secure the correct type of lending.

If this will be your permanent home – you plan on downsizing perhaps and having a quieter pace of life – then our article: What to consider when moving from London to the country will give you some ideas of what you need to think about.

Do you want a busy seaside hotspot or quiet coastal retreat?

There are lots of seaside towns that are like the equivalent to living in a city but by the sea. Brighton on the south coast, for example, has lots of independent shops and pops-ups, as well as the usual high street shops, lots of restaurants and big name employers such as American Express. It also offers an easy commute in to London.

Compare this say to Worbarrow Bay in Tyneham, Dorset the site of an abandoned village – properties in the nearby Kimmeridge offer large family homes in quiet settings.

Think about travel

Some coastal locations can be siren-like in their picturesque appeal but they may not have particularly good links to the main road and rail transport networks. If you plan to use the property as a weekend getaway, you probably won’t want somewhere that’s a huge driving time distance away

Some quiet coastal areas offer a highly desirable and tranquil lifestyle. That might be what you’re searching for but keep in mind that if the local amenities are a long way away, that might be inconvenient at times.

Are you considering a listed coastal retreat?

While an old, historically rich cottage may be a dream, don’t forget that these types of properties come with extra costs and restrictions. Read our article: Buying a listed or graded building? Here’s what you need to know.

Coastal erosion

Many people dream of a whitewashed cottage located on a cliff or harbourside with stunning views. They do exist! However, take advice on subsidence and coastal erosion risks. Don’t forget also to consider any flood risks that may arise in the local area.  These at-risk areas are normally readily highlighted and a surveyor should be able to advise you on the specific risks, if any, associated with a given property and its location.

Buying a coastal property

Coastal cottages in attractive locations are always in high demand.  This inevitably has an effect on prices and competition.

The UK coastline is long and highly diverse.  So, your first task should be to identify the area or areas that you would like to find a property.

A professional property finder might then be able to save you huge amounts of time by identifying high-quality qualifying properties that will be of interest, based upon your criteria for coastal living.

It cannot be stressed strongly enough just how dynamic the market can be where quality coastal properties are concerned.  Many such properties never even make it onto the open market through estate agents. They are often sold through established networks of property professionals.

That is something we at Garrington will be delighted to engage in on your behalf, to learn more please, contact us.