Trendy farm-to-table restaurants and newcomers to the “slow food” movement are getting on board with what chefs in the tropics have always known — that is, that fresh grub harvested and produced nearby is far tastier than packaged-and-preserved imports. (Bring on the coconut and tropical fruit, please.)
It’s probably possible to lean back in a deck chair and watch the sun set over the ocean without a beachy drink in hand, but who wants to find out? Whether you’re clinking glasses at a casita on the Gulf of Mexico or at a condo in Miami, a good host has a house specialty (and can whip up a pitcher of it in no time flat).
Make This: Sol de Flare Cocktail
In a home with a priceless view, that view can take center stage — no embellishment necessary. (If you just happen to have a big vintage surf poster collection, of course, it’d be pretty odd to leave it out of your beachfront home. Otherwise, don’t worry about a gallery wall.)
Large and luxurious spaces are nice, but cheery and humble ones are just as fun. If you’ve got a well-stocked fridge, you’ll be fine without granite countertops — promise.
The whooshing sound of waves registers as a non-threat that tells our brains “don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry,” according to a sleep researcher from Penn State. No wonder white noise machines with “ocean” settings — and bedrooms that face the sea — are so popular.
The easiest way to sidestep the inflation, overcrowding, and tackiness of popular destinations is, well, to sidestep those destinations. Prices and the odds of having to fight for a spot on the beach often drop when you’re willing to look past resort towns and keep going a few miles down the road.
In some cases that means a five-minute walk to the shore instead of a budget-busting vacation home right on the water; in other cases it means agreeing to a move-in-ready property because your spouse has subtly indicated that too-ambitious DIY projects will land you in marriage counseling. Happily, the beach is worth it.
An occasionally unoccupied home can help pay for itself if local authorities are comfortable with you renting it out when you’re not in town (and you’re comfortable with sharing your stuff with strangers). Given what that revenue could add to your budget, sharing your stuff sounds pretty good, no?
Buyers with an eye on the beach are willing to forgo details that some of us hold dear in order to realize their dreams: who cares about a private bathroom or a washer-dryer when the ocean is right outside? “Nothing is better than simplicity,” Walt Whitman once said. He also said, “to me the sea is a continual miracle.” Coincidence?
Beachfront homes are all play and no work, hopefully; shouldn’t they be full of things that make you smile? Come to think of it, shouldn’t all living spaces function that way?
It’s hard to beat curling up with a mug of hot cocoa and watching the snow fall — but it’s not impossible.
What happens after those "congratulations on moving to paradise!" toasts at the end of TV shows? My husband and I finally found out.
Kathleen and Tim reside in San Antonio, Texas, and have been married for 10 years. After spending several family vacations in the quaint gulf coast community of Rockport, they're tired of paying for hotel rooms and would love to purchase a beach house of their own. They found the perfect place and made an offer but couldn't come to terms with the owner on a price and the deal fell through. Now, with the help of real estate agent, Patty Henderson, Kathleen and Tim are taking one more shot at making their beachfront dreams come true.
Eight years ago Robert moved from Los Angeles, California, to the small Pacific island of Guam. He currently resides inland, in the town of Dededo and commutes six miles to his job in Tamuning. But due to the high volume of traffic on the island, the drive can last up to one hour each way. Tired of dealing with his inconvenient proximity to both his job as well as Guam's beautiful beaches, Robert will enlist the help of real estate agent, Norma Del Carmen, who can hopefully find him an oceanfront condo in the town of Tamuning for $225,000 or less.
Michael and Margaret are from Putnam Valley, New York and have three daughters, Kaitlyn, Madelyn, and Victoria. While searching for the perfect vacation destination, they visited every beach in North Carolina before finally settling on Ocean Isle Beach. With the help of real estate agent, Laura Hewett, they hope to find the perfect beachfront house for under $375,000.
Jennifer and her father, David, are looking for a beachfront vacation home on Ambergris Caye, Belize. With Jennifer living in Missouri and David in Alberta, Canada, Belize will offer them a place to gather and relax together. With the help of local real estate agent, Brittany McCann, Jennifer and David look to find a sun-soaked fortress for family fun, all for under $375,000.
Troy Bell fell in love with the sand, sea, and sunshine after his first trip to Florida as a teenager with his parents. After this life changing experience, the native Canadian vowed that when he grew up he was going to move out of rainy Vancouver and into his very own tropical beach house. Now after several trips to Central America, Troy has his sights set on the shores of the Coclé Province of Panama, in the town of Rio Hato. The fabulous sandy beaches, glistening turquoise water, and incomparable climate, are the perfect setting for a seaside sanctuary. With the help of real estate agent and fellow ex-pat, Eldon Spears, Troy hopes to fulfill his beachfront dreams for under $200,000.
April and Robert currently live in Stamford, Connecticut and are looking for a beach home in Branford, Connecticut. Located along the Long Island Sound, this New England town is the perfect place for this couple to unwind after long shifts working as a nurse and paramedic. Plus, moving north to a more affordable county will make it easier to find a property close to the water. With the help of local real estate agent, Vicky Welch, this young couple is searching to scope out a spot with a sea view all for under $350,000.
After years of saving and countless trips to Mexico, Kenn and Paddy are ready for the life-changing adventure of running their own business. They love the lifestyle and culture of the small fishing village of Chelem, Mexico, and they've enlisted the help of local real estate agent to show them a tropical beachside property they can call home and turn into a bustling bed and breakfast, all for only $195,000.
Chris and Rowena live in East Kingston, New Hampshire, with their three children. They love Hampton Beach and all the great family attractions that it offers, but they're tired of sitting in traffic during the commute. Owning a beachfront place of their own will give them more time to spend together as a family, so they're shopping for the perfect beachfront condo for under $400,000.
Mitch and Randee are newlyweds from Palmer, Alaska, and their blended family consists of five children. Enduring bitter winters her entire life, Randee has always fantasized about finding a tropical vacation getaway for her family. Luckily her childhood friend, Garrett, moved down and opened a real estate company with his father in the pacific coast community of Manta, Ecuador. After chatting over the phone and social media, Garrett opened both Mitch and Randee's eyes to the endless oceanfront possibilities of Ecuador. With his help they hope to achieve Randee's life long dream and find a South American sanctuary for $250,000 or less.
A couple and their two children from Valdosta, Georgia, have rented vacation properties in Miramar Beach, Florida, for years. Now, the couple hopes to generate a rental income of their own to supplement their purchase of a vacation home. With the help of a local agent, they look to purchase the perfect waterfront condo for under $380,000.
Dave and Laura are from Cleveland, Ohio and have been married for 5 years. They are both tired of the cold Midwest winters and are looking for a place where they can be outside more than two months out of the year. They are looking for a home, but also a location with room for a beachfront business. They love Belize and feel like this is the perfect time to make the move. With the help of real estate agent, Chris Appelbe, they hope to find the perfect beachfront property for only $350,000.
A Connecticut bail bondsman looks to escape his hectic schedule and spend more time with his family with a vacation property in Chuburna Puerto, Mexico. This quaint and carefree fishing village offers everything for busy beach-goers who crave access to the amenities of larger cities as well as stunning stretches of peaceful, undiscovered sands. The area's surging real estate market has prices on the rise so this family of four is cruising the coast to find a much-needed retreat without breaking the bank.
An Oregon couple hopes to find the perfect beachfront home. They've spent years vacationing in different parts of the Caribbean and have fallen in love with the culture in Placencia, Belize. With a location set, will their budget be enough to find them the dream home they're looking for?
Anthony and Hun need a sunny beach home. Real Estate Agent Mikey Hahn will show them four potential properties. Come along as they search for a beach home with lots of space that's steps from the beach all for under their budget of $375,000.
Corey and Emily last lived in Guam and have come to love the beach lifestyle. After moving to Virginia, they still don't have a house near the sand and are enlisting the help of real estate agent, Eric Byrum, to find them a full time home, both seaside and spacious, all for under $199,000.
Dave has spent most of his life dedicated to the Canadian telecommunications industry. Constantly working sixteen-hour days, nearly to seven days a week, there's no time for him to slow down and relax. After reevaluating his situation Dave has decided to ditch his intense, fast paced lifestyle and find an oceanfront retreat where he can throttle down and find some peace and tranquility. While exploring the shores of Ecuador, Dave found a beautiful beach in the remote fishing village of Crucita. He loves that it's an authentic South American town, yet has restaurants and shops nearby. His budget is $100,000, which is a low number for a house on the coastline, but he hopes his real estate agent, Tom Saunders will help him find the perfect place to settle down, without having to sacrifice too much.
Bill is a high school teacher and coach from Camarillo, California. He has been visiting and renting in Maui for over six years, but has finally saved enough to purchase a place of his own. With diverse landscapes and breathtaking scenery, this Hawaiian island is the perfect place for Bill to unwind during his summers off. A local real estate agent helps Bill find a dream vacation home of his own for under $300,000.
Scott and Erin are a spontaneous couple from the Florida Keys. After hearing great things about Jaco from fellow Floridians, they decided to start looking for a vacation home even though they had never been to Costa Rica before. With the help of real estate agent, Tim Giannone, they hope to find the perfect beachfront retreat for under $365,000.
After a history of renting, Jason and Marney are ready to live out their waterfront dreams and purchase a home on the sea oat-covered sands of Alligator Point, Florida. Jason's love for fishing has him leaning towards a home on the bay, while Marney would rather be steps away from the beach. With the help of local real estate agent, Marsha Tucker, Jason and Marney look to find a coastal haven on the Forgotten Coast for under $250,000.
Angela currently lives in South Carolina, but she is ready for a change of scenery and wants to move closer to the beach. While weighing her options, she remembered a wonderful family vacation in Gulfport, Mississippi, and immediately decided it would be the perfect city for a fresh start. Now with the help of her best friend Roshonda, Angela hopes to find a beach house in Gulfport for under $350,000.
Shannon has been working and saving her entire life for the opportunity to purchase a beach home. Her two children have traveled the world with her, and they've all decided that Akumal, Mexico, is the ideal spot for a family getaway. They hope to find the perfect vacation home on the Caribbean Sea for under $390,000.
Paul and Shelly live in Morro Bay, California, and love spending time at the beach. However, they currently live far from the water and are looking to move into a new house within walking distance. With West Coast prices climbing out of reach, they know finding a property within their budget will be tough, but they hope to find the perfect beachfront home right on the water for under $375,000.
Andrew and Erin are from Phoenix, Maryland, and have two daughters. With all the kid-friendly attractions Ocean City has to offer, they decide it would be the ideal place to spend some quality family time together. With a boat in tow, they hope to find a place right on the water for under $325,000.
Father-son duo Steve and Kyle are busy accountants that work tirelessly through their hectic season, and when it's all over they're ready to relax and get away. They're looking for a beachfront vacation home for their family in the Wildwoods of New Jersey. Situated on a barrier island, this family beach destination welcomes visitors with the sights and sounds of its legendary boardwalk, set alongside a five-mile stretch of beach. With the help of a local agent, father and son search for an oceanfront crash pad that meets all their needs for under $200,000.
Rebecca and John have been vacationing in Crystal Beach, TX since they were in high school. Having always dreamed of owning a home on the Texas coast, the couple is finally ready to find the perfect beach home all for under $275,000. With dueling budgets, the couple looks to local real estate agent, Luz Gray, to help them find a vacation haven.
Jon and Susan have their heart set on finding a second home in Palm Coast, Florida. They love everything the quaint beach town has to offer and that it's a quick drive away from home. Finding a place big enough for their family of nine and on the water is no easy task, but with the help of local real estate agent, Patricia 'P.J.' Blackmon, they set off to find a beach home fit for their entire family.
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