by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.
Is an oceanfront lot on your bucket list?
So you want to buy a lot on the beach. If you’re an American, that’s probably an item on your bucket list.
Right now, at this moment, there are 15 oceanfront lots available for sale locally. They range in price from $165,000 all the way up to $1.3 million.
A disclaimer: the lot for $165,000 is offered by St. Augustine Team’s very own Amy Cap0 (Amy@AmyCapo.com , 904-814-6974). It is located at 9433 Old A1A, just click on the address or contact Amy to find out more.
So why the difference in price?
Well, you are right to assume they are all located in front of the very same Atlantic Ocean.
Your view of the ocean could be a little different on each of the lots depending on what type of home you want to build, or in some cases, the home you are required to build. So this might factor in the price.
For example, your home may have to be built behind the dune line, which would mean you will have to build at least a two story home to see the ocean. Or, your lot might be located in such a way that you actually look down or are looking straight out at the ocean. In this case you still might be required to build a two story home by the county, with the first story essentially being pilings/piers, which you could enclose but not live in (it could be used as a garage or storage).
Another thing that could factor in is rarity. The lot offered at $1.3 million is/are actually two adjacent lots that stretch from the beach on the east all the way to the Intracoastal waterway on the west: a very rare parcel indeed. However, is it worth $1.3 million? That’s for you to decide.
Getting A Loan
Getting a loan to buy an oceanfront parcel is probably not going to happen for you in 2013, unless you already have deep pockets. Isn’t that the way it always is, though? The people that already have the money are the only people that can get the loan.
Why? Well, banks, especially local banks, got burned badly on lot loans during the real estate boom.
Banks these days figure if someone gets into financial trouble, which are they going to quit paying first: their lot loan or their home loan? Yep, the lot. So there’s still not a lot of lot lending going on right now, no pun intended.
So You Will Need Cash
If you have the cash (maybe not a lot of cash) you could always buy the lot now and build later.
But a better idea is to buy now and build now, at least so you can get a building footprint down, in case future zoning or building requirements change for the lot.
Maybe you have $300,000 to spend. Spend $165,000 to get Amy’s lot (do your due diligence as part of the inspection period to verify with the county what and where you can build there).
So now you have $135,000 left over. Build (essentially) a 2-bedroom, 2-bath concrete block pillbox, just like they did in the 1950s.
I sold one about 7 years ago on Medoras Avenue (a block off the ocean) that was built in 1958. It was very plain jane, but at 1300 square feet it was snug, comfortable, and the structure has now handled 55 years of ocean weather.
You want to get even more extreme? Make your walls three feet thick.
St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos was built in 1672. At sea level. That’s some seriously good construction.
Hire St. Augustine Team Realty when you are looking to buy or sell your oceanfront lot! Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Associate (Sales) Kate Stevens at (904) 377-2276.