Moving to a coastal town: things to consider
The idea of saying goodbye to city life and moving to an idyllic seaside town is a lifelong dream for many. But before you start the search for your dream home near the coast, there are some things you will want to consider.
How far will my money stretch?
As coastal towns are popular places to live, demand often outstrips supply, so properties are usually a good investment. According to the latest Halifax Seaside Town Review, house prices in seaside towns have increased on average by 25% over the past decade.
Depending on where you are hoping to live and the budget you have, it could mean that you have to buy a smaller property than you own currently. This is especially true if you’re moving from the North of England to the South.
Having your own parking space may be something you take for granted now but many older properties in seaside towns such as St Ives in Cornwall, don’t have a designated spot. And buying a parking space can cost up to £40,000 in some places. New build properties usually come with a driveway with space for at least one car, which can make life more comfortable.
Are there plenty of job opportunities?
Unless you’re retired or don’t need to work, you’ll have to think about job opportunities. Roles in your field may be limited if your chosen town is somewhere remote. You may have to consider a change in career, or commute some distance to work. Traffic is likely to be heavier in the summer months due to the tourists so bear this in mind when calculating your commute times.
It is a good idea to provisionally look at what’s available now and what salary you could expect. Some roles will be needed wherever you choose to live. If you’re a teacher or nurse, for instance, there should be opportunities everywhere.
Research amenities and transport in the local area
Do your research on the amenities available in the local area and neighbouring cities. Large seaside towns often have shops, a cinema and other leisure facilities but some smaller seaside towns don’t offer as much in the form of shopping and entertainment, especially outside of peak times.
Transport such as buses and trains may be less frequent than you’re used to. Driving could be the best option if you are somewhere more remote. Consider how children would get to and from school, friends' houses, or activities such as swimming or rugby.
Does living by the sea appeal to my whole family?
Living by the sea can be fantastic for young children and adults after a better quality of life. The serenity and tranquility provides lots of opportunities to create happy memories together. But this slower pace of life may not suit everyone in your family. For those that are keen on water-sports and long coastal walks, living by the coast will be a dream come true. But for those into a buzzing bar and restaurant scene, may struggle to settle.
Bear in mind that with a steady influx of tourists, seaside towns can get busy over the summer months. Some people love the calmer winter months and the buzz over the summer, whereas others will not. If you have teenagers, ask them how they would feel about the change in pace.
If you do choose to move to the coast, you may become popular with friends and family looking for a weekend break, so it's worth looking for a home that’s big enough for a guest bedroom.
How will it impact my health?
Various studies have shown that living near the sea can positively impact your health and wellbeing. Being close to nature and open water has been linked with lower stress levels and better mental health. In addition, coastal areas generally have cleaner air which can lead to better sleep patterns and reduced risk of respiratory and pulmonary disorders.
If your health requires you to have immediate access to a hospital, then you need to consider the location and practicality of your favourite seaside town. Ensure that you’re not looking at a substantial drive if the need arises for urgent medical assistance.
Getting to know the area
Before moving to an area, you need to be sure it’s right for you. If you are unsure about buying a property, perhaps try renting on a six-month lease before taking the plunge. Or consider taking weekend breaks during different times of the year. Invite friends and family along to gauge their opinions. Take time to explore the area, meet the locals, visit the shops, and feel certain that you’re making the right move.
If you have children, you’ll want to ensure they are going to a reputable school. Check local OFSTED ratings, and arrange meetings with your preferred schools before making a decision. Be aware that there may not be many schools to choose from, and that they might be a commute away from the town you wish to move to.
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