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Moving to a coastal town

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 your search for your dream home near the coast, there are some things you may 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.

You may have chosen your seaside town based on spending holidays in the area, having friends and family nearby or for one of countless another reasons.

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, especially 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.

Buying a parking space can cost up to £40,000 in some places

New build properties do usually come with a drive for at least one car which can make life much 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. Remember that jobs available in your field may be limited if you’re considering a move to somewhere remote.

You may have to consider a change in career or commute a long distance just to work.

It could be 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. 

Many roles in seaside towns are seasonal and low paid. If you secured a job in a tea room or hotel, you’d probably be busy in the summer, working long hours and then have little to do in the winter months.

Traffic is likely to be heavier in the summer months due to the tourists so it can take you longer to get to places.

Despite the tourists milling at popular beaches, you’ll be able to find local beaches off the beaten path that you can escape to for some serenity. 

Does living by the sea appeal to my whole family?

Seaside towns tend to be busy in the summer months and then quieter for the rest of the year. If you have children and teenagers, could they cope with the change in pace?

Large seaside towns may have shops, a cinema and other leisure facilities but many smaller seaside towns don’t offer much in the form of shopping and entertainment, especially outside of peak times.

Transport can also be an issue as buses and trains may be less frequent than you’re used to.

If you live on the outskirts of a small town, you might need to act as a taxi for the rest of your family if there is no bus stop nearby.

That said, living by the sea can be fantastic for young children and those wanting a better quality of life.

The environment is a unique place to live and should provide lots of opportunities to create many happy memories for you and your family.

Try coastal walks or a new water sport – coastal locations are there to be explored. No longer will you have to pay for holiday accommodation, you’ll already be there.

Friends and family may very well come down for extended stays so it might be worth looking for a home that’s big enough for you to have a guest bedroom. 

How will it impact my health?

Various studies have shown that living near the sea can be better for you, reducing your stress levels and helping you relax.

Sea air can help you get a better night’s sleep and being by the coast with nature on your doorstep can encourage you to exercise more. Many experts believe it can be better for your mental health than living in a city.

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.

You should also consider taking some weekend breaks there during different times of the year and inviting the whole family along to gauge their opinions.

Take time to explore the area, meet the locals, visit the shops, and be 100% sure you’re making the right move. 

If you have children, you’ll want to ensure they are going to a reputable school.

Do your research beforehand; 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 long commute away from the town you wish to move to.

Moving location is a huge deal for children, so you’ll want to make sure they’re happy too. 

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