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Old 04-24-2011, 02:02 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,764 times
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"To beach or not to beach" is not the question. I've decided on "to beach" but couldn't resist a good pun.

I'm beginning a search for a second home and I'm looking for city suggestions from the members. I didn't see an "intro post guideline" so here's a short checklist to get the conversation started:

1) On the ocean. I want to hear the waves and smell the water. Either coast is fine and would love to get suggestions for both.
2) Beach frontage, space, privacy, and safety are most important. I'd opt for a small house with more breathing room than a big house and close neighbors. I would like to avoid touristy areas.
3) 4 bedroom/3 or 4 bathroom maximum. I could probably get by with a 3/2.
4) Winter temps should be in the 50s or higher. I'm a midwesterner, so 50 in February is a lot better than the 10-20 I'm used to. Of course I wouldn't complain about 70-80 instead.
5) Summer temps/humidity don't matter as much because this is my winter getaway, but I'd obviously prefer low humidity.
6) Income potential is good but not a priority. I could see myself renting the place out for daily/weekly/monthly stays to help cover costs. I don't expect the place to be cash flow positive.
7) Ideally this place would be a one or two hour drive from a major airport. The idea of driving for many hours after flying into the airport isn't appealing.
8) We are coming from a major metropolitan city but have no qualms about country living. As long as we are a reasonable drive from groceries and good/great restaurants.
9) I don't want to build from scratch. I don't want to put too much time/effort into updating, but so many vacation homes appear outdated that I'm reluctantly expecting to put some work into it.
10) I have an appreciation for the great outdoors and would love a place where I can hike, kayak, swim, boat, fish, surf, etc.
11) Price can be upwards of $2MM. I don't intentionally associate myself with the wealthy, so luxury communities or anything hoity toity is undesirable.

On the east coast I'd probably go as far south as Savannah, GA up to somewhere, VA. On the west coast I have no idea.

Please write any questions I should answer or ideas that you have. This is the very beginning of what will probably be a multi-year search. Thanks in advance for any input you can give me.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Wilmington NC, etc.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:42 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,764 times
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Those are the exact four names I've found on my own, for the east coast, which may confirm the "too touristy" designation. Wilmington might be an exception as it appears more under the radar. Perhaps I should use those cities as a bullseye and search 30-60 miles along the coast in either direction..

I welcome any other suggestions or more details on where I could focus this search.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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Perhaps Elizabeth City NC, Georgetown SC and Brunswick GA.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Triad, NC
988 posts, read 3,042,735 times
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Oceanside, Oregon is an absolutely pristine and natural shoreline town but the average temperature in the 40s might not be the best for you. But if you are looking to get away from it all, then it might not be a bad place. Overall it is pretty temperate though, so it would be mild year-round between 40 and 60 degrees. For your lifestyle it is perfect though, Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge and State Park is just a mile North and numerous other state parks and forests are within a short drive. Airport is about 2 hours away in Portland, and nearby amenities like Starbucks and chain resraunts are in nearby Tillamook.

Seabrook Island, South Carolina is a very good alternative to Hilton Head as well as nearby Kiawah Island. Beautiful Houses, big lots and it is way more private then other South Carolina beach towns. Not as much recreation, but it's about 10 degrees warmer on average then Oregon.

North Captiva Island, Florida is not at all as touristy as it's sister islands Captiva and Sanibel but still has beautiful white Sand Beaches on one side and wildlife filled swamps on the other. You have to take a short Ferry Ride, but the piece and quiet as well as warm 60-70 degree temperatures make this a really nice place.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,123 posts, read 39,485,621 times
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My hometown of St Simons Island, GA has a lot of the characteristics that you seek.

St Simons Guide - The Official Website of Saint Simons Island and the Golden Isles. St Simons Accommodations, Restaurants, Events, Entertainment, and more!
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:05 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,764 times
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JerichoHW, I have been to Portland and absolutely loved it. No doubt I would love the coast as well. Alas, the temps are too cold during the winter months. For a year round place Oregon would be near the top of my list.

Though I am very uninformed about the merits of living in Florida, the prospect does not interest me.. yet. The humidity and the hurricanes and the older demographic (all of which are possibly distorted by my perceptions) are a turn off.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. The GA, SC, and NC coasts are where I expected to focus my search.

Do any areas of California satisfy most of my search requirements? Anywhere outside of San Diego or south of San Francisco?
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
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South Padre Island Texas
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Triad, NC
988 posts, read 3,042,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobeachornottobeach View Post
JerichoHW, I have been to Portland and absolutely loved it. No doubt I would love the coast as well. Alas, the temps are too cold during the winter months. For a year round place Oregon would be near the top of my list.

Though I am very uninformed about the merits of living in Florida, the prospect does not interest me.. yet. The humidity and the hurricanes and the older demographic (all of which are possibly distorted by my perceptions) are a turn off.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. The GA, SC, and NC coasts are where I expected to focus my search.

Do any areas of California satisfy most of my search requirements? Anywhere outside of San Diego or south of San Francisco?
Well just a little North of San Fransisco is Point Reyes, which is a very beautiful National Park I suppose there could be some good property over there.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
17,978 posts, read 29,080,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobeachornottobeach View Post
Do any areas of California satisfy most of my search requirements? Anywhere outside of San Diego or south of San Francisco?
If you want to live ON the beach then not really. I don't think you will find any property directly on the coast for less than $2 million, at least not a house. A condo you could prob find but not sure if it will meet your space requirements. I think you could find a small detached house or townhouse for less than $2 million within a few blocks of the beach so you'll still be able to hear it and smell the water.

Depending om how good of weather you want, I would be fairly hesitant to look north of Santa Barbara. While the weather along the Northern CA coast will still be in the 50's during the day usually, it's not what I call "good" weather. Usually windy, relatively cold, and rainy. Summer along coastal Northern CA isn't that great either, lots of fog and cool temps. I think the San Diego County coast is probably you're best bet actually as it's cheaper than LA, OC, and Santa Barbara. Ventura County is also another good option to check out.
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