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Buying a property on the coast: what you need to know

With blue seas, rugged coastlines and enchanting countryside, England's south west coast makes for an idyllic getaway. Its array of picturesque towns and villages together with a number of cities also make it an ideal place to set up home. It boasts a thriving economy, excellent local amenities and a wide selection of properties.

Among its most endearing and desirable areas is the charming county of Devon. New homes in Torquay present excellent investment opportunities and offer all the appeal of a coastal location. However there are certain things everyone should look out for when buying a property with a sea view regardless of where it's at.

Pre purchase check list

Always get a survey
If you're buying an older property don't get carried away with the view and make sure to get a full survey carried out first. Many sea-view homes are high maintenance due to salt and wind damage. As a result they will incur extra costs; gutters, paintwork and even wooden window sills will need replacing more often.

Visit out of season
There is no doubt that coastal areas come into their own during peak season. Tourists, sunshine and long summer evenings make them the ideal place to spend your day. However for a lot of coastal towns the winter can be pretty bleak, with some businesses closing their doors for the season. Other areas, however, continue to flourish all year round so it is important to do your research before taking the plunge.

Find out about development plans
Quite often in coastal areas, demand for properties with sea-views far outstrips supply, meaning land is at a premium. Before buying a property you should research it thoroughly to establish who owns the land around you and whether or not there are plans to develop it. If you buy a property with a sea-view and that view is later sabotaged by another development you could see your investment plummet in value.

Research local tidal conditions and flood prevention programmes
Of course any property near the coast is at risk of flooding so it is important to be clear on how big that risk is and what prevention programmes the local authority has in place to protect it. This will also affect house insurance premiums and mortgages. If the property is at a considerable risk then the obvious advice is to look elsewhere.

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