There are some astronomical prices being paid right now for waterfront homes along the Monterey Bay.  Despite some of the doom and gloom stories you read, waterfront homes continue to change hands quickly.  Why is this?  When “Location, location, location” means “Waterfront”, the sky’s the limit.

Waterfront Property Weathers the Downturn
It might not be a bargain, but waterfront property's a safe bet when it comes to real estate investments that pay off, even when the housing market isn't so hot.

David R. Indermill of Penny Realty-Re/Max Coastal Properties near San Diego, Calif., has sold $60 million worth of beach real estate in the last nine years. Here is some of the key advice he offers clients are looking for the best waterfront value for their dollar:

  • For oceanfront property, expect to pay as much as $2,700 per square foot for prime locations. Even if the home is a few blocks from the beach, it can cost $500 to $600 per square foot.
  • Parking is golden. If you're buying a condo, don't settle for one space; buy a second even if it adds $20,000 to $75,000 to the price, because on-street parking is scarce and a hassle.
  • Expect loud parties, especially in the summer.
  • Small living spaces are par for the course. Rooftop decks can maximize the space available.
  • Flowers and trees are a big plus for buyers. Curb appeal sells and landscaping can make or break a house.
  • If it’s broke, fix it. Make sure the homeowner association maintains a generous budget for upkeep, as salty sea air and sand can cause problems for the structure. If you’re on your own, expect to spend annually for minor repairs or you’ll pay much more later.
  • Restaurants increase value. Good nearby restaurants and entertainment attract people.
  • Good management pays off. Any owner who expects to rent the property for part of the year should budget for a top-notch management team that takes care of the property and doesn’t put up with lousy tenants.