Coastal homes are some of the most unique variations of homes near the Gulf Coast. They range, in aspect of expense and development, tremendously. I have seen some coastal homes elevated up into the air on top of pilings, with beautifully landscaped yards and palm trees, and even some with swimming pools installed. I have also seen the other side of the spectrum where a parcel of land is purchased and a small trailer is placed on it. I have talked to a few different owners of these homes and the ones that owned the trailer said they do not need much because it is only their weekend getaway and since they can’t get insured living on the coast, they do not want to sink a lot of money into the property. If a hurricane comes and wipes everything out, they wouldn’t have lost as much since they didn’t invest as much as they could have. It does make some sense, but then I pass some of these homes like the ones in Myrtle Grove, LA. Some of these homes are on the extreme high end of the spectrum. These coastal homes are some of the most luxurious, encased in lush, beautiful landscaping, and complete with palm trees and hedges. When I go fishing I see the land that these homes are using as their base. It is extremely soft and constantly eroding away. The grasses that grow in the marsh thrive in the salty water, but the freshwater pouring into the marsh pushes the mud out and eventually uproots or kills the grasses. There are many efforts to try to control the marshes and barrier islands to keep them from eroding away. Katrina did a number on a lot of these coastal homes. Remodeling one of these damaged homes may be a better answer than trying to build a new one. If a strong hurricane like that didn’t remove the pilings from their roots, I think they will survive just about anything. Remodeling the home itself on top of the pilings would be a chore, but I think it would still be a smaller task than starting the whole build from step one. The wood that isn’t damaged can be recycled and reused, reducing the costs of having to ship wood to the location, possibly by boat or barge. The larger homes I have seen were sometimes three stories tall and contained materials like granite countertops, full size bathrooms, and boathouses with mechanical lifts. I was astounded that this level of craftsmanship would be used in homes so dangerously close to the Gulf of Mexico and outside of the protection of land. I love the area despite its hazards and can see why anyone would want to live there. Excellent fishing grounds and amazing views of the Gulf definitely outweigh the risks of hurricanes, which aren’t terribly common.
Living on the coast is the dream for a lot of people, and that’s no surprise. Sandy beaches, the smell of the ocean, open skies, what’s not to love? There are pros and cons to coastal living, of course, just like anywhere else, and if you’re looking to really enjoy your waterfront property there’s a lot of things you should consider. Location and price are your main factors, but once you narrow that down, house hunting becomes easier and you’d be surprised at what you can find. Once you have you dream coastal home, a whole new world opens up to you and your family.
If the home you decide to purchase is right on the water and doesn’t have a dock, you’ll probably want to consider adding one, especially if you own a boat or jet skis. Docks are a practically a necessity for any beach home. Plus, a dock is a nice way for you to enjoy a little section of the ocean while keeping distance between you and others. When building a dock it’s important to build with non-toxic materials and if you can build floating one or one supported by posts that would be best as they allow free movement of the natural wildlife. Permanent docks can be detrimental to the wildlife and have negative effects on the shoreline and you must obtain a permit to build one. If you check your local listings you’re sure to find a qualified contractor that can help you decide on what would be best for you and go about building your new dock. Dock builders can be found easily in coastal areas and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding someone that is suitable to your needs.
Living on the coast also means there’s a good chance that if you don’t already own a boat, you’ll want to buy one. Boating is an integral part of the coastal living experience after all. There’s nothing quite like the sea breeze in your hair and the sound of the water lapping against the side of the boat. Boating is not something people just for fun, it’s a way of life, and one of the reasons many people choose to live on the coast to begin with. It’s an excellent way to spend time with your family and friends, maybe to go fishing or to just relax and enjoy a nice day. And if boating is something you are into, or want to get into, you’re going to want a boat lift. A boat lift is used to dry dock your boat to protect is from rust and corrosion and is essential for keeping your boat in top condition for longer. There are several brands of boat lifts you can purchase including HydroHoist, Hewitt, and Shorestation.
Or perhaps a pontoon boat is more your style. A pontoon boat is a type of boat that has a flatter bottom and floats with the help of pontoons, which are a type of floatation device. While they don’t go as fast as regular boats, they have plenty of benefits of their own. Typically they are bigger so they can accommodate more of your friends and family for boating adventures. A 20 foot pontoon boat should be able to comfortably fit at least six people. They are also considered much safer than other boats, which is great especially if you have small children. They cost less to buy and to insure which is great if you’re looking to save some money but don’t want to miss out on the boating experience. The deal with the pontoon boat is the same as with any other kind of boat as well, you’ll want a pontoon lift to extend its longevity. Pontoon boats also are often not very good in rough water and the lift will keep yours out of the water is a storm comes through. Even if buying a lift seems a bit pricey it can save you a lot of money in repairs. Many of the companies that make boat lifts also make pontoon lifts and with a little shopping around you can find the one that is just right for your needs.
So what is boating or pontoon boating just aren’t your kind of things? If you like something with a little more excitement, that gets your blood pumping, jet skis might be the option for you. A jet ski is a small watercraft that allows one or two people to zip around the water at high speed and is great for any adrenaline junkie. If your kids are older, or if you’re just looking for something exciting for you and your friends, jet skis are a great choice for weekend fun at your coastal home. The same rule of thumb applies though -you’re going to want a lift. Jet ski lifts are sold are old by several different companies including Boat Lift Distributors, Overton’s, and JetDock. A jet ski lift helps keep your lift safe when the waters are rough and keeps the ocean salt from corroding the jet ski and ruining it slowly over time. Lifts come in a variety of types including a docking system as well as just a sling that hangs the jet ski above water, and even one that works like an elevator.
There are all sorts of marine products you can try when you move to the coast and start living your ocean life dream. Build yourself a dock and take advantage of the thriving boating and jet ski culture. Living by the ocean has so much to offer and can enrich your life in so many ways. If the sea is in your veins there really is no substitute.
More to come with our next post..stay tuned!