Living on the Coast

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 themarshpic1 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.

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