Buying a home in the LBI real estate market is a major investment and one that requires a complete understanding of the area and the current market trends. Here I will cover the basics of buying a home in the LBI real estate market, flood insurance and the different areas of Long Beach Island.
Here you will find some helpful information to get you started in the LBI real estate market and links to additional information.
Buying a home on LBI offers a number of advantages both from a personal use point of view and from the investment potential in the area. It is important to understand how more abstract concepts like flood insurance and property locations, which are unique to the LBI real estate market, can impact the price you pay for a home in the Long Beach Island real estate market. Making a wise investment goes beyond finding a "nice" house. Rather, you as a buyer should work with your real estate agent to identify the methods of construction used, a flood elevation certificate, rental potential, anticipated market appreciation, location and alternative options such as building a new home.
There are six primary locations in the LBI real estate market. They are:
Oceanfront homes are located directly on the beach with unobstructed views of the water. Many oceanfront homes are located in the V zone which tends to carry a higher cost of flood insurance. This is generally the most expensive location in the LBI real estate market.
Ocean block homes are located on the first block between the ocean and a back road. These homes will have direct access to the beach with no streets to cross. These homes sell for a Premium as they will usually have a decent to good view of the ocean.
Oceanside homes are located east of Long Beach Blvd. and offer the advantage of not having to cross the main road to access. Oceanside homes are a very popular location in the LBI real estate market as they offer a less expensive price point than their ocean block and oceanfront counterparts, yet still offers easy beach access.
Bayside homes, and in some cases Bay block homes, are located west of Long Beach Blvd. and require the crossing of the main road. Ground elevations are generally lower on the bayside areas so it is important to be aware of flood prone areas and flood insurance rates. Many bayside homes have a nice view and a much more affordable price point, usually around 20% less than their oceanside counterparts.
Homes on the bayfront offer beautiful views of the bay and sunset, coupled with the ability, in most cases, to directly access the water on a boat. Buyers of bayfront homes should also educate themselves on Riparian Rights as this allows the ability to construct a dock as this plays a major role in the value of a property.
Lagoon front homes are located on small man-made channels on the Bayside areas of Long Beach Island. These locations offer direct access to the bay at a lower price point than the bayfront. They are located in areas of Beach Haven, The Dunes, Ship Bottom, Harvey Cedars, North Beach, Loveladies and High Bar Harbor.
There are several categories of homes in the LBI real estate market. They are:
Single family homes on Long Beach Island usually consist of a single dwelling on a lot. This is the most common form of ownership in the LBI real estate market and will usually be one of the strongest investments in the area.
Multi-family homes on LBI are most commonly a duplex but there are some three and four units as well. The most common duplex is the "up and down" duplex where there are two identical or very similar apartments in one building on one lot.
Condos in the LBI real estate market can be tricky to determine There are options ranging from units in large professionally managed complexes to the "side by side" condo where the complex consists of only two units on one lot. Many buyers mistake this for a single family home-it is not!
There are still a number of vacant lots for sale in the Long Beach Island real estate market that are ripe for re-development. It is important to understand the different zoning laws and regulations for each town so you can know what you area able to build before making an offer.
Commercial real estate is one of the slower areas of the LBI real estate market. Most of the commercial real estate is located on Long Beach Blvd but there are a few commercial properties on Central Ave in Ship Bottom and some areas of Barnegat Light.
Interval ownership is a unique hybrid form of ownership that combines elements of condo ownership and a timeshare. Essentially it is the group ownership of a property that has a scheduled division of time. These properties tend to be expensive to own and generally are not good investments.
There are a number of boat slips available for purchase in the LBI real estate market. This is generally a condo form of ownership that allows a buyer to own a boat slip rather than rent.
Flood insurance on Long Beach Island can be a significant expense depending on the specifics attributes of a property. It can also be very inexpensive if the home meets the current codes (usually less than homeowners insurance). There are a few metrics that can determine the cost of flood insurance in the LBI real estate market. They are:
Flood insurance is an important concept for any buyer in the LBI real estate market and it can have a major impact on the value of your investment.
There are a number of loan options available to most buyers in the LBI real estate market. From traditional second home mortgages to building loans and interest only financing, each has a role in the LBI real estate market. With program rules always changing it is important to speak with a lender who knows the market and know what to look for. The most common loan programs are: