Carlsbad Real Estate News and Views: Financial Considerations When Buying a Beach Home in Carlsbad

Here's the REAL scoop on living in Carlsbad ~ beaches, things to do, places to eat, community events, and of course neighborhoods, homes and the Carlsbad real estate market in general, including surrounding communities like Encinitas, Cardiff, San Marcos, Oceanside, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

Financial Considerations When Buying a Beach Home in Carlsbad

Financial Considerations When Buying a Beach Home in Carlsbad


If you are interested in buying a beach home or second home in Carlsbad (or anywhere else for that matter), there are some important financial considerations to keep in mind to make your purchase a success and hopefully avoid any surprises, financial and otherwise.


Here are some other essential things to know about buying a second home.





As is the case of buying any home, knowing the budget for your purchase is essential, along with all the other costs associated with having a second home in addition to your primary one.



The big cost is the purchase itself, whether you are in a position to pay cash, or use a mortgage to finance part of the transaction.


If you are using a loan having a documented pre-approval is key so you know, from completing the pre-approval process, what you can afford and what the monthly payment could be to cover property taxes, the loan, interest, and homeowners insurance. And in our competitive market no seller is going to accept an offer unless you have proof of your financial ability to close.


If you are a cash buyer, be prepared to provide a Proof of Funds (POF) with your offer. This could be copies of financial statements, or a letter from your financial institution to document you have sufficient funds for the purchase and all closing costs.



Don’t forget to factor in HOA fees if you are buying a condo, town home, or a home in an HOA community. HOA fees in Carlsbad can range from less than $100 per month to over $500 per month (TIP: watch for what these fees actually cover as they can vary substantially by community).



You should also take into account your personal budget. What you want and need on a monthly basis, based on your lifestyle and discretionary spending, may be different from what the lender says you qualify to borrow.


The cost of buying your beach home (purchase price, closing costs, inspections) is not the only expense to keep in mind. If you already own a home you should be familiar with some of these expenses, but a second home at the beach could entail some other costs. Here are some issues to keep in mind:


Outdoor seating at a beach homeFURNISHING YOUR BEACH HOME

Unless you buy it furnished, which is not common in our area, you will need to furnish your second home (e.g., new furniture and furnishings like towels, bedding and kitchen items; can you bring extras from home; how about buying at local garage sales, estate sales and warehouses).


Do you want this home to be turn-key so you can travel and then settle in?



These will vary depending on personal usage, and a monthly cost even when you are not in residence. Keep in mind gas, electric, phone (unless you are only using your smartphone), cable (who wants to be without Internet?), water, trash pick-up, and sewer.



You'll like find the usual maintenance costs for your beach home as they are with any home, inside and out. That will vary if you buy a condo when exterior maintenance is part of the fees you pay. What about yard care, if you have one, when you are not present? And there may be other maintenance issues you would rather pay someone else to take care of when you are not in residence or don’t want to go the DIY route. Keep in mind that if you buy at home right at the beach the maintenance costs can be higher for the exterior due to wind, salt air, moisture, and possible erosion issues.



There may be increased travel expenses depending on how you use your beach home, and how often, and how far away it is. But consider the savings you might have by giving up on other vacation since you have a wonderful second home to enjoy.



I'm not a tax professional and I cannot provide tax advice, so you might want to discuss your tax situation with your CPA. As you likely know the tax laws changed and you should understand the implications for any tax deductions from a second home, e.g., mortgage interest, property taxes.



Rome second/beach home buyers don’t want to rent this properties out since it’s their personal home. But if you do want to rent when you are not using the home that can be an option depending on the community restrictions, if any. Keep in mind that if you hire a property management company to help there will be costs for that, along with providing a cleaning service between renters. You will also want to consult your CPA for advice on how renting your home, and rental income, impacts your taxes.



Depending on the home you buy there may be improvements you wish to make - updating the kitchen, remodeling the master bath - that you should plan for. The beach home may be perfectly usable as it is but you might desire making changes over time, which makes it easier on the budget!



Well, that depends on what you want and need, and where it will be. The type of home (single family detached vs. condo or town home) has a big impact on pricing, too. And a huge factor is proximity to the beaches and ocean views.


If you want to be on the ocean or right across the street you can expect to pay in excess of $2,000,000 for a single family detached home (e.g., 2 oceanfront options currently include a 10,000 SF estate priced at $29,950,000, and a 2087 SF home priced at $5,400,000; there is also a large home across the Coast Road from the ocean priced from $2,695,000 to $2,995,000).


Town homes very close to the ocean and with views, including 6 that are new construction close to the Village, range from about $1.6M up to $3.5M. There is an oceanfront condo for $2,150,000 in Carlsbad Village with wonderful views.


Carlsbad home searchThere are quite a few more options if you are open to housing further inland in Carlsbad, but still relatively close to the beach, and prices are more reasonable. Check out the July Carlsbad Housing Market Report for details.


You can start your search for a Carlsbad home by checking out the complete inventory - simply click on the photo to the right >>>>>>>>.


And explore homes for sale in other North San Diego County communities here.


Why not give me a call at (760) 840-1360 so we can discuss your housing needs and budget, then I can send you a list of the homes that fit your criteria. I can also set up a custom search for you so you will see new listings and changes when they occur in the MLS.


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Serving Carlsbad (including Aviara, La Costa & Carlsbad Village),  Encinitas (including Leucadia & Olivenhain), Cardiff, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos (including San Elijo Hills), Oceanside, Escondido, and  Greater San Diego

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Solutions Real Estate (CA DRE lic #01490977)

Comment balloon 28 commentsJeff Dowler, CRS • August 30 2018 10:14PM


Knowing the financials considerations is a good topic. Nice list you have provided for buyers to consider!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 1 year ago

Jeff that is a lot to consider, and I would not have thought of a couple of them if you had not included them in your blog.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 1 year ago

Thanks for the kind words Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 

Having a second home can be wonderful, but there are some things to consider from a financial perspective.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Hi George Souto 

Thank you for the compliment. Some of this comes from personal experiences, and some from working with buyers who purchased second homes. It's a big step, just as is buying a primary home.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Oh my goodness, Jeff, this is TOP NOTCH - localism at its finest! Love the video and such wonderful information for those relocating to Carlsbad and buying a beach home. Excellent post, Jeff!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 1 year ago

Good evening Jeff Dowler, CRS ,

You knocked it out of the park on this well deserved featured post! The video is awesome. If you're in he market to buying a beach home in Carlsbad than you meed to be calling Jeff..he is the agent with the answers!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 1 year ago

Good morning Jeff - these all considerations I went through when I bought our Florida home.  Although I have to say the prices of everything there are substantially less than New York or California.  But you need to work it out before you commit.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 1 year ago

Jeff, great summary on Carlsbad home purchases and financial considerations. Have a great weekend!

Posted by Matthew Klinowski, PA, Golf Community Real Estate Specialist (Downing-Frye) about 1 year ago

Jeff, wow you covered it all! What a great post, and I love your video. There are a lot of details to consider when buying a beach home and buyers would be wise to rely on your expertise to make sure they've considered them all. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) about 1 year ago

Great video about Carlsbad and great post about owning beach property, Jeff... almost makes me want to get up and move to the beach! (notice, I did say almost... )

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 1 year ago

This was an eye opener for me!    I am alot more informed about Carlsbad thanks to you Jeff!

Posted by Dusty Rhoton SRS, MRES, ABR, SRES, GRI, Flagstaff Real Estate (RE/MAX Fine Properties) about 1 year ago

I have always dreamed of living on the California Coast, I even considered getting my brokers license over there and moving my business... I Love the Ocean.. 

Posted by Tamra Lee Ulmer, FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD! (Arizona Resource Realty) about 1 year ago

I consider this posting one big personal business card introduction (&reason) to contact Jeff Dowler, CRS if you plan on Real Estating in this area

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 1 year ago

Thanks, Debe Maxwell, CRS 

There are lots of beach home options here in our wonderful community in a broad range of locations and prices.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Thank you for such kind words Dorie Dillard 

Having owned 2 beach homes in the past in New England, I love helping others achieve that dream!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Hi Grant Schneider 

That must have been quite a decision making process, especially given you were buying so far from where you lived! So you totally get it!!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Thank you for the kind words Matthew Klinowski, PA  Enjoy your weekend as well! And Happy Labor Day!!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Invaluable information here for buyers!

Congratulations on a well deserved feature, Jeff!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 1 year ago

Certainly all very valid considerations...and some not considered until...oops !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 1 year ago

This is a wonderful overview of things to consider when purchasing a beach home in Carlsbad. Great post!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Jeff,
Excellent and informative post... and loved the video. 

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) about 1 year ago

Thanks so much Amanda S. Davidson  It's eciting to think about as a buyer but there are important issues to ponder, too!. Been there done that a couple of times on my own!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Hi Nina Hollander  Thanks for the kind words.

But I think you would have a tough time leaving Charlotte. Perhaps a little place at the beach for a getaway?


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Thank you kindly Dusty Rhoton SRS, MRES, ABR, SRES, GRI  I guess I did my job!!

Tamra Lee Ulmer  I get that. It would be very difficult for me to not live near the beach.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

What a nice compliment Richie Alan Naggar !!

Hi Sharon Tara  thanks for stopping by. It was a nice surprise to see the star!!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Hi Jeff... a little beach getaway is a great idea for some people... I gave up on "second" homes decades ago... at one point we had our place in Paris and a flat in London and it drove me nuts going back and forth... never sure where my things stayed and hated going back and forth.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 1 year ago

Excellent post about financial considerations when buying a beach home in Carlsbad.  It's so important to understand every facet of buying. Being prepared helps homeowners become more comfortable with the process, reducing stress.  You're the perfect person to consult when someone wants to buy a home in Carlsbad!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 1 year ago

Great post. I live and sell in an area that includes a lot of second homes. This is great advice for those buyers.

Posted by Anne Corbin, Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia (Long and Foster - Lake Anna) about 1 year ago