My husband and I have been talking about this for twenty years - we both love the sea and being beside the beach - and every time we go to the coast we peer into real estate windows and do our sums and then ... nothing. So in August we realised that we're not getting any younger and if we want to have this as a family thing - while the kids are still happy to go on holiday with us - then we better just bite the bullet and do it. It will make it a bit tight financially, but then we never seem to have any money, so at least now we have something to blame for being constantly broke...
Finding one was dead easy once we'd decided - my husband and I drove down for the day, looked at 9 places, picked one, made an offer which was accepted the same day (which means it was FAR too high but I'm trying not to think about that) and then everything else just fell into place. The people we are buying it from also used it as a beach place - we didn't meet them but they left us a folder full of instructions to all the appliances and a lovely note on the top! We bought their furniture and washing machine and fridge at very reasonable prices and I think they left far more than we actually paid for ... but all gratefully received. I am trying to furnish and fit out the entire place for a budget of basically nothing. Hand me downs and garage sales!
We redeemed our impractical decision slightly by buying a very practical place - only twenty years old, tidy little brick and tile two bedroom with a small garden and low maintenance (hopefully). We would both love the romantic windswept shack in the dunes but we couldn't afford it and would struggle to maintain it. So this is our street.
You go four houses along, turn the corner, cross the road, over the dunes, and then you're at the beach.
The day was hot but the water temp was freezing! We made sandcastles and got sandy and wet but didn't swim. Even going up to your kneecaps meant lots of squealing and jumping.
And after tea we went down again for another walk. We've been holidaying at this beach for many many years and I know it can get quite busy in midsummer but just look at this emptiness in early November. It gives it all such a different twist when you can think of yourself as an almost-local.