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The enduring charm of the Australian beach house

The enduring charm of the Australian beach house

There’s nothing more Australian than the beach. Hundreds of miles of pristine sand surround our sun soaked island, and we like to make the most of us. Little wonder, then, that the beach house has been such an enduringly popular part of Australian life.

Whether you’re taking small children for a beach holiday or retiring to enjoy the dappled waves outside your window, the beach house appeals to young and old alike.

It helps, too, that our capital cities are all within a reasonable drive of the coast. You can load up the kids on a Friday afternoon and be relaxing long before bed.

The location advantage also means that beach properties are hot news in the holiday market. You can buy a beach house for personal use and rent it out in between times to holiday makers looking for a long weekend getaway as well as longer trips.

From the Mornington Peninsula to islands in the Whitsundays, beach suburbs are set up for tourism and offer a range of charms to entice people along. Choose somewhere with good infrastructure and a range of activities, and there’ll always be a steady demand for your property.

Choosing a beach house

What you look for in a beach home depends on whether you’re hoping to use it yourself or rent it out. If it’s for your own use, you may find your head turned by character-rich coastal dwellings, which have retained period charm, and bygone era layouts. These homes won’t be a blank canvas, but will likely be full of personality.

Think architectural designs, views for days and nooks and crannies for just about everything.

Most people who buy a holiday home, however, intend to do a little of both. Therefore, it’s a good idea to temper the romance with a little practicality. Many property managers recommend that your property is appealing to those who don’t fancy leaving their pet behind, so check out fencing, garden size and proximity to recreation paths.

Parking is another plus – the more parking there is off-street, the better, as people may want to bring a caravan, boat or jet ski along for the ride.

Another tip is to gauge whether the home brings the outside in. There’s no point being at the beach if it doesn’t feel like it, after all. Large windows, for example, mean you can use those ocean views to entice people to your property. If you can, focus on ocean-facing homes, as close as to the coast as your budget allows.

Modern properties that can be regularly updated without too much fuss are always desirable. Photos really sell locations, so if professional photographs of your beach house showcase a contemporary and inviting space, you’ll have more of a chance to have a calendar full-up with bookings.

Decoration

Beach decor should reflect the glorious location. You don’t need to try too hard with a beach house: embracing the natural beauty that surrounds it is more than enough.

Bringing the outdoors in can be as simple as choosing a fresh colour palette to compliment white sands and blue water. Keep the scheme light, with tones that evoke sand, sea and sunshine.

There’s a whole world of inspiration online, but also seek out opportunities to be inspired by the location itself. Take off your shoes, walk along your own local beach and let the surrounds serve as inspiration.

Supporting local artists and craftspeople can also be a lovely way to integrate relevant décor into the home. And just because it’s an Australian beach house, that’s not to say you can’t think global when it comes to your decorating. You may want to choose pieces that reflect a Grecian or Amalfi coast vibe. Maybe you’ll hint at a Mexican influence with prints of Cancun. The ocean is, after all, one of our truly global assets.

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