As I’ve mentioned before here on Financial Highway, our home is currently on the market. In a word, it sucks. (Darn, that’s two words.) Having to keep my house meticulously clean round the clock is no easy task, especially when you factor in my two small children, my dog, and my can’t-clean-up-after-himself husband. It’s also annoying to know that we can never really plan get togethers at our house with friends or family, since a potential buyer may call at any moment to schedule a last minute booking; they have, and when your house has been on the market four months without too much interest, you learn not to say no.

As our house lingers out there in the abyss that is the current real estate market, we’ve had time to contemplate some of life’s biggest decisions: where do we want to raise our kids? what kind of floor plan will work for us not just as a young family, but as senior citizens with limited mobility? But it was after a recent beach vacation that my husband posed the biggest question of all:

Why don’t we just move to the beach?

It was a question that deserved more than a passing glance.

Going For The Dream House

My husband and I are both water babies. We’ve had arguments, in fact, over which one of us learned to swim at a younger age; he swears he was mobile in the pool by three, I say I was swimming independently by age two (our daughter, by the way, blew us both – literally – out of the water; she was doing front crawl – without a floatation device – at 22 months old). Our annual beach trip is the highlight of the year, and each year, we mope the whole way home.

Unbeknownst to me, my husband took a little detour during one of his morning jogs during our latest trip. He paid a visit to a real estate office to inquire about area listings. He gave the Realtor the same parameters as we’d given to our agent back home – at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a separate space for a playroom and a separate office – and was shocked to learn that the price tag was only nominally different than it would be for a similar property in our current town.

And the difference was in favor of the beach.

Yes, moving to a dream house in our dream location would actually be cheaper than buying a dream house in the suburbs. Who would have guessed?

You Only Live Once

Those four little words – you only live once – kept ringing in my ears as I heard my husband describe the real estate listings at the beach. How nice would it be for my husband to wake up every day only steps from the 12th fairway on his favorite golf course? How much would I love being able to take the kids to the beach whenever we wanted, without it becoming a major undertaking? How cool would it be to host the parade of family and friends who would surely come to visit us in our new beach-bound dream house?

The fact is, there’s a very good reason why we all work so hard to earn a living: so we can enjoy that living. My goal isn’t to amass a fortune simply so I can pass it all on to my children and grandchildren, while living in a constant state of deprivation myself (my grandmother does this, and martyrdom aside, it’s no fun for anyone). I want to use the money I make to live comfortably (not over the top, just comfortably), see the world, make a difference. Why not do it all at the beach? Why not do what I love somewhere I love to be?

The Drawbacks

Of course, I’m not spontaneous enough to say, “Heck yeah, let’s go for it!” Nope, as much as I’d love to throw caution to the wind, it’s just not my personality. I started coming up with a list of potential pitfalls, things like:

  • Once the novelty wears off, no one will come to visit
  • Only older people tend to live at the beach (this is partly true – the average age of the town where we vacation is 62), which doesn’t really suit young children
  • The schools are poor (again, partly true – the statewide system at this location is poor, but the local schools, buoyed up by the locally high tax rate, do fairly well)
  • We’d basically be starting over – again – in a new place, for the third time in seven years

Still, it’s tantalizing to consider, and something we haven’t completely ruled out. Who knows, maybe I’ll be writing this blog from the beach in a few months…


Reader, have you ever considered moving to a dream house, or a dream destination? Where would you most want to call home?

Libby Balke
Libby Balke