Is now the time to buy beach property?

  @Money August 5, 2013: 6:03 PM ET
S. Florida real estate making a comeback
NEW YORK (Money Magazine)

Should I invest in undeveloped beach property? The lots have dropped in price considerably. -- Mike Mannion, Salisbury, Md.

Test the waters first. A beach lot may have a lower cost of entry than an investment in a beach home, says Gary Eldred, author of Investing in Real Estate, but your risk is much greater.

At issue: conditions that limit what you or anyone else can do with the land, such as access to utilities and zoning that restricts the size and location of any structures.

Related: Was my home a good investment?

You'll need a good agent and appraiser to determine whether that price drop signifies a deal or simply reflects news that has lowered the land's value.

A neighbor might have an easement on the property, for example, that restricts the area you could build upon, says Sheila Dodson, executive director of the Coastal Association of Realtors. To top of page

Got a question for Ask the Expert? Send it to

Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.28%4.41%
15 yr fixed3.30%3.33%
5/1 ARM3.30%3.34%
30 yr refi4.31%4.39%
15 yr refi3.35%3.31%
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.