Buying a beach hut; how much does it cost and what does it involve?

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Fancy buying a beach hut? If so, what’s involved? It’s not just the cost of buying you have to think about, but what it could cost to insure and maintain.

Finding your beach hut
If you have a favourite beach you probably already know where you’d like to own your beach hut. You can ask local estate agents – as some coastal firms sell beach huts alongside conventional properties – or look online as there are several specialist websites that sell beach huts (or you can try any classified ad website). Here are a couple of websites I’ve found:

Beach-huts.com: when I looked this site had several beach huts for sale. Helpfully, you’re told the date the advert was added to the site. There’s also useful information for beach hut owners and fans alike.

Beachhuts4hire.co.uk: despite the website’s name it has beach huts for sale as well as to rent. The website was clean in its design and included useful information such as how far the beach hut was from the nearest toilet and car park. However, several adverts had no photograph.

SAVVY TIP: If you’re looking for a beach hut some websites accept ‘wanted’ adverts and it may be worth registering with an estate agent that sells beach huts.

UK beach huts – this site belongs to a carpenter/builder who builds beach huts to order.

How much do beach huts cost?
Prices for beach huts start at a few thousand pounds and go up to £100,000 or more with some beach huts selling for between £8,000 and £30,000.

– Basic beach huts: The most basic beach huts that are relatively small in size may only cost a few thousand pounds, but you could pay far more. It all depends on where the beach hut is, its size, the condition it’s in and whether it has any amenities, such as running water.

SAVVY TIP: Check how close the beach hut is to the nearest tap, car park, toilets and cafe.

– Larger beach huts/chalets: Some larger huts have running water and the more expensive chalets enable owners to sleep overnight (something that’s not allowed in traditional beach huts).

Running costs
On top of the purchase price there are other costs you’ll have to pay:

– Ground rent/ Licence fee. Beach huts are leasehold which means that although you own the beach hut, they own the land it stands on. Different councils have different rules about how much they charge but expect to pay up to £300 or so a year.

– Insurance: Vandalism is a big problem for beach hut owners (one insurance company says that over 60% of its claims are vandalism related) so insurance is a must. Expect to pay upwards of £150 a year.

SAVVY TIP: There are several specialist insurers such as Towergate beach hut insurance and Ryan Insurance Group. You can normally get a discount on your premiums if you’re a member of a beach hut association.

SAVVY TIP: You can find your local association online.

– Upkeep and maintenance: Beach huts have to be repainted and repaired and repainted regularly, especially if the winter has been very stormy.

– Security measures. Some councils have installed CCTV but a good lock and shutter system is worth investing in as a minimum.

– Capital gains tax: If you sell your beach hut and make more profit than your annual capital gains tax allowance, you may have a tax bill to pay.

Renting a beach hut
If you want the beach hut experience without the hassle of owning one you may be able to rent. Many councils own a number of beach huts that you can rent for the year (normally for a few hundred pounds).

SAVVY TIP: There’s likely to be high demand for beach hut rentals. Some councils have hundreds on their waiting lists. It could be a long wait.

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