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9 Things to Consider When Buying Oceanfront Properties in Guam

Have you ever imagined owning your very own slice of paradise? Picture waking up to the soothing touch of the ocean breeze, with sparkling turquoise waters right outside your window. 

Investing in ocean view properties in Guam goes beyond just buying a house; it’s about embracing a dream lifestyle. 

However, making this important decision requires careful consideration. 

Allow me to guide you through the 9 essential factors to think about before moving into an Ocean View or Ocean Front Home, whether renting or buying.

1. Location and View

When it comes to ocean-view properties, location is paramount. The location of a property can significantly impact not only the quality of life but also the value of the investment. Since Guam has a tall narrow shape, there are many hidden opportunities to find a home with an oceanview to see either the East or Western Coast of Guam, Here’s a little guide to help you map out the areas with Ocean Views:

Pictured Gun Beach in Tumon, Guam

  • Central (Tamuning / Tumon / Agana / Agat ): Dramatic cliff, like two lover’s point and bays with beautiful beaches that make up this central area. Tumon Bay, our tourist center, boasts sandy beaches, lots of hotels, restaurants, and most amenities! Hagåtña Bay, the island’s historic heart, offers a unique blend of culture and stunning sunsets. Both are great for snorkeling! If you enjoy convenience and the nice sandy beaches, The Central Area is for you!
  • The East (Yona, Mangilao, Barrigada) : The east is also known as the windward side of Guam, with the tradewinds constantly blowing from the east providing some nice breezes to those who live close to the ocean! The east is composed of mostly rocky cliffsides, which makes for some amazing ocean views. Swimming areas like Pago Bay exist as well, but more caution is advised in these areas as the ocean can be rougher. There are plenty of fishermen, spearfishers, and ocean enthusiasts out in the water every day. If you enjoy stunning sunrises, the east is for you.

Photo of Umatac Village, For Nuestra Senora de La Soledad and Umatac Bay, Guam

  • The South (Agat, Umatac, Merizo, Inarahan, Talofofo): A bit further away from restaurants and amenities, the South is great for those looking for a more quiet and familial life. Mostly locals live in the South, and their culture runs deep! The South is much less developed and small private or family beaches can be found, whats amazing is their tranquility, you will really feel like you’re on a remote tropical island in the Pacific. Inarajan has the famous Inarajan Natural Pools . Humåtak boasts pristine beaches and historical landmarks like Fort Nuesta Senora de la Soledad. Malesso’s rolling hills with breathtaking sunsets offer access to untouched natural beauty.

An example of an Ocean Front Condo located in the central area is the Alupang Beach Tower, a 12-story, 133-suite hotel and fully serviced condominium that overlooks the stunning Hagåtña Bay. This location places residents close to various amenities and attractions, enhancing the convenience and appeal of the property. Go downstairs and straight to the beach in the morning!

In addition to the ocean’s beauty, the location of your property to local amenities and attractions is also crucial. For instance, from Alupang Beach Tower, residents can enjoy a 20-minute walk to the local night market, Chamorro Village, every Wednesday. A short 10-minute drive can take you to a variety of destinations, including easy access to Guam Premier Outlet, Payless Supermarket, the Airport, K-Mart, DFS, Tumon Sands, and numerous restaurants and fast food outlets.

2. Property Size and Layout

Choose a property with enough space for your needs and preferences. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need for ultimate relaxation? Don’t forget about living spaces and outdoor areas for entertaining or enjoying the island breeze. 

And, if you ever dream of expanding your beach haven, think about the size of the lot. Choosing the right “fit” depends on your lifestyle, budget, and vision of island living.  Let’s explore the options:

1. Single-Family Homes:

Pros: Privacy, freedom, space for gardens/pools, potential for customization.

Cons: Higher cost and maintenance responsibility

2. Condominiums:

Pros: Lower maintenance (shared responsibility), convenient amenities (pools, gyms), security features, and community living.

Cons: Limited space, less privacy, shared resources, HOA fees.

3. Vacant Land:

Pros: Build your dream home from scratch, ultimate customization, potential for investment appreciation.

Cons: Significant upfront costs (construction), time commitment, navigating building regulations, and environmental concerns.

4. Residential for Sale:

Pros: Ready-to-move-in option, potentially lower upfront cost than building, access to existing community infrastructure.

Cons: Depending on availability and market conditions, may require renovations or updates and limited customization options.

5. Multi-Family Houses:

Pros: Possible for rental income, ideal for investors or extended families, may offer larger living spaces than single-family homes.

Cons: Management responsibilities, might encounter tenant issues, requires specific zoning approvals.

6. Commercial Buildings:

Pros: Investment opportunity with potential for long-term income, ideal for entrepreneurs or business owners seeking beachfront locations.

Cons: Requires significant capital investment, complex zoning and licensing regulations, competitive market for tenants.

3. Property Condition and Maintenance

Check the Oceanfront Property Before You Buy

Before you buy an oceanfront property, make sure you check its condition. Why? Because the property’s state can affect its value, safety, and how much you’ll spend on maintenance. 

Remember, oceanfront properties face unique challenges like saltwater, strong winds, and high humidity. These elements can accelerate damage. So, knowing the property’s condition can help you plan for potential issues and costs.

Regular Maintenance is Key

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your property in good condition and preventing major damage. This requires regularly inspecting and maintaining its structure, plumbing, electrical systems, and erosion control measures. Cleaning the homes exterior is extremely important on Guam because the salt in the air can cause rusting and deterioration, this can reduce longer term problems and keep your home looking pristine. Maintenance expenditures will vary greatly depending on the size, age, and location of the property.

Hire a Professional Inspector

Hire a professional inspector before you buy an oceanfront property. They may provide you with a full report on the property’s condition and even identify potential issues that you may have missed. Structural damage, mold, plumbing or electrical issues, and erosion indicators are all possibilities. Yes, hiring a professional inspector is more expensive, but it might save you thousands of dollars in the long run. If you don’t know a Professional Inspector, your realtor will be able to refer you to a trusted professional.

4. Budget and Financing Options

Setting a budget is an important step when investing in an oceanfront home as it will drive your search and keep you focused on properties within your price range. You’ll also have to budget for property taxes and upkeep costs. These charges can mount up, so be sure you’re ready.

Look into the different ways you can finance your oceanfront Guam property. Conventional loans are most common, but don’t forget about FHA loans with lower down payments or VA loans for veterans & active military. Take the time to explore these options and find the one that fits your needs and circumstances best.

5. Availability

Oceanfront properties are in high demand. Before you get carried away, be sure the property is actually “available” in every aspect. This is more than just being listed; it’s about having clear ownership, smooth transactions, and the correct team in place.

Consider the status, the ownership, the title, and the deed of the property. Also, check the availability of the seller, the agent, the lawyer, the inspector, and the lender.

6. Regulations

Permits & Zoning: Check permits and zoning restrictions. Guam has some protected cultural areas, as well as height limitations if you are close to the ocean. Be sure to consult with your realtor what zone your home is in and what regulations they must adhere to, especially if you are doing new construction.

Easements & Access: Is there a public pathway cutting through your dream property? Are utilities accessible? Research easements and access points to avoid future headaches. 

Environment & Community: Be a good island neighbor! Understand environmental regulations and cultural considerations. Building too close to the beach might not just be illegal, but disrespectful to the fragile ecosystem. Your realtor should help you understand and local laws or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation.

7. Environmental Factors

Guam is a tropical paradise, but it also comes with its fair share of weather challenges especially as it is located in Typhoon Alley. Think about natural disasters like typhoons, erosion, and flooding. If you are living near the ocean, the risk of flooding can be imminent. 

Typhoons can cause long-term power disruptions, so living in a condo with a backup generator can be helpful and typhoon shutters are strongly recommended for all homes. Aside from these concerns, most buildings and dwellings in Guam are designed to withstand both typhoons and earthquakes, and there have been no deaths as a result of these natural disasters. Consider living on a higher level to avoid these problems, or speak with a real estate broker in Guam, so they can recommend protection or better alternatives if you are concerned.

8. Rental Potential

Consider whether you plan to rent out the property and factor in the rental income potential when making your decision—research rental rates for similar properties to estimate what you could expect to earn.  

For example, while rental rates can fluctuate, similar properties in Upper Tumon currently average $1,800-$2,500 per month. With a purchase price of $330,000, that translates to a potential annual rental income of $21,600-$30,000, offering a potential return on investment of 6.5% to 9.1%.

9. Long-Term Plans

Think about your long-term plans for the property. Do you plan to live there full-time, use it as a vacation home, or eventually sell it? Guam is always changing, with new amenities and businesses popping up to cater to the tourist and military clientele. Talk to local experts, pay attention to the news, make sure that the area you want to buy in is going to be beneficial long term. This way, your oceanfront dream will not be a temporary beach fantasy, but a long-term investment that grows alongside you.

Find Your Ocean View Home with Ellen’s Realty

Guam’s coastal houses provide not only stunning vistas but also a genuinely distinct island lifestyle. When finding a home, make sure you consider what was outlined in this article. If you find a reputable and reliable realtor they will make sure to check all these boxes off for you. 

Here at Ellen’s Realty we have the knowledge and experience to make the home buying or the rental experience a breeze! We have been helping the island of Guam with all their Real Estate needs since 1997. Our team of knowledgeable agents can help you find an Ocean View or Ocean Front Property. Contact Us Today! If you are curious about the home buying process, check out our Guide To Buying A Home On Guam Here!


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