8 Dream Homes Serving Up a Slice of Island Life

From Hawaii to Nantucket, see a few gems currently on the market.

Island living means coffee on a balcony overlooking the ocean, or al fresco dining after a long day on the sand and the surf. With prime locations, beautiful architecture and idyllic temperatures nearly year-round, it’s easy to see why people pay a premium to live on an island.

But for those of us who are stuck in the city or suburbs for most of the year: mix up a Mai Tai, put on The Beach Boys and get in the spirit of summer by looking at these 8 exquisite island homes.

Freeland, WA

1924 Shore Ave, Freeland, WA
For sale: $2.995 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

This home on Whidbey island has no shortage of scenic views — with the ability to see Mount Rainier, the Seattle skyline and ocean from the comfort of the living room. Blue shaker siding on the outside of the house, close proximity to the water and elegant interior finishes, like wide-plank wood flooring and charming built-ins, make this an extraordinary and comfortable island home.

See more homes for sale in Freeland.

Nantucket, MA

222 Eel Point Rd, Nantucket, MA
For sale: $12.995 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

This Nantucket home takes the classic image of an East Coast beach house and turns it on its head. With clean lines, modern design and the use of solar and geothermal power, this home is anything but cookie cutter. The property spans nearly 5 acres with waterfront access, making it easy to explore the beautiful coastline.

Find more Nantucket homes for sale.

Tybee Island, GA

3 6th Ter, Tybee Island, GA
For sale: $3.175 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

Located within a few steps of the water, this Tybee Island home has sweeping ocean views and a private walkway down to the beach. Inside, the home is just as exquisite with elegant details such as Spanish ironwork on the front doors, trace ceilings in the master bedroom, an elevator, and an unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean.

See more homes in Tybee Island.

Key West, FL

311 Elizabeth St, Key West, FL
For sale: $3.95 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

This historic Key West home is a relaxing place to come back to at the end of a long day playing on the beach. With an inviting porch on the first and second floors, a spacious guesthouse, beautiful hardwood floors, a pool in the backyard and 4 total kitchens throughout the house, it’s the perfect space to find comfort in paradise.

Check out more homes in Key West.

Johns Island, SC

140 Flyway Dr, Johns Island, SC
For sale: $11.95 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

This unique Southern coastal home has all the hallmarks of a perfect island home: great access to the beach, unbelievable views from the large balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room that let in ample natural light. But, what sets this home apart are its interesting architectural details. This home has many rounded walls, curved windows and a circular foyer that almost make it feel like an observatory deck overlooking the ocean.

Check out more Johns Island homes.

Lahaina, HI

704 Mokuleia Pl, Lahaina, HI
For sale: $9.4 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

This Lahaina home is the quintessential picture of island living. Beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean combined with luxurious finishes such as intricately carved kitchen cabinets, paneling in the office and coffered ceilings in the master suite. The home includes over 2 acres of land as well as a pool and spa. It also comes with a private chipping and putting green.

Find more homes in Lahaina for sale.

Quogue, NY

216 Dune Rd, Quogue, NY
For sale: $19.7 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

Nicknamed The Sandcastle, this Quogue home is made for beach royalty. A heated infinity pool overlooking the ocean, wrought-iron staircase railing, box wainscoting and folding glass doors letting in the ocean breeze are just a few of the dreamy details that make up this island home.

See more Quogue homes for sale.

Hilton Head Island, SC

121 Dune Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC
For sale: $3.995 million

Photo from Zillow listing.

Traditional meets modern in this charming island home. Classic Southern details like painted shutters, an apron sink in the kitchen, and dark wood used throughout the home are juxtaposed with a state-of-the-art media room upstairs, creating the perfect beach getaway for the modern family. Enjoy private beach access and beautiful views from the covered porch that’s complete with a cozy fireplace.

Check out more Hilton Head Island listings.


Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow

Classic Big Sur Home Offers ‘Best Hot Tub Location in the World’

Slide into Big Sur, CA, and after a scenic drive hugging the Pacific Coast and heading south from San Francisco, you enter an entirely different, windswept world. A world that allows you to soak in the majestic views while soaking in your tub.

This spectacular home along the rugged coast, which just hit the market for $5.5 million, provides you with your own front-row seat to the oh-so-scenic setting.

Legendary photographer Ansel Adams was apparently a frequent visitor to this well-placed property. “He talked about the views from the north being the best coastal views that he’d ever seen,” listing agent Ben Heinrich recalled. “He took a lot of photography from that location.”

The sellers, who called the place home for decades, are heading East to be closer to their family. They clearly leave behind quite a history—like the annual visits from the nearby Carmel Bach Festival musicians.

“It has such large scale in the home, you could fit the whole orchestra in there,” Heinrich said. “Drinking wine and playing the violin and listening to all that music. It would just be fun.”

The 9,849-square-foot, four-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom house could be quite the party pad. But there’s plenty to entertain the kids, as well—from the indoor whale-shaped pool to the loft above the family room to the pool table with an ocean view.

“The scale of the home is just breathtaking,” Heinrich said. “The ceilings are 25, 30 feet. And the views are every direction.”

Those same views would allow a buyer to take in the whale migration that parades by the house twice a year.

The dwelling, located in an area south of the more famous hotels such as Post Ranch Inn, was built in 1969 on the more remote area known as Notleys Landing.

And although the property is tucked away from other homes and affords plenty of privacy, it’s only about 10.5 miles from nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea. (That’s where locals go grocery shopping on the weekends.)

Outside, the natural wonders await and it’s even sweeter to take them in from the deck or the hot tub. “You could get in the hot tub and experience the best hot tub location in the world,” Heinrich said.

“Hot Tub Time Machine: Carmel,” here we come.

This article was published by Claudine Zap on realtor.com.

‘The Castle’ Inspired by Beer Barrels

A copper brewing kettle isn’t out of place in this home.

from Zillow

from Zillow

7525 S Highway A1a, Melbourne Beach, FL
For sale: $2.95 million

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

Cars seem to disappear when they arrive at “The Castle” on Melbourne Beach. Like a medieval keep, a metal gate leads into three stories of fortified concrete.

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

“Unique is definitely the word,” said listing agent Marion Thacker of Engel & Völkers Orlando Winter Park.

The home was built to withstand hurricanes, but the curved design was inspired by beer barrels.

“It’s owned by a corporation, and one of the corporation owners used to own a brewery,” Thacker explained. “He put a lot of thought into it.”

A solid copper brewing kettle from Germany accentuates the home bar, serving as a light fixture and storage space.

from Zillow

from Zillow

The home is also lined with high-end European antiques and furnishings including a German kitchen stove dating back to the 1800s, a German wood-burning fireplace and high-end Italian tile.

from Zillow

from Zillow

“The bar backdrop alone holds tiles valued at $25,000,” Thacker said.

But the home’s main selling point isn’t inside. Overlooking a premier surfing spot just north of Vero Beach, the house features tranquil ocean views from nearly every room.

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

“[The original owner] wanted an ocean view from wherever he was in the house,” Thacker explained. “When you lay in the master bed, you can see the pool and the ocean.”

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

from Zillow

Photos by Harvey Smith and Walt Simpson.

This article was originally published by Catherine Sherman on Zillow Blog. See more photos and the original article here.

Making Beach House Dreams Come True

If you are considering buying a beach house as an investment, a holiday getaway or a year-round residence, you will have advantages and disadvantages to consider that aren’t factors when buying a land-locked house.

Making Beach House Dreams Come True

Some of the pros and cons of dipping your toes in beach real estate include:


  • The beach
  • The glorious water
  • The sounds and the views
  • The refuge from city life
  • The laid-back atmosphere

All the intangibles and tangibles that make beach vacations so relaxing extend to owning a piece of the beach for yourself. If your beach home will be your permanent residence, you could feel like you are on vacation every day. And if you intend to rent out your new beachfront digs as part of an investment plan, you probably won’t have too much difficulty finding tenants, charging the rents you need and recouping your investment.


  • Most beach communities empty out when summer is over, so if you and your family intend to live in one permanently, you might feel isolated once the temperatures dip.
  • A transient vacation population can make it difficult to build friendships.
  • As shops in the area close during the winter months, you may need to travel further afield to do your shopping.
  • If your home is an investment property, then seasonal fluctuations can have an impact upon the number of people willing to rent the property during the off-season and how much they would be willing to pay.
  • The closer you are to the ocean, the greater the risks of damage from storms and flooding. That carries risks for your family, as well as potential pricey fixes to the home.
  • If your home is an investment, you might have to charge your tenants more in order to pay for its upkeep to guard against storm damage and other risk factors.

Other Considerations

There’s beachfront, and then there’s near the beach—you will need to decide which best serves your needs. The former will make it easier to access the beach, which is, after all, the main asset of the home. However, beachfront homes are more prone to storm damage and flooding, and they are usually more expensive.

If a home is located even just a half-block away from the surf, the price difference from one on the beach could be huge; but it may still offer views, salt air, and a quick, easy walk to the sand. A residence a short distance from the beach can still offer solid amenities, more protection from the elements, and more protection for your bank account.

Then again, if it’s an investment property, you won’t be able to charge your tenants as much if the property is off-beach. You lessen the likelihood of relaxing over a stunning sunset (or sunrise) over the water. And, let’s be honest, if you’re dreaming big enough to buy at the beach, do you really want to settle for almost but not quite there?

Expert Advice

To minimize the dangers of storm or flood damage, consult an expert about the highest level of ocean tides near your home. In addition, check out the history of the house and the area to see the extent of damage from storms. When you have the home inspected, make sure the inspector weighs the home’s ability to withstand severe weather.

Also, consider the area around the home. Landscaping such as dune grass can indicate safe drainage and offer some protection from the elements. And you’ll want to make sure your understanding of the property lines doesn’t shift like the sand.

A beach home can be a wonderful acquisition, but be sure you weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully.

Ben Apple contributed to this report.

This article was originally published by Anne Miller on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.