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Moving from the city to the coast: The pros and cons

By Andrew Bell

Some are enticed by the zeal of metropolitan living, while others are drawn in by the gentle sea breeze. Then there are those who leave the busyness of the inner city in pursuit of something more serene.

Moving to the coast requires weighing the pros and cons — below, we'll cover some of the most significant factors to consider.

The pros

Let's explore two benefits of coastal living that can be summed up in a single (hyphenated) word: 'well-being.'

Health benefits

Scientific research has established a strong link between a coastal lifestyle and enhanced physical and mental well-being. According to psychiatrist Dr. Natasha Bijlani, sea air is typically cleaner and richer in oxygen, which can improve the quality of sleep. Additionally, sea air contains negative ions that aid in oxygen absorption and stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and behaviour.

Speaking of serotonin, people living in coastal areas are known to have higher levels of vitamin D7, which plays a crucial role in serotonin regulation and supports healthy brain function. These findings highlight the potential benefits of a coastal lifestyle for both physiological and psychological health.

More generally, an article published in Health & Place sheds further light on the health implications of coastal living, revealing that people who reside near the coast tend to report increased well-being.

A well-rounded lifestyle

A tenet of behavioural psychology is to make positive behaviours easy and accessible to increase the likelihood of engagement. Living by the coast is a prime example of this principle, as it provides ready access to various positive experiences that can promote a healthier lifestyle. From invigorating hikes to beach activities such as surfing and swimming, coastal living makes it easier to engage in regular exercise and other health-enhancing routines.

GP Alison Gardiner mentioned that living coastally presents many opportunities for exercise compared to inland, opening an individual to "enormous health benefits." Whether you lean more toward surfing or err on the side of serene coastal hikes, coastal living promotes a healthy, fun, well-rounded lifestyle for all.

The cons

When considering the 'whys' of relocating coastally, it's wise to also consider the 'why nots,' particularly as a preventative measure. Let's consider a couple:

Extreme weather conditions

Before moving to a coastal area, it's important to be aware of potential natural hazards such as tsunamis, landslides and hurricanes, as well as the long-term impacts of erosion and sea-level rise.

It's not uncommon for natural hazards, particularly those of a sudden extreme nature, to cause damage to coastal property and infrastructure. In light of this, coastal dwellers are encouraged to not only take preventative measures for themselves, but also work alongside the state in order to better prepare for and mitigate the impact of such events.

Increased home insurance

The increased likelihood of being exposed to coastal-related natural hazards often goes hand-in-hand with increased insurance premiums, or at worst, the inability to access insurance.

Home insurance advisors commonly don't insure against 'actions of the sea.' However, individual policies differ among providers. Before moving to a coastal area, seek to understand the insurance logistics that apply to your specific situation.

To assist you in your decision-making process, reach out to our friendly team today.

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