If you dream of lounging on soft, white sand as the waves crash peacefully in the background, purchasing a luxury beach home can turn this fantasy into a reality. A luxury home is a significant investment, making it essential for you to do your research so you understand the buying process. Here are three things you need to keep in mind when purchasing a luxury property on the beach.

1. The Bank Will Heavily Scrutinize Your Mortgage Application

Mortgages for luxury properties, including those for beach homes, usually exceed the limits for conventional mortgages. These loans are referred to as jumbo mortgages. What constitutes a jumbo mortgages depends on the area. For most of the country, mortgages that exceed $424,100 (as of February 2018) fall in the jumbo mortgage category. In areas of the country with higher costs of living, the mortgage is not considered a jumbo loan until it exceeds $636,150.

One of the biggest differences between a jumbo mortgage and a conventional loan is that the underwriting process for a jumbo loan is significantly stricter than that for conforming loans. Your bank may order multiple appraisals to better value your home. Most likely, you will need to have a down payment of 15 to 30 percent of the home's purchase price. A high credit score and hefty savings account are also required by many lenders.

2. It is Best to Work with a Real Estate Agent Who Has Experience in the Luxury Beach Home Market

Ideally, you should work with a real estate agent who has experience working in your area's luxury home market. You want to work with an agent who has the necessary connections to show the desirable high-end properties in your area. Due to privacy concerns, some sellers choose to restrict these listings to a select group of real estate agents.

An experienced agent can also help you decide if the home's amenities, finishes, and location are worth the price that the seller is asking. Your agent who understands the market can help you decide if it is best to come in at full asking price or if there is room for negotiating.

3. Amenities Come at a Price

Before you start browsing luxury beach homes, decide what amenities you want your future home to have. For example, for some buyers, a private pool and hot tub are must haves. However, for others, these items pose an unwanted expense. Or, you may prefer to buy in a neighborhood that includes communal amenities, such as a community pool, club house, and boat launching area. It is a smart decision to know what you want so that you do not pay for items that you don't want or need.