Waterfront properties can be dreamy! It’s easy to imagine waking up in the morning, walking down to your own private beach and having a swim, sunbathing, doing a little fishing, or engaging in a bit of water sport play. However, soft-sandy beaches and crystal clear waters aren’t always guaranteed when purchasing a waterfront home, and there are a lot of unforeseen factors in the purchase of waterfront properties. Before you head out on your search for the perfect waterfront home, there are some things you should carefully consider.
Choose a Real Estate Agent
waterfront homesYou should work with a real estate agent who is top-notch in waterfront properties. Waterfront properties are highly sought after and have a multitude of considerations that could be overlooked. Seek out a high-quality, professional real estate agent who specializes in the type of property you’re trying to purchase. Your agent should have extensive knowledge about waterfront properties in terms of the structures, the property, the shorelines, local weather hazards, restrictions, associations, and more.
Begin the pre-approval process for your mortgage before you start looking for your perfect waterfront home. Waterfront realty is generally more expensive than other housing, so your home loan may be more difficult to obtain and could take longer to approve than a standard mortgage. Knowing you’re a qualified buyer will make the home buying process less stressful. Understand insurance policies on waterfront homes. Often times, it takes more than one policy with more than one company to cover the basic insurance needs of waterfront homes. Some insurance policies cover wind damage, others cover floods, and still another covers basic home insurance needs. Obtaining insurance coverage for your new waterfront home could be a complicated and expensive process if you aren’t prepared.
Points to Consider
- It’s easy to fall in love with the way a home looks and feels, but when you’re considering waterfront homes, you must take into consideration the land as well as the structure. The structure may be picture-perfect but be situated on property that is near impossible to get a boat in or out of, have inconsistent views, or may have shoreline policies allowing your neighbors to freely use your property without permission.
- Consider the tides because they may change your view. If possible, view the home at various times to assess the views and shoreline. Know what policies are in place for clearing trees on your land, or building on to your home with things such as seawalls or a new dock. How much privacy does the land offer? Rocky beaches full of sand crabs are no fun for bare feet, so investigate the entire property, not just the dream house.
- Know the water. If swimming is one of your main priorities and the waters of the home you’re considering are full of jellyfish or other potentially harmful marine life or contaminants, you’ll find yourself with buyer’s remorse.
- Different water depths are required for different types of boats – sailboats, powerboats, pontoon boats, etc. vary in depth requirements. Also, you’ll want to know where sandbars and other potential dangers are on the water. If possible, engage in some of the desired activities prior to purchasing your waterfront home so you know the waters are as satisfying as the structure you’re buying.
- Once you know the land and water are up to par, make sure the home can withstand the weather. Talk with neighbors about issues they may have had with weather, consider shutters for hurricanes and stainless steel for salt air corrosion.
- Your new waterfront home may be in a homeowners association with additional rules, regulations, requirements, and fees. Maintenance and upkeep are going to be different on a waterfront property than on other homes you may have owned. Make sure you understand what’s expected of you and how to stay in compliance with your home owner’s association.
- Your waterfront home could be exactly what you’ve dreamed of and worked hard to afford. Imagine how relaxing and convenient a sunset cruise to local restaurants may be instead of being stuck in congested traffic on a busy weekend. When you consider the land, the water, and the structure, as well as policies, procedures, and restrictions on your area, and you work with an agent experienced in waterfront properties, you can relax and enjoy the benefits of your new waterfront home.
Interested in buying or selling a waterfront home? Give us a call at 805-657-9001.