Waterfront property is a dream for many people. You might be thinking that all waterfront properties are expensive, but as this article proves, they needn’t be!
So if you see a waterfront home for sale, what should you look for? What are excellent pros and what are huge cons? Buying a new home is a huge investment and you shouldn’t go into it blind.
We know that figuring all of this out can be difficult. That’s why we’ve scoured our sources for expert advice on buying a waterfront property.
Ready to wake up to the sea or a lake on your doorstep? Then read on and discover all you need to know.
Have the Home Inspected
You should have surveys and inspections carried out before you buy any home. On a waterfront property, this is doubly important. If you’re buying a lake house or a beach house, make sure that is in good condition.
You should pay the closest attention to the bulkheads. These are crucial walls that stop your waterfront home from becoming a waterlogged home. The onus is on you to check them: if you buy a home with poorly-maintained bulkheads, it is on you.
These can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Make sure that they are inspected and that any necessary repair work is taken into account.
Do Your Research
While there are a lot of benefits to living on a lake, there are some things that you need to take into account.
While it is true that waterfront properties appreciate in value, the premiums of waterfront properties have dropped. This could, in turn, lead to appreciation declining. This means that if you’re buying a waterfront home to resell, you should research the area’s particular reputation beforehand.
Waterfront properties also typically require specialty loans. These take longer to be processed, so they should be applied for in plenty of time.
When you’re buying a lake house or any other waterfront property, you will be subject to increased regulations. Renovating the house may be a no-no, for example. Check what regulations you will be subject to before buying your home.
Check Build Quality
Not every waterfront home is built to the same standard. Poor-quality homes are waiting to catch you out.
There are a lot of reasons why this could be. Is the exterior metalwork stainless steel, for instance? Waterfront homes are more prone to rust, so any other metal should be discounted.
They should also be built to withstand high waters. This could mean a raised foundation or storm shutters.
Flood insurance is expensive. Yet if you’re going to buy waterfront property, you need to buy it. Get a quote before you buy, so you can budget for this annual expense.
Take Climate Change Into Account
Even if drastic action on climate is taken, it is predicted that sea levels will continue to rise. This means that you should look at any waterfront property with a critical eye.
Older waterfront homes are particularly at risk here. These tend to be built closer to the waterline with fewer flood defenses in place. If you’d like to add these defenses, you will have to take this expense into account.
Newer waterfront properties tend to be built further back and with increased sea levels in mind.
Uncover the Utility Situation
Utilities for waterfront properties don’t work the same way as with other properties. For example, you may need a new septic tank. If you do, these can cost several thousand dollars.
Consider Buying a Waterfront Property on a Resort
If all of this sounds like too much work, you could invest in a waterfront property on a resort. These cost more upfront but come with access to all the resort’s amenities.
The resort staff will also be able to help maintain your home and its utilities for you. They will be able to repair any damage caused by bad weather or corrosion, for example.
If you’d like to make extra money by renting out your property to holidaymakers, then the resort will also be able to help you with this. Of course, a resort is also likely to be more crowded and less peaceful than other waterfront properties.
Check Boating Capabilities
If you’re buying a waterfront property to go boating, you need to make sure of a couple of things. You should check that the home can accommodate your boat and that any jetties or docks have the necessary permits.
You should also check that the body of water is ideal for your boating activities.
Check the Home on Weekends and Weekdays
If you go to a waterfront property after work on a weekday, you can expect it to be very quiet. You shouldn’t assume that it is always like this, though.
Some people buy waterfront properties to host parties on weekends and holidays. If this isn’t your vibe, it could cause serious problems with your enjoyment of your property.
Check out the property on several different days and times of the day. This will give you the best idea of what you can expect when you move in.
Choose Your Location with Care
No two bodies of water are alike and nor are any two waterfront properties. When you’re looking at buying a waterfront property, you should be sure that this is the body of water you want to live on.
If you’re after rough seas, then don’t live in a calm cove. If you want tranquil waters all year round, then there is no substitute for a lake. Make sure that you know what you’re looking for before you buy it.
Final Thoughts on Waterfront Property
In most regards, buying a waterfront property will be one of the best purchases of your life. They’re held in high esteem for a reason.
However, before you buy, you need to do your research. Never rush into buying a home, however nice it may appear to be.
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