Waterfront properties possess a unique advantage because they provide you with access to both land and water simultaneously. This versatility is a much sought-after real estate investment, but it can also come with more complications than land-locked homes.
Here are some tips to make your first waterfront property buying experience go much smoother.
1. Inspect the Property Thoroughly
Water is pleasant to look at but has a well-recorded history of destroying buildings. Expert inspections can help tell you what you’re up against. It may be mold issues from the higher moisture levels or corrosion from the salt air. Other inspections, such as water-quality tests and elevation certificates, which you may not need on a land-locked house, also become important with a waterfront property.
2. Go to the Right Body of Water
Not all water is created equal. If you enjoy the fresh smell of salt air or the crashing sounds of a surf, a property by the ocean is probably your best bet. If you prefer something a little calmer, possibly with fewer people around, then a bay or a local lake is the destination for you.
3. Check for Hidden Costs
A lot of hidden expenses can sneak up on you when buying your first waterfront property. For example, water and sewer rates are more expensive for waterfront properties than land-locked properties. Boat docking fees are something else that tends to surprise people, as well as septic tank and well-upkeep costs. Be sure you ask your real estate agent about these potential extra costs.
4. Look into the Shoreline’s Past and Future
Water and dirt mix. Sometimes the results are interesting, and sometimes the results are devastating. If a shoreline moves up, the best-case scenario is water damage. The worst-case scenario could be losing your home. If the shoreline moves down, your waterfront property could end up being half a kilometer away from the water.
5. Consider Your Lifestyle
Buying Waterfront properties can improve your health because fresh, water-filled air is a great stress-reliever but consider your other needs before purchasing the property. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, then a place with a beach and lots of open space for you to run may be ideal. For those who like fishing, a beach may not be that big of a selling point. But a dock, with the potential for a boat, will likely interest you more.
6. Know Your Strategy Before Buying
Determine exactly how you’re going to be using your waterfront property before you buy it. The approach you take to buying will be different. If you’re looking for a primary home, then you’ll adopt a more strategic approach to buying (like renting the property first before buying) and inquire more about utilities available.
However, if you’re looking for a vacation home, it might be beneficial to see if you can rent the property when you’re not using it. Doing this can help offset the costs of owning. Plus, you’ll get to help someone else enjoy a body of water!
7. Partner with the Right Agent
Waterfront properties aren’t simple. As one of the more unique properties, it’s important to find a real estate agent who specializes in waterfront properties and can walk you through the process. The agents also know what questions to ask and who should be involved in the transaction. They’ll also help you navigate the world of title issues and structural issues.
If you’re interested in purchasing your first waterfront property but don’t know where or how to begin, search Google to find a local REALTOR® that specializes in waterfront properties.