Investing in waterfront property--whether it's for a vacation home or a full-time residence--is an exciting prospect. In fact, for most homeowners, it's a dream come true. But, it can have some unique challenges that many other forms of real estate don't come with. So, how can you beat the pitfalls and find the property of your dreams? Here are a few tips from the pros.
Focus On Your Passions
There are many different types of waterfront homes for sale, from lakeside property to beach access to river facing--with their own individual benefits and drawbacks. To find the right one for your family, stay focused on how you like to enjoy the water. If you're a deep sea adventurer, for example, you may not find yourself heading out as much if you purchase land along a lazy river. And those who love to lay around on the beach may find that even prime lakefront property isn't very inviting.
Work With Waterfront Professionals
Because of it's cost and specific clientele, the waterfront real estate market has some unique features. Working with a local real estate agent or broker who knows the terrain, the market, and the needs of clients will help you avoid problems. What seems like a great deal on its surface may be hiding a serious flaw, such as conservation restrictions, access issues, or summer tourism traffic. Similarly, be sure to meet early with a mortgage specialist if you need to acquire a jumbo loan, as these can take longer to secure.
Look Beyond the House
While real estate is always about "location, location, location," waterside homes are doubly so. Flaws in the house itself can often be fixed, but issues with the property--like drainage, privacy, traffic, or access--may not be so easily handled. Look for a piece of land that you can work with, and consider the state of the house as a secondary concern.
Research the Area
Even if you've vacationed in the region, do some research to learn about things year-round. Many coastal or mountain environments suffer from severe weather like hurricanes or snowstorms, so make sure your new home can withstand it. Find out what insurance you'll be required to buy and how much it will be. And be sure to visit the local city planning office before you make any offers so that you can find out about things like restrictions on land alterations, easements, rights to the water, and private rental rules.
By following these few tips, you can help ensure that whatever waterfront real estate you decide to buy will be the best choice for you.. . . . and will bring you joy for years to come.