For many homeowners, purchasing a waterfront property sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime. There’s nothing quite like having your cottage as your home, but getting the waterfront space is trickier than it looks. Purchasing a waterfront property comes with added risk and responsibility that buyers must be made aware of. Looking to educate yourself before you pick a property? Read on for our critical points to inquire when touring and asking questions.
Walk the property carefully- This is a good practice so that you can see the property for yourself. Make sure the home is as good as it looks in pictures on the listing site. By walking the property and surrounding area, you can get a better sense of the view, the sounds, the smells, and the access to water.
Inspections – Water can be hard on a building. It can intrude into the basement, as well as cause exterior corrosion, mildew and mold issues. Asking about surveys, elevation certificates, and water quality tests, can help you understand what you might be up against.
Getting the best deal – If you can find motivated sellers and act fast, you can get a great deal for your waterfront home. However, having many properties on the market with good deals might be a sign of a weak market. Consulting with a real estate professional can help you assess the greater area and make a strategic decision for your home.
Insurance coverage – Waterfront homes frequently have increased risk of flood damage, risk of hurricane or earthquake damage. It is always best to know the details of your insurance coverage before you sign any contracts.
Water and waste management – Buyers should be aware of the management of the source of services located on their respective property, such as septic systems, or water source. Your home may not have a municipal hook-up for water or sewage. Drilled wells are a common source of water, while some homes pump water from the lake. In any case, tests of the water supply, such as a potability test and flow test, should be conducted prior to closing. It is also important to know what type of sewage disposal system your property of interest has, and check that proper approvals were obtained during installation.
Hidden costs – Waterfront properties can carry additional costs the buyer might not be aware of, such as high water rates, boat dock and lift fees, and water upkeep. Consulting with the homeowners of a full list of expected costs will help you get a realistic idea of how much the final bill for the home will be.
Shoreline history – Depending on environmental conditions, shores can change and move over extended periods of time. It is a good idea to investigate the history of the shoreline motion to get a sense of how it might move in the future. If water goes up, you could end up losing your property. If it goes down, your waterfront home can one day become quite a walk from any water.
When looking to purchase a waterfront property, working alongside a real estate agent allows you to effectively navigate the environment with an expert opinion. This is where it would be best to have a realtor that specializes in waterfront homes and has years of experience under their belt. Our team knows what questions to ask, who to involve, and most importantly, how to help you achieve the waterfront home of your dreams.