Waterfront Buying Tips

Dated: April 9 2021

Views: 144

From pre-approval to paying points, buying a home is always a complicated process. But throw “waterfront” in the mix, and things get even more complex. Fortunately, real estate agents who regularly deal with waterfront properties know the ins and outs of this process. These 10 tips from the pros will give you a heads-up on what to expect when purchasing a home by the water.

  1. Find a local real estate agent who’s a true waterfront specialist. The average agent won’t have the detailed knowledge of waterfront properties in your area to help you find the best deal on a property that’s right for you. Local agents are familiar with the special considerations involved in purchasing a waterfront home, especially Lakefront. It does not cost the buyer anything to use an agent, so why not take advantage of all their knowledge?

  2. Consider the property more than the structure. “Oftentimes, people fall in love with a house, but after they buy it, they realize the swimming is mucky, the view’s not very good, it’s difficult to get down to the water, or the place is not very private". You can change the house, but you can’t change the location, so buy a property that you really love.

  3. Choose a property that truly fits your lifestyle. You may find a beautiful property for sale, but it’s half an hour away from getting to the lake. “If you love to go fishing and swimming, that’s going to make a difference in how often you actually do.  Focus on the activities you’re passionate about and choose a property accordingly.

  4. Look into loans early. Since many waterfront properties are more expensive than other properties, loans will often fall into the jumbo mortgage category.  Lenders will therefore only consider very qualified buyers. Buyers ought to start that process before they start looking for a property because that can take a lot longer than a normal home loa

  5. Insurance can be costly and complicated. Look into this early to make sure you know what you’re getting into. For instance, if a property is in a flood zone, a flood policy can be costly. Another reason to use a local realtor, experience with Lakefront properties. 

  6. Find out what you can do with the property. If you want to make any changes to your waterfront property, such as adding a dock or a seawall, start this process early to ensure that these alterations will be possible. 

  7. Talk to neighbors. Get insider information from neighbors by asking if they enjoy living in the community, if they have any issues with the property you’re thinking about purchasing, or if there are any waterfront-related problems.

  8. In rural areas, look into utilities. Waterfront buyers who are accustomed to the convenience of suburban life may assume that electricity, clean water, an adequate septic system, cable, and Internet will be readily available at their new property, but this is not always the case. Bringing these services into remote areas can be very expensive, so investigate these issues before buying.

  9. Get to know your responsibilities as a waterfront homeowner. If you’re part of a homeowners association, find out what kind of upkeep and maintenance of the property will be required from you by reviewing the conditions, covenants, and restrictions, or CC&Rs, and talking to the HOA's management company.

  10. Or, use a knowledgeable realtor that is familiar with the area, and they will do all the research for you!

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