The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Waterfront Property

Imagining living where you can open your doors onto a mesmerizing view of the ocean is a dream to many. However, properties on this most spectacular of waterfronts often come with a hefty price tag attached. With any property purchase that sits next to water you also need to be extra careful to know what you’re buying into. In this post, we introduce the ultimate waterfront guide to buying property.

How to buy a waterfront property: step-by-step

No matter where it is you’re looking to buy. Buying a house is stressful. Unfortunately, when it comes to waterfront properties, there are also a few more things you need to consider. To help make things that little bit easier for you. We’ve written 5 top tips to buy your dream waterfront property:

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  1. Go for experience

Whilst it can be tempting to save money on an estate agent, it’s well worth spending the money on someone with experience. Specifically, you want to go with an estate agent who has experience finding and selling waterfront properties. 

Even if you know a good estate agent, you want to make sure they know about buying properties on the waterfront. They’ll need to know a whole suite of different questions to ask. From the sorts of repairs required due to potential water damage, the security of the type of shoreline, and the quality of the ocean on offer.

  1. Investigate the history of the shoreline

Shorelines are some of the more malleable bits of land you can buy. So it’s important you look into changes to the shoreline. What did it look like 5, 10, or even 15 years ago? If it has changed dramatically, could this happen again? 

What effect will this have on the plot of land you intend to buy? Will it still be secure and safe? These are just some of the questions you should have in mind when looking into the history of the shoreline near your new waterfront home.

Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash
  1. Inspect your waterfront property 

When buying a property stationed close to the water, you need to be extra alert to potential indicators of wear and tear. This means going to the property yourself and preferably with an expert. When at the property you need to inspect for signs of damage that might have been caused by water.

This means things like erosion or corrosion which salty air can intensify. Be sure to check for things like mold and mildew too. The air close to the ocean tends to be wetter than inland, so damage from mold can be a much greater risk.  

  1. Always visit multiple times

It’s important to visit the property more than once. On a first visit, it is easy to be blown away by the things external to the house. But this makes it harder to see the potential pitfalls. This will also give another opportunity to check out the area surrounding the house. Are the facilities and activities you need all accessible nearby?

You should also try and visit at different times of the day, week, or even month if it takes that long. This will help you get a better idea of the property in lights that might not be so flattering. Or in weather that might give you the heebie-jeebies. If you’re still in low with the house in a storm, that’s got to be a good sign.

Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash
  1. Consider insurance & other costs

You may find that home insurance for waterfront properties can be more costly. This is due to the added complexity and risk living on the water comes with. They will need to take into account the potential risk of flooding or other damage caused by the elements. But if you’ve done your homework on the shoreline, then this shouldn’t cause you too many problems.

You’ll also need to factor in other costs that you may not find when not buying a property by the water. For example, what are the boat docking and lifting fees in the area? Does your property operate with a septic tank and what additional costs does this entail? Are there hidden lease or maintenance costs associated with the shoreline? 

Buying a property by the water can be a dream. But there are also some key practical things you need to consider. If you follow the five steps above you’ll be well on your way to choosing the ideal property to become your dream waterfront home.


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