When you invest in a waterfront property, you can expect spectacular views, stunning sunsets, and a dreamy lifestyle. However, compared to traditional real estate, waterfront properties can be a far more complicated purchase. So while living by the water can be a dream, it’s important to put in a bit of groundwork before handing over your money. Here, we outline nine things you should know before you buy a waterfront property.
Check You Can Get Flooding Insurance
The closer you live to water, the higher the risks of flooding are going to be with climate change meaning more extreme weather and rising sea levels. You are going to want to check for the risk of flooding before making your purchase. A simple way to do this is by checking you can get insurance for flooding on the property and how much it will cost.
Is The Water Swimmable?
One of the best things about waterfront living is the quick access to nature’s finest swimming pools. But not all lakes or seawater is swimmable. And not every waterfront is boat-worthy. So be sure to check what restrictions are in place if you plan to use the water for a specific activity.
Inspect The Property
Waterfront properties come with the risks of normal homes and then some when it comes to wear and tear. If you are looking at a place by the sea or a lake, then you need to consider the risks posed by salty seawater, mold caused by more water in the air, or issues caused by water bashing against the foundations of your house. Investing in an expert inspection is a great way to get peace of mind before you move in.
Consider What Shoreline Permits You To Need
If you buy a property that extends out from the land right into the water, you might come up against unfamiliar regulations. This is because this sort of structure typically needs a permit to be built. Even if you need to repair something, you may need to reapply. And these permits tend to cost money. So you should also check structures already in place are legal and whether there is a planning scope to extend further before you buy.
What Is Water Access?
Some waterfront properties use water straight from the lake. But others are restricted from doing so. Others can connect to local sewer systems. While others still require the use of septic tanks. This can be a major extra cost, especially over longer periods. So you need to consider what sort of water and sewer access your property has before you take the plunge on the purchase.
When you’re investing in a property by the sea or on a lakeside, then you’ll want to consider what the shape is on the shoreline today. What it looked like in the past. And what it is likely to look like in the future. Consider investing in local expertise, whether from a real estate agent or an engineer specializing in geo-technics. They will help you understand the lay of the land and make sure the foundations will still be there in the future.
Consider Maintenance Requirements
Even if your property has a clean bill of health after an expert inspection, properties by the waterfront can deteriorate more quickly due to tougher levels of exposure to the elements. Consider how long the materials used will last. And how much work you will have to put in at some point to keep the property healthy. If it seems like too much work or too high a cost, your decision will be made for you.
Seawalls And Bulkheads
Waterside properties, by their nature, tend to be on or close to an edge. Be that a lakeside, beach, or cliff. Given the propensity for erosion in these places, there may be the need to build or maintain bulkheads and seawalls. These help to prevent erosion but can be an eyesore, and you may have no say in how they can be renovated while still having to contribute to their maintenance.
Costs Of Improvements
If you are hoping to improve your property, you need to be sure it’s possible in your area. That means checking the regulations and permits required. But it also means factoring in potential additional costs due to potential challenges posed by waterfront structures. So be sure to investigate these potential concerns before diving into your waterside purchase.