Whether they’re near or on the ocean or on a lake, waterfront properties, with their fun settings and range of outdoor activities, often give their owners the feeling that they’re in an all year-round vacation. Although living in them comes at a higher price, compared with standard homes.
Waterfront properties are generally more expensive to buy and require some more maintenance than your usual vacation home, which means extra money on top of the buying price.
While waterfront homes, specifically coastal properties, are considered a solid investment, experts today say that newer homes are more likely to keep their value. Prices on older homes have softened somewhat in recent years because of rising sea levels caused by climate change.
Here is advice on how to make an informed decision about buying a waterfront property.
Factor in Climate Change
Rising sea levels have decreased the value of older waterfront properties around the world, but properties constructed in the last five years tend to be built at higher levels, making them more resistant to flooding. These homes have a higher value, compared with older properties, and buying one increases the likelihood that the property will appreciate over time.
Added to this, while the value of waterfront properties has grown more slowly in recent years because of climate change, appreciation of inland properties in waterfront areas is faster in comparison. They’re not in high flood risk locations.
Consider Condo Properties
If you want to buy a waterfront home that comes with minimal hassles and a range of amenities, you can also look at condo properties, their maintenance staff will usually help with your property’s upkeep. “Saltwater is corrosive, and homes, especially the exteriors and deck, can take a real beating because of this. Maintaining everything can be expensive,” he said. In short, the burden is a lot less if your condo is helping.
Owners also have access to condo amenities like swimming pools, restaurants and gyms. Many of these amenities, such as fitness classes and access to children’s clubs, are free. Newer residences also include beach boot camps, spinning and yoga.
Another perk of owning a condo: If you’re interested in renting out your home to generate extra income, you can contact your Real Estate Professional who will find the renters. Realtors usually take a commission between 10% to 15% of the total rental cost for this service.
Hire an Experienced Broker
Before committing to work with a broker, make sure that the person has expertise in waterfront properties. “A waterfront property is a specialty property, and the agent will be able to give you the information specific to owning one in that location. If they can’t, you could end up buying a home without fully knowing what it means to live there.
If you’re looking at either a lake or a beachfront property, the agent should know whether the bottom of the water and the shoreline are rocky, sandy or muddy. The agent should also be able to tell you what recreational activities are possible on the water.
The agent should also be able to connect you with your potential neighbors and other locals who can share their perspective on living in the area.
Waterfront homes have higher price insurance policies than no waterfront properties because they’re at higher risk for flooding and wind damage. Depending on the area, you may be required to purchase multiple policies including ones for flood, wind and the house itself. Flood insurance is costly to begin with, depending on what type of flood zone your property is in, it can get more expensive,”. Before you buy, understand what insurance policies the property requires and how much they will cost. Find out the latter from an insurance broker who has written recent waterfront policies.
Make Multiple Visits
And go during different times of the day and on both weekdays and weekends. Mr. Hertzberg said that a dream property could be in a neighborhood that has a peaceful, laid-back feel during the week but a far rowdier vibe on the weekends, with loud music playing and more people out and about.
Do You Like Boating?
A lot of buyers are keen on owning a waterfront property because they’re interested in boating. If you own a boat or want to buy one and use it on the body of water, if you are a boater, make sure that the property in question can accommodate the size of your boat. Also know the ordinances covering boating and docking boats in that area. In Miami Beach, for example, a boat is permitted to dock only if there is a distance of 10 feet between your neighbors’ property lines and the front and the back of your boat. This means that if you have a property with 60 feet on the water, you’re allowed to dock a boat that’s no more than 40 feet long.