Buying a home is already stressful enough. If you decide you prefer a waterfront home, it can become even more stressful. There are more things you should know as buying a waterfront home isn’t the same as buying a home in a regular neighborhood.
When you’re ready to live on the water, you should know what to expect and what to look for. Here are some of the top tips for buying a waterfront home to get you started.
7 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home
1. Find out about the Water
The first thing you want to do when buying a waterfront home is to learn about the water. Do some research to find out what you’re allowed to do on the water, how deep the water is, and what other activities are allowed.
Every body of water can be different. If you intend to buy a waterfront home to dock a boat and use it regularly, you want to know that you’re allowed. You should also know if you can swim in the water and if there are any dangerous fish or creatures in the water.
2. Speak with a Mortgage Experts Early
Before you start looking at waterfront homes and daydreaming, speak with a mortgage expert. If this will be a second home or even a third home, you want to make sure you know how the financing will work. Even if you plan to live in your waterfront home year-round, you want to have your financial ducks in a row.
Unless you plan to pay cash for your waterfront home, you should speak with a mortgage expert. Get pre-approved before you start shopping for a home on the water and make sure you understand what they expect.
3. Be Prepared for Competition
Non-waterfront homes are more common than waterfront homes, which means you might be competing with several other buyers. With fewer homes to choose from, buyers seeking a waterfront home will likely bid against each other on similar properties.
With your financing in order, you will have a better chance of handling a bidding war and winning. If you’re aware there’s plenty of competition, you can also speak with your real estate agent to ensure you submit a strong offer.
4. Hire a Great Real Estate Agent
When buying a waterfront home, you want to hire an agent with experience with waterfront homes. They should be an expert in this area and know what to look for and what to avoid.
A good real estate agent for waterfront home will have experience buying and selling these types of homes. They will know what to expect with competition and with other aspects of buying a waterfront home.
5. Understand Flood Insurance
You may need flood insurance if you’re buying a waterfront home and you plan to finance the home. This type of insurance covers any repairs caused by flooding.
Some waterfront homes are at more at risk of flooding than others. Make sure you look into flood insurance before settling on a home. Sometimes, it can be very expensive, while other times, it can be reasonable.
6. Always Get an Inspection
You should always have any home you plan to buy inspected first, but this goes double for waterfront homes. Waterfront homes tend to have issues you don’t want to overlook. When you want to buy a waterfront home, an inspection is vital to your success.
Of course, the biggest issue could be water damage. When a home is located near the water, it’s more likely there has been water damage in the past. It’s also more likely the home has a septic system, which could also lead to issues.
Get an inspection to ensure the home is a good choice before you finalize the purchase.
7. Know the Necessary Maintenance
All homes come with maintenance, but waterfront homes come with a different set of responsibilities. You will need to maintain the frontage of your property including a break wall or dock.
It’s also more likely you will deal with more maintenance due to weather and rough waters. Make sure you understand the roof, deck, siding, and dock maintenance before purchasing a waterfront home.
Living on the water can be a wonderful thing. However, buying a waterfront home comes with a unique set of challenges. Make sure you hire a good real estate agent to help you navigate the process and make sure you use the tips above to better understand what buying a waterfront home is all about.