Buying a Waterfront Home
Article by Frank Smith
Many people dream of buying a waterfront home. The idea of living near water evokes thoughts of recreational activities and peaceful evenings watching the sunset. There are other aspects that should be considered when buying a waterfront home.What kind of waterfront?There are all kinds of water sources to live near, including oceans, rivers, lakes, and gulfs. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to determine exactly what kind of waterfront you want first.Where is the home located?Climate is always an important consideration, as some only want to live in warm regions while others need more moderated temperatures. A waterfront home in Wisconsin will be quite different than a waterfront home in Florida. What kind of home?In some areas the only waterfront homes are recreational cabins which are generally smaller than a typical residential home. In other areas the only homes are condos in multi story buildings. Decide if you want a year round home or a vacation getaway. Once you decide on these basics, and have found the area that you want to buy in, you can start house hunting. When you get to this stage there are additional questions to ask when buying a waterfront home.What are the natural hazards?Is the waterfront home in an area hit by hurricanes or tropical storms? Does the river have a tendency to rise above its banks and flood the surrounding area? It is important to know the natural hazards of an area before making a financial commitment. Does the home require special insurance coverage?Many homes in areas plagued with natural hazards require special insurance coverage, such as flood insurance. Other properties are uninsurable because they are in areas that have been repeatedly hit by natural disasters. Find out about the any special insurance requirements that apply to any waterfront home before buying.What are my water rights?Water is generally owned by all citizens and governed by local, state, or federal government. Many waterfront homes are built around ponds that cannot be used for swimming or boating. In some communities a lake is public and can be used by anyone. It is important to know your rights to the water, and whether it is private or can be used by anyone. Your dream of a quiet waterfront cabin could be dashed if it is on a public lake that is heavily used by noisy motor boats and jet skies. What are my access rights?Some properties include a private beach while other waterfront homes have property lines that stop several feet before the water, and the section of land that touches the water is public. In some communities pathways have been established so nonresidents can reach the public access area. Access rights are just as important as water rights and have to be determined before buying a waterfront home.Are their additional association fees?Some waterfront communities require annual fees to maintain the area. There may also be fees for boat docking and use of a pier. Find out about any applicable fees before buying.A waterfront home can be a dream come true or a disappointment. Take the time to fully investigate and understand your rights and requirements before buying a waterfront home.
Additional Reading: There are many great options for buying a home on the water in beautiful Sarasota. To learn more about this waterfront paradise’s beaches visit: http://sarasotarealestate.org/sarasota-lifestyle/sarasota-beaches/.