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Buying a Waterfront Home

Tips for buying a waterfront home
There’s no right or wrong decision when it comes to buying a home along the water, but experts say there are a few additional factors to consider that aren’t a problem when you buy a landlocked home.

Location is important regardless, but it becomes “more specific” when searching for waterfront property.

Some boaters are interested in deep-water fishing while others are interested in off-shore fishing near their home or going to waterside restaurants. Therefore, the distance to the channel and length of a cruise to the destination is something important to consider.

You’ll also need to remember that the price of the waterfront property you plan to bid for is only the beginning. You’ll need to research insurance costs, if the property is in a flood zone that will add to your costs. Other types of maintenance required for waterfront homes may also be costly.

Finally, don’t underestimate how much you might wind up spending on toys to enjoy your new waterfront home — and we’re not just talking about boats. Plan on spending a pretty penny for outdoor furniture that lets you soak up the fresh air and views, water toys like jet skis for visiting neighbors, grandchildren and friends, as well as tools for entertaining. Your waterfront views may be well worth it, but the costs will add up in a hurry.

The pros of buying a waterfront home
Despite any potential downsides, homeowners still covet waterfront properties for a multitude of reasons. For many, it all boils down to enjoyment, lifestyle and amazing views.

Other benefits include:

  • Strong potential for appreciation: Waterfront properties are typically those that see the highest appreciation.
  • Investment potential: In today’s Airbnb and self-rental environment, waterfront homes have stronger rental potential than homes without a water view. Rents can also be significantly higher, making it easy to cover your holding costs and even turn a profit.
  • Permanent views: When you buy a home in an area still under development, you may not know what your view will be in 5, 10 or even 20 years. However, waterfront homes get a premium because their views are about as permanent as they get.

The cons of buying a waterfront home
But cost isn’t the only downside of buying a waterfront property. There are other potential pitfalls to be aware of as well, many of which you won’t fully understand until it’s too late. For example:

  • Added regulations: Many new waterfront homeowners don’t realize that they’re going to be subject to specific rules. Depending on your area, there may be a coastal commission or other organization that may restrict what you can and cannot do to the house in terms of increasing the size of the home or renovating it.
  • Lack of privacy: Waterfront homes are normally in areas that attract a lot of visitors. This could increase traffic or lead to strangers being around your property a lot more than in a regular neighborhood.
  • Climate change worries: Many consumers are starting to worry about the potential impacts on waterfront property if water levels rise.