Purchasing Waterfront Properties

By Alyssa Mammano

The picturesque setting of a waterfront home, whether on the ocean or at the lake, encapsulates the sentiment of a never-ending vacation. Waterfront properties come at a premium for good reason; limited inventory and strong resale value create high demand for these exclusive homesites. Living on the water offers a prime setting for family gatherings and entertaining, as well as day-to-day living. A plethora of activities are also at your fingertips when you live along the water.

Making a luxury real estate purchase is a process that requires due diligence and when buying a waterfront property, there is even more to consider. The changing climate has impacted waterfront building codes over the years, making newly-constructed properties more desirable. Homes built within the past five years are more resilient to inclement weather and will, therefore, typically be more valuable and have better opportunities for appreciation.

Waterfront communities and condos are popular options for their amenities and reduced maintenance costs. Resort staff often relieve homeowners of the burden of up-keep, resulting in a cohesive appearance of the grounds and building exteriors. Ownership also usually includes access to a pool, fitness facilities, concierge and cleaning services. Some resort communities also offer an activities calendar for family-friendly entertainment and the opportunity to mingle with your neighbors.

Boating is a favorite pastime for those who choose to live on the water. Docking your boat and watersport paraphernalia at your property is a dream for many. Awareness of the maximum size boat a dock allows for is pertinent information when selecting a waterfront home. The depth of the water is also important for yacht and mega-yacht owners. Oftentimes docking permits come in to play wherein a certain amount of buffer is required between property lines. An experienced waterfront agent should be able to share this information with you when considering a home.

Hiring an expert broker who is familiar with the area and specifically buying and selling waterfront properties is important in your purchase process. Coastal buying and selling is a specialized transaction and an agent should have knowledge of homeownership specifics within that locale. A waterfront specialist will be able to share with you specifics on the shoreline, water depth and local activities to aid in your decision-making. He or she should also be familiar with insurance policies, living costs and maintenance fees relevant to the property under consideration.

In all, buyers who are looking to purchase a waterfront home have a wealth of information available to them in order to make a sound decision. Visiting a property several times at different points during the day and week will help to gain insight on living or vacationing at this home for years to come.