Friday, August 29, 2014

Real Estate Tips For Buying a Waterfront Home

It is the end of the summer and the For Sale Signs are going up around ocean front, lakefront and channel front homes. A light bulb goes off in your head, "I think that we should buy a vacation home!" Yes, this is one of the best times to purchase a vacation home, after the season is over and the children go back to school. The family life is changing and maybe the home owner didn't spend as much time at the vacation home as they would like and it is on the market. 

You should understand that the faint of heart should not buy a waterfront home. That body of water can and will turn on you. You need to look at all of the draw backs of waterfront ownership. Ask the locals about the winters are like when there is no one around. Where would they buy? How long does it take to get to fast water? These are important questions, maybe a free standing home isn't for you, maybe a condo that you could rent when you weren't using the unit.

Find a real estate agent who’s a true waterfront specialist. There are certain circumstances to buying a home in vacation land.

Consider the property more than the structure. You found the perfect home. It sits right on a body of water. Oftentimes, people fall in love with a house, but after they buy it, they realize the swimming is mucky, the view’s not very good, it’s difficult to get down to the water, or the place is not very private. You can change the house, but you can’t change the location, so buy a property that you really love.

Be practical about your dream vacation home. Are you looking for the proverbial cottage for $150,000. that needs some renovation like the homes on HGTV? Don't get to know the area so that you don't waste your or the Realtor's time. This is their business. This is how they put food on their family's table. So research the area and know how much money it will take to own your property.

Don't mortgage the 'free' furniture.  This is a great look but normally the furniture that you will find at a vacation home is old furniture that they didn't want to use in their main house. So, if it comes furnished, take the furniture out of the deal and try to buy it separate. Most vacation home owners will leave their wreck of furniture for the next home owner. Be careful. It may cost a formidable amount of money to dispose of the third hand furniture.

Make sure the structure can withstand the weather. Waterfront homes receive more abuse from the elements than the average home, so extra measures should be taken to protect them. For instance, Garrett recommends investing in storm shutters for homes in hurricane-prone areas and stainless-steel locks to avoid corrosion from salt air.

Always buy new mattress'. I don't think that I have to explain. 


Know your rights. Find out what you can do with the property. If you want to make any changes to your waterfront property, such as adding a dock or a seawall, start this process early to ensure that these alterations will be possible. Government agencies are very strict to deal with, and you don’t want to commit to purchasing a million-dollar home without knowing that you can really do what you want to make it your own. Also find out what kind of activities are allowed on the body of water, as some areas have restrictions on jet skis, speedboats and other watercraft. If your property is in an association read their bylaws to make sure that you can quiet enjoyment of your property without the neighbors coming and telling you that you can't do this or that. Like add a second story or have a bonfire.  

Until we meet again,


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