Waterfront property is a fantastic investment. However, there are certain things potential buyers should be aware of before purchasing property near a pond, lake, or ocean. If you are in the market for waterfront property, do these four things before you finalize your purchase.
1. Inspect Shoreline Structures
Before you purchase any property, you should have it inspected. Most people remember to have professional home inspectors examine the most important building on most residential properties – the house. However, many soon-to-be waterfront property owners forget to hire marine inspection services to examine the docks, boathouses, boat lifts, saunas, seawalls, and other structures that exist directly adjacent to the shoreline. Most regular home inspectors are not qualified to examine marine structures, so be sure to consult a marine specialist for this task.
2. Review Titles, Deeds, and Surveys
Oftentimes, the boundaries of waterfront properties get muddled, especially if the previous residents and their neighbors have been occupying the same space for a long time. It is important that you carefully examine any titles and deeds associated with the property you may purchase. You should also conduct a property survey and compare it to existing paperwork.
Ask yourself a few questions. Are there any paths or trails that cross through your property? If so, does anyone else use them? Are there any encumbrances associated with the property, and if there are, can they be resolved before the final purchase? A real estate attorney may help you answer these questions.
3. Learn About the Water Source
Just like how you should not judge a book by its cover, you also should not judge a pond, lake, or ocean by its surface. Take some time to learn about what lies beneath the water. Are there any water quality issues that might prevent swimming? Are motorized vessels allowed in the area? What marine life calls the area home, and is it legal to fish it? The more questions you ask, the clearer your ultimate purchasing decision will become.
4. Be Aware of Hidden Costs
Living on a waterfront property is a luxury – and that luxury comes with many hidden costs. Because waterfront property is more susceptible to damage dealt by Mother Nature, insurance costs are higher for shoreline homes than they are for inland homes. Additionally, utility bills for waterfront properties are usually spendy, and you may have to perform expensive specialized sewage, electrical, and plumbing maintenance.
If you take the time to do your research, you can find the shoreline residence that is right for you. Consult the experts, carefully read through every piece of paperwork, familiarize yourself with the area, and keep hidden costs in mind before purchasing waterfront property.