9 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home

Looking for a home with lake or ocean views? While buying a waterfront home can be a great investment, it can also be challenging. Whether it’s a lake house or a beach house you want, we recommend learning the ins and outs of waterfront homeownership before you commit. Here are 9 tips for buying a waterfront home in today’s market.


Carefully Inspect the property

Water may be gentle on the eyes, but it’s tough on a building. Check thoroughly and attentively for any signs of water entering the house from the high water table

Additionally, keep an eye out for damage to your exterior caused by the ocean breeze. Also, look for difficulties with fungi and mold caused by elevated air moisture levels. An experienced evaluation can clarify any potential obstacles for you. 

With a waterfront property, surveys, elevation certificates, water quality testing, and other land- and water-based assessments that you might not have performed on a typical house can be crucial.

Choose the right water

Waterfront properties aren’t all the same. If you want the smell of salt air, there’s no substitute for a beachfront property. However, if you want to hear waves crashing against the shore, a property on a bay might not be the right place for you. 

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Owning property on a sizeable lake enables you to use a powerboat for water sports. Alternatively, you might be better off on a smaller body of water that is free of noisy powerboats and public view if you want peace and quiet.

Check insurance requirements

Insurance rates tend to be much higher for waterfront homes than for traditional homes. Why? Proximity to water often means potential damage from natural disasters and the elements. 

If insurance is available, it could be cost-prohibitive, so it’s best to know before you sign a contract. When seeking homeowner’s insurance, make sure you speak with an agent about all of your options.

Look for hidden costs

Waterfront properties can sometimes carry additional expenses that buyers might not be aware of. For starters, water and sewer rates can be more expensive than inland rates. Septic tank and soakaway upkeep are additional potentially hidden expenses to inquire about as well.

Prepare yourself for regular maintenance

It’s no secret that waterfront properties require a good deal of maintenance and upkeep. Weather is frequently a factor in this wear and strain (i.e., heat, humidity, floods, and other natural disasters). The salt air may also hurt beachfront homes. 

Since exposure to water may significantly shorten the lifespan of objects, lake homes with docks will also require routine maintenance. Before buying a home, it’s important to understand the full scale of these needs.

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Don’t skip the inspection

While it’s tempting to skip an inspection when trying to appeal to sellers, it’s not always a smart move. This is especially true when purchasing waterfront property. Given how vulnerable lake homes and coastal homes are to natural disasters and weather-related wear and tear, it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying. Otherwise, you could end up having to pay for expensive repair costs and necessary updates.

Make necessary updates when you buy the home

When buying a waterfront home, make necessary updates early on to avoid facing expensive repairs or expensive damage later. 

Unfortunately, waterfront homes tend to take a beating over the years. Even newly constructed homes will need the occasional update.

Don’t overlook climate change concerns

There’s no doubt about it: climate change should be a serious consideration when buying waterfront property. Rising sea levels and increasingly severe weather could negatively affect waterfront homes in the future.

Work with an expert agent

Waterfront property isn’t simple. Between the title issues, the structural issues, and the unique way that the market looks at the property, not all real estate agents can effectively help you through the purchasing process. 

A real estate agent that specialises in waterfront homes and land will know which questions to ask, who to involve in the transaction, and how to help you achieve your dream of homeownership on the water.

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Buying a waterfront home can be pretty expensive, but it is a great way to be close to fresh air and a calm environment. Before you purchase the home, make sure you ask important questions like: Has the Home Flooded Before? How often did the previous owners make repairs? This and the other 9 tips for buying a waterfront home can help you in your decision-making process.

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