Everyone dreams of having a house on a lake or a waterfront. However, buying this type of home is different from buying a home on a dry lot in a tree-lined neighborhood street. When you purchase a waterfront home, you are purchasing a lifestyle.
In fact, homebuyers often wonder about the process of buying a waterfront home. It is necessary to understand the differences between various types of properties, the considerations you are ought to make as a buyer, and the tips to follow.
If you are wondering what the process of buying a waterfront home is, follow the ten tips below that will help you understand more about purchasing a waterfront property and help you go through the entire process without any issues.
1- Figure Out Your Financing :
It doesn’t matter if you are about to buy your first or tenth home, a vacation or waterfront home, sorting out your financing early on is the most crucial step. It is even preferable to figure out the financing before viewing any listings.
If you are going to pay with cash when you purchase a waterfront home, this part is easier for you. However, many people need to apply for a mortgage to be able to afford a waterfront home in Florida.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important matter when buying a waterfront home. However, getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is different from getting pre-approved. Most realtors advise their clients to only accept offers from buyers who are already pre-approved.
Figuring out financing beforehand is also essential because the number of waterfront homes for sale is less than non-waterfront homes. There is a lot of competition on waterfront homes, and the only way to guarantee that your offer will be taken seriously among multiple offers is by having your mortgage pre-approved.
2- Connect With An Experienced Realtor
After sorting out your financing, it is time to hire a realtor with several years of experience. As the competition is high on the waterfront properties, you need someone who dealt with similar situations.
Before hiring a realtor, you should interview a few people to determine whether they can adequately represent you. To ensure that you hired the best realtor out there, you should ask all your questions during the interviews.
These are some of the important questions that you should ask a realtor before hiring them to help you buy a waterfront home in Florida.
– Have many waterfront homes been sold throughout their career?
– Do they work part-time or full time as a realtor?
– How do they communicate with their clients, i.e., waterfront homebuyers?
– Are they able to present references from past buyers they have worked with?
– What kind of services do they offer to their clients?
Since buying a waterfront home is different from other types of properties, it is crucial to hire a realtor who is experienced and knowledgeable enough to help you run the process as smoothly as possible. An experienced realtor knows what a buyer should be taking into consideration.
3- Ask Yourself If You Are Buying A Waterfront Home For The Right Cause
Before buying a waterfront home in Florida, it is necessary to pause and ask yourself why you are doing it. People may decide to purchase waterfront properties for many reasons. However, some reasons make more sense than others.
First and foremost, will you be using the water or not? Also, you should figure out if you are a fan of the lifestyle waterfront properties provide to its owners. Will you be inviting your friends and family over to enjoy themselves in the waters? If the answer is no to both of these questions, then you probably don’t need to pay extra for a waterfront home.
4- Remember That You Will Be Buying More Than The Property
Buying a waterfront property is not just about buying a place to live in; you are actually paying for the stunning views, the privacy, the easy access to the water, the frontage along the water, and many other things that a waterfront home offers.
Even though waterfront views are priceless, you will be paying an extra amount for it when buying a waterfront home.
5- Get Information About The Body Of Water
Before buying a waterfront home, it is necessary to research the body of water. Depending on what you are going to be using the water for, there are few things you should know about it.
If you are going to be boating, you should know about the water depths. Not all depths are suitable for all kinds of vessels. For example, a sailboat and a pontoon boat require different water depths.
If you intend to take swims in the waters, you need to study the quality of streams, whether it’s suitable for swimming and if it contains any weeds or dangerous fish.
6- Find Out If There’s Any Association Fees or Rules
As waterfront homes communities are tight, they might be part of an association that can add some fees to the purchase.
For instance, if you are buying a house on a lake, there might be an association that takes care of the waters and ensures its quality. The association can also take care of any problems you might endure in the lake. It is useful to research the association and find out about any potential fees. However, these associations may have some rules and regulations that waterfront homeowners need to abide by.
These rules can restrict a few things like installing big docks on the properties or fishing. If you want to know about the association’s fees and regulations, you should ask your realtor to communicate the matter with the seller’s realtor.
7- Find Out About The Flood Insurance Requirements
If you are buying a waterfront home, you probably need to get insured for floods. First, flood insurance is a property insurance coverage for damage against flooding. It is essential, as waterfront properties in Florida are at high risk for flooding.
Before buying a waterfront property, you need to understand that Flood insurance might be expensive in some cases. To understand more about the costs of flood insurance, you could use some online resources.
FloodSmart.gov, the official website of the National Flood Insurance Program, is a great resource to assess the potential flooding risks and know more about the costs.
8- Understand The Maintenance Responsibilities
Regardless of what type of property you are buying, maintenance is an essential aspect of homeownership that you need to consider. With waterfront homes come several maintenance responsibilities that need to be completed.
First is the maintenance of the frontage of the property. It is important to keep the front in good shape, mainly if the waterfront home is located on rough waters. You want to have your dock solidly built to avoid any breaking.
Unfortunately, waterfront properties are more vulnerable to damages caused by bad weather in comparison with properties on dry lots.
If you are thinking about buying a waterfront home in Florida, you should consider the maintenance of the deck, dock, roofs, and the sidings.
9- Don’t Overlook The Home Inspections
As much as skipping a home inspection is so tempting, it is important to conduct it, especially if you are buying a waterfront property. This step can’t be overlooked for various reasons. The water can result in enormous issues for the home; therefore, you should check if there are any possible water intrusion issues within the property. The process is carried out by a professional who will grant you peace of mind, for a minimal additional fee.
Also, you should ask for a septic inspection. Most waterfront homes are not connected to public sewers. That means a simple septic issue can cost you thousands of dollars.
10- Ask around the neighborhood
Waterfront communities are usually tight, and the residents are familiar with one and another. Before moving to any neighborhood, you should talk with the locals first. A quick conversation can let you know if there are any problems in the area, the pros and cons of living in it, and if the neighborhood is suitable for you in general.
To conclude, and as mentioned before, buying a waterfront home in Florida is different than any other property. Living in one comes with several advantages, such as privacy and exclusive views and responsibilities like high maintenance. A waterfront home buyer should consider several things before purchasing a waterfront property.
By taking into account the things mentioned before, you should be ready to start looking for your dream waterfront home in Florida!