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Is Investing in Waterfront Property a Good Idea?

By Jamie Richardson | June 20, 2019

The sale price premium of waterfront property is currently at 36%, which is lower than the 54% it was in 2012 and the 41% average over the past couple of decades. So what does that mean for you?

Owning waterfront real estate is something that many people dream of. Whether it's a permanent residence or just a summer getaway. But because of the extremely high sale prices, many times that dream remains unfulfilled.

Low prices are fuelling the surge of foreign Tampa Bay condo buyers

That doesn't have to be the case anymore! Keep reading to find out if investing in waterfront property is a good idea and why!

Waterfront Property: What You Should Know!

There has never been a better time to invest in waterfront property. The premiums are low and that means your chances of getting the home or vacation spot of your dreams is higher than ever before. But before you go pull the trigger, here are some tips for making sure you get the best deal, while also walking away happy with your purchase.

1. Start the Loan Process Early

There are 2 major reasons why you want to start looking into the loan process before you even start looking at properties. The first reason is that because of the premium for waterfront properties, the qualification standards are higher. That means it might take longer than usual to get approved for what you want.

The second reason is that if you start looking for your dream property prior to approval, you may miss out on that house due to the financing. If you are approved before you start looking, then when you pull the trigger, you'll be in a much better position to finalize everything in a timely manner.

2. Find the RIGHT Agent

There are incredible real estate agents all over the country. But when it comes to finding the perfect waterside real estate, you want to be pickier about who you work with. For instance, if you are wanting to find a place in the Killearn Lakes area, you'll want someone familiar with the properties there.

Most traditional real estate agents are not going to have the same level of knowledge that a specialist will have. A waterfront specialist will know the best locations to help you get the best deal. They will also be able to take your desires and your checklist and make those things a reality.

3. Focus More on Property, Less on House

Many times people are so focused on the house itself, that they neglect other aspects of having waterfront property. Things such as the view, the quality of water, and ease of access to the water. The last thing you want is to buy a house you like with a premium price tag, only to find out the actual waterfront aspect is less than satisfactory.

4. Pick the Right Water

Not all waterfront properties and not all water is equal. When searching for the right place for you, make sure to consider what it is you want in waterfront property?

Do you want the crisp smell of salt air every morning? Do you want to hear the sound of crashing waves? Or do you want to just revel in silence as you look over a smaller lake?

5. Consider Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle will help you determine what kind of waterfront property will be best for you. If you are planning on being on the water regularly, then you may want a property with a dock or easy access to drive your boat down to the water. If you simply want to enjoy the view, then easy access to the water won't be as important.

6. Inspect Carefully

Waterfront property may look beautiful, but it can also cause problems for the home. The increased moisture levels from being by the water can cause things like mildew and mold. So you will want to make sure the property is thoroughly inspected by a professional who specializes in waterfront properties.

7. Research Insurance & Other Expenses

Insurance for waterfront property can be much more expensive than your typical house. Especially if the house you are looking at is in a flood zone or has a history of flooding. But it's not just water, things like wind or being in a place where it storms a lot can increase your insurance as well.

There can also be other expenses for waterfront properties that you may not find in a traditional home. Know what these are before making a big purchase.

8. Know What You Can and Can't Do

Some waterfront properties come with some very strict rules as to what you can and can't do. If you are wanting to build something like a dock or a boat launch, you will want to look into what the city will actually allow you to do.

Also, if you are wanting to do things like jet ski or wakeboard, make sure those things are allowed. You'd hate to get hit with a fine for doing something you aren't allowed to do. Do your research, and save yourself a hefty bill later.

9. Establish Your Responsibilities

Depending on where your property is located, there may be certain standards you have to meet from various homeowners associations. This could be making sure the yard and property are taken care of. Or this could be doing other things that keep the value of both your neighborhood and property at the highest level possible.

10. Devise a Gameplan

You need to decide whether you are going to be using this property as just a weekend getaway or vacation home during the summer, or if this is going to be your primary residence.

If you are planning on making it your primary home, you'll want to figure out a buying strategy that'll work for you long term. If it is just going to be vacation home, then you'll want to look into possible rental options for when you are not there to help offset the additional cost of having 2 homes.

Time to Make Your Dream Come True

As you can see, there's never been a better time to invest in waterfront property. And now that you know what to do, it's time to get this train rolling! Pretty soon, you'll be laying out on your patio with a Mai Tai soaking in some rays.

The well of knowledge doesn't just stop here though. If you have any real estate related questions send an email to [email protected], and let Brian answer all your real estate questions or concerns!

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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