Most water-loving people dream of having a home near the water. In fact, realtors claim that waterfront property is one of the most sought-after and quickest property sales on the market. Here are three things you should know about buying a home near the water – before you buy!
1. Body Boundaries
If you are looking to buy a water-side house, make sure the property lines extend all the way to the edge of the water. If there is a dock, make sure you find out who is legally responsible for the wood plats and piers that constantly need to be replaced. One of the best ways to find the information is to obtain a legal description of the property by asking for an examination by a marine inspection services company. Purchasing a waterfront property with no access to the water would be heartbreaking.
2. Property Improvements
Many buyers believe that once they purchase an area of property, they can make as many improvements as they want. However, many cities and counties limit and restrict waterfront additions, alterations or modifications. This is especially true of modifying or replacing docks, water-side buildings and additions to existing homes. There are also often rules and regulations about removing trees, building fences and hardscape property additions.
3. Hidden Expenses
Waterfront homes often come with land leases because the government or local county maintains possession of the land the homes or cabins are built on. Although that means you won’t be paying property taxes if the land is leased, it requires a long-term property contract with the government or municipality for as long as 100 years that can add up to $750 per month to your expenses. Make sure you understand existing property ownership restrictions before purchasing the home.
Before you buy, have a marine inspection, check for hidden lease expenses, and determine what property alterations are applicable. It may take time to find all the hidden costs and limitations, but it will be well worth it.