Guest Blogger #710, Entry #1653, September 26, 2012
Whether you’re looking for a vacation home, you’re preparing for retirement, or you simply want to surround yourself with the beauty of nature, away from the madding crowd of urban living, waterfront property can provide the serene setting you’ve been dreaming of. And there are a lot of obvious benefits to choosing such real estate. However, like any major financial transaction, you need to take the time to consider potential drawbacks, as well, before you jump into the deep end. So here are just few aspects of a waterfront property purchase that you should definitely think about.
Aside from the upfront cost to buy waterfront property (which is often pretty steep), you need to consider that there may be added costs for insurance and maintenance when you choose to live near water. If you can barely afford the purchase price you may not be prepared to take on the additional costs associated with waterfront living.
2. Market stability.
Yes, the housing market is in a bad way at the moment, with no signs of making a speedy recovery. So purchasing pricy waterfront property can be scary proposition. But as the saying goes, location is everything, and certain beach communities seem to be holding steady while others continue to see decreases in sales (and lowering prices). If you’re looking for a property that is likely to remain stable over the next couple of years, consider communities that have enduring appeal and that don’t see a lot of new construction (like Nantucket Island, for example). It won’t guarantee market stability, but your home is more likely to retain value over time.
3. Type of water.
You might not think that it makes a difference whether you purchase a lakefront property or a house that is mere steps from the ocean, but the type of water you choose to live near should be a consideration, and not just because of the view. You should always stop to think about how the climate you live in is going to affect the longevity of your home, and certain locales may take more of a toll on your structure, leading to additional maintenance (more frequent repairs and replacement of materials). Whereas a coastal home may be buffeted by strong winds and scoured by salt water spray, a lake home could be subjected to constant moisture. And don’t forget about the potential for shoreline erosion, sediment deposits, and seasonal tides that could affect a property placed too close to the water.
Sources of water are a natural draw for all sorts of wildlife, although you will mainly have to contend with fish and birds. For some people this is a bonus of living near wetlands. But others will find that cohabitating with wild animals comes with odors, racket, and other detriments they cannot abide. Just so you know, the wildlife isn’t likely to move out.
5. Seasonal storms.
Whether you’re living in your Malibu dream home, you’ve procured a lake house in the Adirondacks, or you’re looking at Galt Ocean Mile condos on the Florida coast, you need to consider if seasonal storms are going to pose a threat to your property (and potentially your life). Certain areas are notorious for harsh weather and serious storms (hello, hurricanes); you need to be aware of such dangers before you buy.
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