Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

Looking At Waterfront Homes? 4 Things To Consider Before Purchasing

If you're thinking about buying a waterfront home, be prepared to pay close attention to all the details. Buying waterfront property is slightly different from buying a home that's landlocked. In fact, in a lot of ways, buying a waterfront home is considerably different. There are quite a few different variables that go into buying waterfront property. If you're not careful, you could end up buying a headache instead of a home. Before you buy a waterfront home, here are four steps you should take to avoid serious problems later on.

Think About the Things You Can't See

When it comes to buying waterfront property, you need to pay close attention to the things you can't see. The first thing you need to consider is the condition of the bulkhead. The bulkhead is the retainer wall that's designed to protect the property from the water. A good majority of the bulkhead will be under the water. If the bulkhead is damaged, you could be looking at a serious risk to the house, not to mention a costly repair. You'll want a professional inspection of the bulkhead before you purchase any waterfront home. You'll also want to know what type of metal was used in the construction of the house. The last thing you want is to have metal that's susceptible to rust and corrosion, especially when it comes to the nails that were used. Try to find a home that was constructed with stainless steel. You'll get better protection against the moisture.

Understand the Financing Requirements

If you're not prepared for the financing requirements, you might be in for a shock when it comes time to find a lender. Most mortgage companies require specialty loans for waterfront property. This means the process will be lengthier, more detailed, and potentially more costly. Before you find a property you want, sit down to discuss the lending requirements with a mortgage company that has experience processing specialty loans.

Identify the Restrictions Regarding Improvements

If you're in the market for waterfront homes, make sure you'll be able to use the property the way you want to. Some waterfront communities place stringent restrictions on what improvements can be done, and how the property can be used. For instance, if you want to install a boat dock, you'll need to make sure that one is allowed. If you plan on swimming in the water, you'll need to make sure that swimming is not a prohibited activity before you buy.

Don't Forget About the Flood Insurance

When it comes to owning waterfront property, you need to be prepared for the occasional flooding. That means you're going to need flood insurance. Before you settle on a property, talk to an insurance agent about flood insurance. If the home you're looking at has sustained flood damage in the past, you might find the cost of insuring it to be cost-prohibitive. Not only that, but talking to an insurance agent will allow you to find out if the house you're looking at has sustained flood damage that was not repaired properly.