Are you in the market to purchase a waterfront property? Or are you thinking about the possibility of owning your own little slice of paradise? Either way, the thought of owning a home on the water is an opportunity of a lifetime. Who wouldn’t want to wake up each morning to a beautiful sunrise?
As you begin the search for your little oasis, keep in mind the best time to buy a waterfront home. According to listwithclever.com, 39% of lakefront properties are sold between September through December. Why? Consider this: someone who owns a waterfront property may decide to hold off on listing it until the end of summer, so they can enjoy one more season with it. If you are looking to live in the waterfront property year-round, then it will be important to see how it looks in the offseason; therefore, waiting until the fall or winter will be in your favor.
Here are a few tips to consider as you begin the search.
Partner with an Experienced Realtor
If you haven’t started your search, make sure you retain a realtor who has experience with selling properties in your desired waterfront locations. S/he should be able to provide you with all the details on the area. Further, they should be able to share their knowledge of the water itself, such as if it has a history of bacteria concerns, if the bottom is filled with rocks, the depths in various areas, etc.
Newer vs. Older Home
Newer homes built within the last couple of years along the shoreline are more likely to retain their value. Interestingly, prices on older homes have soften in recent years due to climate change. Properties built in the 1900s were constructed at lower elevation levels, making them more susceptible to severe weather, like severe coastal storms and hurricanes. Newer homes are built at higher sea levels; therefore, they are more resistant to floods and other weather patterns.
According to a recent NY Times article, waterfront properties are generally more expensive to maintain and require a little more attention than their inland counterparts, resulting in more money on top of the sale price.
The cost to insure a waterfront property is more expensive than an inland home due to the higher risk of flooding and wind damage. You may be required to purchase multiple policies for your waterfront home based on its location. Flood insurance can be expensive and the premiums will be contingent upon the flood zone where the property is located. Consider working with a realtor or broker who has experience in in this area, or who can refer you to an insurance agent who specializes in flood insurance.
Owning a home along the water is an opportunity of a lifetime. Finding the perfect waterfront retreat takes careful planning, and timing can save you a few bucks if you don’t mind waiting until the offseason.
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