Purchasing Waterfront Property: What You Need to Know

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co.

Fred Mullins, Donna Mullins, & Erin Biby

Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Company

1201 White Street Ste. 101 Key West, FL 33040

Direct: 305-745-9440

Email: mullinsf@bellsouth.net

Website: www.lowerkeys-homes.com


When it comes to luxury living, nothing beats a home on the water. But there’s a lot more to buying a beachfront or ocean front home than just finding one that’s within your budget and has all the creature comforts you’d like included. There are some things you ought to know before you enter into a contract to purchase a waterfront property.

Waterfront property is of course, more expensive than comparable homes away from the coast. But cost is only one of many factors that go into choosing a waterfront property. For one, the fact that part of your property might change over time.

Waterfront Versus Inland Homes

The beach is always in high demand, no matter the real estate market at-large and is therefore more costly. In addition, it’s a real attraction to retailers, restaurateurs, entertainment venues and more. Which means when you live on the waterfront, there will be a lot of nearby places to dine, shop, relax, enjoy the nightlife, and more. Bonus!

Inland properties, on the other hand, are generally situated within a community that’s further away from these amenities, and that, combined with being landlocked, make them less expensive, and less desirable.

Things You Ought to Know about Waterfront Properties

So you’re well aware that waterfront properties have a bigger sticker price. But it’s worth the price because of the view and access to the water. Here are some things you might not know about waterfront properties:

  • The “landscape” will change over time. Beach erosion is an ongoing phenomenon. It occurs because of natural cycles and the exposure to the elements. Not only might you lose a bit of beach, your new home better be up to the challenge of withstanding the forces of Mother Nature.
  • You might not be able to make improvements to your waterfront property. Docks, decks, and other improvements might be prohibited because of what’s known as “riparian rights”. Sure, you might own your home and the property on which it sits, but not have the legal right to make additions which extend into and/or over the water.
  • Speaking of riparian rights, there’s also public access to consider. Some waterfront homes have exclusive rights to the beach, while others do not and the public can visit that strip of land.
  • Look into financing early-on. You’ll need to get your financing in order before you even begin the property search because these types of homes are always in high demand and others might beat you to the punch.
  • Last, but not least, consider insurance. It’s more extensive and costly when your home is on the water.

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Steve Ewing - Keller Williams Realty
Keller Williams - Stockton, CA

Something else to be taken into consideration is the local wild life, critters that is.  I had a home on a lake and had to contend with a large population of geese, big geese, very big noisy, dirty geese.  I knew they were there however did not understand all the parameters of living with geese.  Then there were the skunks, the raccoon's, possums and other critters that made for interesting neighbors.  Oh by the way, the lake I lived on was in town, in a neighborhood, not out in a rural area where you would expect all those critters.  Anyway, riparian rights are important however do not forget the local wild life.

Apr 17, 2015 04:06 AM #1
Team Mullins
Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co. - Key West, FL

Definitely! The Florida Keys is an extremely environmentally sensitive area. Many endangered species call the Florida Keys home, including the beloved Key Deer! Thank you for the comment!

Apr 23, 2015 04:13 AM #2
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