9 Ways to Avoid Getting Burned When Buying Waterfront Property

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

9 Ways to Avoid Getting Burned When Buying Waterfront Property

1.       Water Front, Access and View. Not all waterfront property is created equal. Waterfront is not the same as water access. There are no guarantees when it comes to water views. Assess the risk of development that might restrict access or views before buying.

2.       Navigable Water. How much water do you need for your boat? How much height do you need for your sailboat's mast or power boat's flying bridge? Check for down river obstacles such as fixed bridges and overhanging power lines.

3.       Piers and Water Depth. Verify, verify, verify. Remember old fashioned lead lines? Now is the time to check that pier and the water depth at different times of high and low tides. You might have just enough water today and might not the next.

4.       National Flood Insurance. Who needs it? You will need it depending on the elevation of your home above the high water flood levels. Unless your home is located high up on a hillside, you should assume that you will need National Flood Insurance.

5.       Exposure: North, East, South, West. What's the best exposure for you? Do you want to watch the sun set or the sun rise? Do you want direct light and a South-facing home or indirect light and a North-facing home?

6.       Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Program. If you're within 1,000 feet of tidal waters or tidal wetlands, your building plans will be subject to additional scrutiny and requirements. Think before you buy. Consider engineering feasibility contingencies and get approval to do what you want before you purchase.

7.       Piers and Pier Permits. Pier permitting is a process specific to determining if you can build a pier extending from your waterfront property should one not exist. The process involves county and state agencies who review permit applications. You'll also need the appropriate permits to lengthen your pier.

8.       Know Your Rights. Riparian Rights define your rights as an owner for the use and enjoyment of the water that flows across or along your land. They include your right as an owner of land abutting a body of water to make use of the water area for piers, boat houses, for fishing, boating and navigation, and the right of access for such purposes.

9.       Get Help. Hiring the right real estate agent to assist you in your search for your ideal waterfront home is essential. A good agent can help you assess these and other considerations before you purchase that bay front cottage or waterfront mansion.

Posted by

Stephen Howell, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Annapolis, MarylandIf you are interested in buying a home in Annapolis, Maryland or the surrounding area and want to tour any property currently on the market, or if you have a home to sell in Annapolis, Maryland and want a professional consultation on current market conditions, please contact Stephen Howell at 443-994-8043 or e-mail him at showell@liveinannapolis.com or visit his website at LiveInAnnapolis.com.

Stephen Howell came to Annapolis to enjoy the Chesapeake bay in 1994. What he discovered was a whole new lifestyle. Ever since Stephen Howell has been successfully helping others make the most of Annapolis, Maryland. You'll find that with the right professional by your side, you can Live the lifestyle and live, work and play in Annapolis Maryland.

Stephen Howell and Jackson (his hound-mix from the HSSC) maintains residences on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland and Gulf Coast in Sarasota, Florida. He works in the Annapolis, Maryland real estate market. His website lets people search the Annapolis Maryland area MLS. Buyers can also search for waterfront homes along the Cheasapeake Bay. His website has current real estate data on Annapolis, Maryland.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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Home Buying
Maryland Anne Arundel County Annapolis
Advice for Buyers

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Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Stephen, excellent points for buyers to consider when looking for waterfront property and the right agent to work with!

Jul 09, 2011 03:17 AM #1
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Stephen by the bets blog i have seen regarding waterfront properties, thank you for the excellent tips and suggestions for buyers. Good job

Jul 09, 2011 03:21 AM #2
Katie McBride
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
The McBride Team

Great tips on what to watch out for when buying waterfront property.  Thanks for sharing.

Jul 09, 2011 03:22 AM #3
Stephen Howell
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Annapolis, MD
Annapolis MD Homes For Sale 443-994-8043

Silvia ... thanks for the positive feedback.

Scott ... this piece touches on all the major points when considering waterfront, it's not always about view!

Katie ... thanks!!!

Jul 09, 2011 03:41 AM #4
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Stephen, excellent information for waterfront property buyers. All new structures built after January 1, 1975 and all "substantial improvements" to existing structures MUST conform to current FEMA flood zone restrictions otherwise may be illegal. 

Jul 09, 2011 01:23 PM #5
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

This is an excellent post with important information that agents AND clients need! thanks!

Jul 11, 2011 09:30 AM #6
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Annapolis MD Homes For Sale 443-994-8043
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