"It's Not The Will To Win That Matters. It's The Will To Prepare To Win That Matters."
I recently responded to a post written by a fellow Active Rain real estate agent, who shared several valuable points for those contemplating the acquisition of a second home. As my specialty is waterfront property, I provided a few suggestions for those second home prospective buyers looking to purchase a waterfront property. Several Active Rain readers suggested I write a post as it relates to second home waterfront property acquisition.
Here goes.....For those readers not familiar with waterfront property, every lake, stream or river has its own unique characteristics. One can't compare various waterfront offerings to that of, let's say, perusing two-story dwellings or homes without a basement.
The first aspect with considering the purchase of any waterfront property, the prospective buyer must define with some detail, those features which are considered an absolute "necessity". Next on the list, determine what if any, other features would enhance a particular waterfront property for consideration?
Equally important, the prospective buyer should commit to familiarize himself with those conditions which exist on a particular body of water. Here a just a few examples of items to contemplate when considering a specific location:
A. Identify the topography of the land adjacent to the waterfront. Is it hilly, steep or generally flat?
B. Ascertain from reliable sources, as to whether there are water level fluctuations which occur at various times of the year. This can be of particular concern for those bodies of water which are controlled by a dam. Failure to investigate could cause an unknowing buyer to find his boat dock resting on mud during certain times of the year.
C. Approach those who serve as "custodians" for a body of water, to ascertain what regulations are in place as it relates to waterfront construction, permitting and use regulations ("cigar boat" use, dredging or retaining wall fabrication).
D. Regarding permits, gather detailed information as it relates to the type of docking facility(s) which is permitted, ie. number of slips allowed, walkway requirements, construction materials permitted, number of platforms permitted (one or two story) etc.?
E. Identify if a particular property is regulated by an HOA or other governing body (Corps of Engineers, etc.)
F. Inquire from knowledgeable individual's, the amount of boat traffic and activity which takes place on the body of water at various times of the year. Are there numerous fishing tournaments, regatta's, etc.?
With today's market conditions, don't expect to acquire everything on your "must have" list. One should approach the process with an open mind. As an example: "I want a waterfront property with a long range, expansive view." Be prepared to accept a property with an elevated topography. Note: flat lots will generally provide "a stunning view" of the opposite shoreline but little else. Example: If you want an exceptional view, in most cases, be prepared for a walk up or down an incline to access the water's edge.
Compromise is part of the equation when purchasing waterfront property. I have, what I consider, an ideal waterfront property. I did sacrifice however, the convenience of shopping/dining in close proximity to my place of abode.
Is your waterfront property acquisition to be used as a full time residence, or will you occupy it on an occasional basis? This is an important consideration, as occupying a lakefront property on a part time basis, affords one more leeway as it relates to the number of "must haves".
Understand that you will incur additional expense with owning waterfront property. Depending on your amount/type of waterfront activity, consider the fact that powerboat maintenance/winterizing, dock maintenance/repair, boat and dock insurance costs and possibly, irrigation maintenance, is part of waterfront ownership.
Preparing oneself as to what to expect, makes the actual search for a waterfront property much easier, as the amount of "unexpected" questions, will be reduced to a minimum.
Finally, with limited inventory in many areas of our country, have your "ducks in a row" as it relates to making a decision when you find a property which meets a majority of your desires. I continually experience potential waterfront buyer's who proceed to engage with the "hand-wringing" process......only to experience those gut-wrenching words, "sorry, it's under contract"!
Remember, "it's the will to prepare to win that matters."
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