Owning a waterfront property can make you feel like you’re on a yearlong vacation. However, purchasing and living in one comes with a hefty price tag. To make sure you end up with the waterfront home of your dreams, you have to approach the buying process objectively and with eyes wide open.
It can be very easy to fall in love with – and very tempting to make an offer immediately on – a waterfront property because of the gorgeous views. Before you decide to do so, let us caution you on some mistakes to avoid when purchasing your dream waterfront home:
- Neglecting flood insurance
Having a home in front of a lake or large body of water makes it prone to flooding. To make sure your property is protected, purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Note that even if a standard home insurance covers damage due to fire, hurricanes, and other calamities, natural disasters like earthquakes and flooding are not usually included.
As a first step, determine what flood zone your property belongs to. The amount you’ll need to pay on your insurance will depend on the projected frequency, severity, and depth of floods in your area.
- Failing to plan out your finances
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is an adage for a reason – just as there’s a reason a waterfront home is more expensive than most inland properties. Therefore, if you intend to take out a loan to purchase a waterfront property, know that you’ll need to apply for a specialty loan. This type of loan takes longer to process, so secure your financing as early as possible to avoid jeopardizing the sale.
- Not understanding the maintenance needs of a waterfront property
Maintaining waterfront properties can be costly. If you’re part of a homeowner’s association, they usually require a certain standard of maintenance on top of monthly fees (for example, ensuring the uniformity and cleanliness of your exterior). If your house is in front of a body of water that tends to have rough water, it is a possibility that break walls or docks can deteriorate more rapidly.
- Not inspecting the property
While you may opt-out of inspecting a home you’re about the purchase, we caution you against skipping this step. Remember that a waterfront home is subject to more wear and tear than an inland property mainly because of the environment it’s in. A standard inspection will cover 10 key areas in the house, which is important. However, you may also want to hire an inspector who can check the condition of the structures on the water itself, such as your pier or dock, and if the home is immediately next to the water, inspect for soil erosion.
- Not hiring a specialized real estate agent
Having a real estate agent who has substantial experience in selling waterfront properties is invaluable. These agents will point out the critical characteristics of a waterfront property buyers should be aware of. A specialized agent will save you time, money, and headaches during the purchasing process of your home.
If you want a house facing the lake, we suggest choosing Lake Chelan waterfront property or Wenatchee waterfront real estate. Lake Chelan, the biggest natural lake in Washington State, spans more than 55 miles in length and enjoys 300 days of sunshine every year. Lake Wenatchee, which is five miles long, is a popular destination for boaters and windsurfers.