Owning lakefront property can be a true pleasure, but if you don't buy carefully, it can also turn into a bit of a nightmare. To ensure your dream home does not end up being a bad dream, follow these tips when searching for waterfront property for the first time.
Use a realtor who specializes in waterfront homes.
The waterfront homes in your area are likely priced very differently than other non-waterfront properties in the same vicinity. A realtor who regularly sells waterfront properties will be more familiar with the particular market surrounding these homes. This can help ensure you don't end up overpaying.
Pay close attention to the view.
The home's beautiful. It's on the water. That's good enough, right? Maybe not. Pay close attention to the view of the water when buying a waterfront home. If it's on the lake, but you can barely see the lake from the yard because of the way the landscape is laid out, you're going to end up disappointed. (And you may not get what you'd hope when you sell the home again.) Pay attention to small trees that may not block your view now, but will once they grow larger.
Consider your lifestyle and how you'll use the water.
Not all waterfront properties are created equal when it comes to the boundary between the water and your land. Some have docks, some have beach-like water entries, and others have cliff-like borders. If you plan on fishing, swimming, or otherwise using the water from your home, make sure your property is set up to allow the kind of water access you need for your chosen activity.
Get insurance estimates before you buy.
Insuring a waterfront property can get expensive. There's a lot more risk that your insurance company needs to account for, since a visitor could become injured in or near the water, and the water could cause damage to your home. Get estimates from several insurance companies on any home you're considering buying before you sign that contract. You don't want to be left with a sky-high premium that eats into your budget.
Read HOA guidelines carefully.
Many waterfront communities have homeowners associations, and these associations set forth guidelines for property maintenance. Make sure you know what these guidelines are before you buy a particular home. You don't want to move into a dreamy cottage with plans to add expansive flower beds and then discover flower beds are not allowed, for instance.
For more information, contact professionals like Chistopher Paul Johnson, P.A.