Purchasing a Waterfront Home:

If you’re on the hunt for that perfect waterfront property, there’s more to the process than meets the eye.

Appraisals, termite inspections, lake levels, zoning restrictions, easements, coastal commissions, flood insurance – the list goes on when you’re considering a waterfront home purchase, says Lori McGuire.

The Reeves Team specializes in waterfront listings in Arizona. The first step in buying a home on the water, she says, is to find an experienced real estate agent who has worked with such properties.

Professionals are key to a waterfront home purchase. Someone who’s experienced in waterfront properties should have strong connections to architects, home inspectors, coastal commission and zoning committee members.

Questions Waterfront Buyers Should Ask

Do you want direct beach access? A home with this feature has a higher value, but you need to find out if the access is direct or if the home is merely a few blocks from the beach.
Is the access staircase or dock shared or private? Find out who’s responsible for maintenance and who is permitted to use the access point. Waterfront homeowners, particularly those who live on the beach, are more territorial about access and privacy.
If you’re purchasing the property as a vacation rental, do you need a vacation rental permit? This could be a deal-breaker if you cannot obtain a permit in a timely manner and had planned to rent the property out for income. Zoning restrictions for waterfront properties tend to be strict. And if issues arise with a permit, it could take months – even years – to get things resolved in court.
Are you allowed to have motorized watercraft, such as boats, waverunners or jet skis? Is there a place to dock such vehicles? If this issue is critical to you, find out before you get too attached to the property.
Are there are any remodeling or renovation restrictions? If you have plans to remodel a waterfront property, find out if there are limitations on what you can do. Renovations or features that obstruct ocean or lake views, such as heighted additions, might be prohibited.
Has the seller done a termite inspection? Termites love oceanfront properties because of the salt air, and getting rid of these pests can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
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