Owning waterfront property is the dream of many homeowners all over. And what’s not to like? You can live the kind of lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of and come home to a vacation each and every night in communities such as Bay Head, Mantoloking and others. But unsurprisingly there are a number of additional considerations when it comes to purchasing waterfront properties that just don’t come up with regular properties.
We’ve put together a quick guide of some of the things you need to look out for when buying Ocean County waterfront property - be it oceanfront, bayfront, lakefront, or riverfront, they all have their own special considerations.
Hire a Specialized, Local Waterfront Realtor
Buying waterfront property is a big investment. Simply put. You want to ensure that you make as informed a decision as possible and gain advice from an experienced, local agent that knows what to look out for in an waterfront home, specifically in the area that you want to buy in. A local expert will be able to offer invaluable advice when it comes to any number of special considerations.
Consider Your Own Lifestyle
Why do you want a waterfront home? Perhaps more importantly what type of waterfront suits you and your family's needs the best? Are you looking for the beautiful wide open views of the Atlantic, pristine white sand between your toes? Or, would you prefer the solitude and calm waters of the lake?
There are many different waterfront options each with their own positive and negative points, which ones line up the best with your preferred lifestyle?
Consider the Property Itself, Not Just the House
The waterfront is unique from other home buying situations as your greatest asset won’t be the house itself, or even the land where it stands, it’s the body of water next to it. You need to know exactly where the property line ends. Does it extend right to the water’s edge? What level of privacy will you have? The same great, wide-open lake or ocean view that appeals to you also means a similarly great view looking right back in. Make sure you dress accordingly.
Special Maintenance Considerations
Homes on the water tend to be much more exposed to the elements. This doesn’t just refer the occasional summer squall either. The sand and salty ocean air are bound to take their toll on the home itself, plus maintenance of a boathouse or dock is another expense to consider. If you plan on living in a particularly hurricane-prone area, then storm shutters are definitely a solid investment as are stainless steel door handles. For lakefront properties, who is responsible for maintenance of lake weed?
What Kind of Changes are Allowed?
You should always do your research before buying any home; get in contact with the local HOA and talk to neighbors. In most states, areas below the waterline are not owned by the county but by the state. This means they could be governed by a different set of regulations. Don’t just assume that you can put in a boathouse or pier, if you want. Different government agencies have different regulation, as will your local HOA.
Insurance? I need Insurance?
What kind of special coverage will you need? Wind damage and water damage coverage may come from different providers. You need to know what type of insurance you’ll need and where to get it from. Standard Insurance like you'd get with a home in a regular neighborhood just won't cut it in most cases.
I hope we haven't scared you off the prospect of owning waterfront property one day. Living in a waterfront community like Bay Head, Mantoloking or Point Pleasant can be a very rewarding way to spend your downtime. If you know what you're getting into and what to look out for, you can ensure a great experience. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at all.
Do you have experience buying waterfront property? Any advice or educational horror stories you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.