A waterfront property can be a great investment, but it can also be a huge financial mistake if you don't do your due diligence. Here are two things you need to check when shopping for waterfront homes for sale before making an offer on a home:
The Home's Weather/Water Resistance
One of the first things you need to check with a waterfront property is how weather and water resistant it is; that is, how well it will withstand its environment. There are two specific concerns here.
First, waterfront properties are not as protected from weather events as their inland neighbors. Therefore, the home's structure should be sturdy enough to endure high winds and other weather-related problems native to the area you're considering.
Second, salt water is highly corrosive and constantly circulates in the air because of evaporation. Nearby properties tend to deteriorate faster if they're not properly designed to be in such an environment. For instance, any metal on the exterior of your building will corrode five to ten times faster than if you were living near fresh water. However, living near fresh water can also be problematic because the air tends to be more humid, which may encourage mold growth.
Look for homes made from (or covered with) salt-resistant materials, such as vinyl siding. Make none of the plumbing pipes are above ground and check the basement is as waterproof as possible to protect against possible flooding.
Another thing you need to check is flood predictions for the areas. According to the experts, melting ice glaciers and sheets are causing sea levels to rise. The long-term consequence of this is that some areas that appear safe now will be flooded over time. If you purchase a home in a risky area, you may end up having to fork over more money to move to move your home to a different area, raise it up above the water level, or sell at a loss as the area become uninhabitable.
Therefore, it's essential you check the flood tables and projections for the area where you want to purchase waterfront property. FEMA has a flood map where you can look up hazard information for a particular address. An alternative option is to consult with a survey professional who has experience in environmental concerns to evaluate the area for risks associated with a rising sea level. If the water is expected to raise a significant amount in the time you expect to own the property, you may want to keep searching for something safer.
For more tips and advice on buying waterfront property, contact a real estate agent.