Breathtaking views, the fresh coastal breeze, and the soothing sound of crashing waves – all these just right outside your door when you own an oceanfront home. For many people, owning a beautiful waterfront home is the dream. Sitting back with an ice cold beverage while soaking in the panoramic views from the balcony or sundeck of your very own home is certainly an enticing thought.
However, there are many home buyers who get too caught up with the idea of buying a waterfront property that their dream slowly ends up turning into a nightmare.
For those looking to buy a waterfront home, there are some intricacies as well as potential problems to avoid that you normally wouldn’t need to deal with when purchasing an inland property. If you’re searching for waterfront homes for sale in Southern California, here are a few important things to keep in mind:
Stick to a budget
There are many home buyers who focus too much on achieving their goal that they end up with something they can’t really afford. It’s not just the mortgage you’ll have to think about – there are also all sorts of repairs and renovations that usually come with any home, particularly with a waterfront property.
Waterfront homes are exposed to harsh elements 24/7, such as the salty sea air and strong winds that traditional inland homes do not need to withstand.
Before you start searching for homes, plan ahead by preparing financial outlooks for year one, five, ten, and so on of owning the waterfront home.
Get info on the community
It’s easy to get fixated on the scenic views and the lovely beach that you forget about everything else.
Before making any significant decision, be sure to look beyond the incredible scenery and the stylish home. As with any type of home, remember to look into the neighborhood and the type of environment and culture it offers. Is the community a magnet for spring breakers, or is it more of a laid-back beach town for retirees? This is something you’ll need to look into, or you might end up regretting your purchase later on.
Get proper insurance
Compared to inland properties, waterfront homes have different, more expensive insurance policies as they face higher risk of wind damage and flooding. Depending on the area, you might need to purchase several insurance policies, including ones that cover wind damage, flood damage, and another one for the home itself.
Understanding what insurance policies a waterfront home may require and how much it costs is a smart idea before you buy. You can get more detailed information from an insurance broker who’s familiar with up-to-date waterfront policies, so you don’t end up overpaying for ones you really don’t need.
Hire a coastal home inspector
Hiring an inspector who has plenty of experience with coastal properties is one of the best things you can do if you want to avoid major problems down the line.
The harsh environment and weather-related problems present unique issues which are not typically on the radar of inspectors who don’t have much experience working with waterfront homes. Coastal home inspectors know exactly what to look for, and will be able to spot problems caused by the sand, salty air, wind-driven water, and other elements.
Consider the home’s orientation
Getting more information about the neighborhood is one thing, but you’ll also need to consider which direction the home faces as well as which way the wind blows. You’ll need to research whether a home facing west for example, is more prone to storm damage in the area compared to a north or south-facing home.
Looking forward to enjoying magnificent views of the sunset from your balcony?
While it might not be as important to some people, you’ll want to go with a west-facing home if you’d like to enjoy perfect views of the sunset at the end of each day.
Know about local ordinances if you plan to go boating
If you’re interested in boating, make sure the home and area in question will be able to accommodate the size and type of your watercraft. Remember to get information on what ordinances cover boating and docking in the area.
You’ll also want to find a home where you can enjoy easy access to your favorite activities. So if you love fishing, kayaking, or canoeing for example, find out whether or not the body of water located close to the home is ideal for these type of activities.