Things To Consider Before Buying Waterfront Property

Dated: January 31 2019

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Things To Consider Before Buying Waterfront PropertyOwning waterfront property is a common dream, but in order to prevent your dream from becoming a nightmare you must know what waterfront property warning signs to look out for. 

Things To Consider Before Buying Waterfront Property

No Storm Shutters Or Other Protection From Weather

Waterfront homes are going to endure more harsh storms than other properties; it’s just a fact of life. In order to weather these storms, homes must be built with proper protective measures such as storm shutters. Some homes go above and beyond, offering garages that open up and turn into floodgates to allow high water levels to rush beneath the home instead of through it.  Always ask about the materials and protective measures added to a home to ensure it can weather any storm.


Sinkholes are not uncommon in Florida and houses that sit near the water can be at a greater risk. That’s because sinkholes are often caused by changes in the surrounding water, even groundwater gradients are capable of creating a sinkhole over time—hence how sinkholes form many miles from bodies of water. If it is determined that there is a sinkhole below home damage can total hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. The property must be vacated in order for foundation repair methods to be implemented.

Signs of sinkholes include:

  • Doors and windows on the home do not close or open properly.
  • A sinking or sagging appearance to the home or other structures on the property, such as a shed in the backyard.
  • Cracks in the walls, floors or ceiling
  • Exterior cracks along walls

A thorough home inspection, typically conducted during escrow, will reveal if there are foundation issues related to sinkholes or other things. A real estate agent will ensure all necessary inspections are conducted to prevent you from purchasing an unsafe home that is literally sinking.

Water Levels & Overall Safety

When purchasing a home on the water it’s important to find out how water levels are maintained and how high they have the potential of rising. Does anyone control these levels; is there a dam in place?

Make sure to inquire about the overall safety of the water and its general cleanliness. Is it safe to swim in? Does anyone ever test the water for harmful pollutants? If yes, how are residents informed if the water is unsafe?

As a homeowner do you become responsible for maintaining portions of the water? Find out your responsibilities as well as any limitations, such as any banned water activities. 

Rural Homes & Utilities

A rural property that sits on the water might look incredibly appealing but it’s important to dig deeper to uncover what all the property has to offer. Many rural properties do not have traditional plumbing, clean water systems, electrical or Internet services. In order to add these modern day luxuries it can be extremely expensive. Before falling in love with any property make sure that it comes with all of your must-haves. If it does not, you’ll want to get estimates to see what it costs to install them.

Rural waterfront properties often have private septic systems on the property. Find out if the system has recently passed state inspections. You want to see the inspection report as well as the as-built plan. It’s important to question the size, age, location and type of septic system on the property.

The Cost Of Flood Insurance

It generally costs more to insure a home on or near a body of water. That’s because your risk for flooding and weather-related damages increase. It’s always wise to find out how much insurance will cost on a certain property because it could push the home out of your price range.

Enlist The Help Of An Agent That Specializes In Waterfront Properties

You might assume that every real estate agent has the background knowledge necessary to help you secure a great waterfront property but you can never assume this to be true. In fact, you should really only trust an agent that specializes in waterfront properties. There are just too many unique factors to look out for to avoid buying a money pit that will be worthless or greatly devalued in only a few years.

Curri Properties specializes in waterfront homes throughout Brevard County. From lakefront cabins to beachfront mansions, we know exactly what to look out for in order to secure you a great deal on a home with a view of the water.

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