Be sure to check these five items off your list before buying a waterfront home

Although waterfront homes may be known for their exterior beauty, not all of them are created equal. Living on the shoreline comes with an extra layer of responsibility, and individuals that own homes on the coast must be prepared when purchasing and maintaining their properties.

Our realtors understand the ins and outs of waterfront properties. Here, we’ll dive into the common mistakes buyers make when purchasing homes on the ocean and how you can avoid them.

1. Ignoring Property Inspections

As with any property, it’s smart to get a home inspected prior to buying. However, when it comes to waterfront homes, this is a step that absolutely cannot be skipped. Be sure to contact a local coastal property inspector to take a look at the home before making any agreements.

One area that is particularly important to focus on is the bulkhead barrier. This barrier is a wall that separates the ocean from the property. If a bulkhead is not up to par, a buyer may need to take the necessary steps to repair the existing wall. 

By getting an inspection prior to buying, you’ll have a clear idea of whether or not any extra costs will be associated with the property. Plus, your realtor may be able to help you negotiate the home sale price in order to make up for any additional expenses.

2. Buying or Building a Home that Isn’t Weather-Proof

The ocean adds an extra element of wind, rain, salt, and potential weather damage to a home. Therefore, it’s necessary that any home bought or built on the water is as weather-proof as possible. 

Features like storm shutters, tall foundations, and strong windows should be prioritized in your search while purchasing a home on the water.

3. Not Understanding the Rules of the Land

Waterfront homes are attractive to buyers because of their access to the ocean. Individuals that like to boat, fish, jetski, or swim crave the backyard recreation that a home on the ocean offers.

However, each community will come with its own set of regulations that constitute what property owners can and cannot do with their properties. Everything from dock regulations to tree removal and even sea wall logistics must be cleared by the rules in the area. 

4. Not Researching the Neighborhood

It’s important that you do your research prior to moving into a waterfront community. By learning about what the neighborhood has to offer ahead of time, you’ll set yourself up for a successful home purchase.

In addition to using your realtor as a resource, you may also consider talking to the neighborhood association or community members to get an in-depth idea of what life would actually look like in the area.

5. Skipping Flood Insurance

When living next to a body of water, flood insurance is necessary. Although this type of insurance can be expensive, you should consult a knowledgeable insurance provider to understand how much it would be to insure the property that you have your eye on. A real estate agent with experience in waterfront property can connect you with all the necessary resources and qualified providers in the area.


For more information about waterfront homes and communities, check out our blog. We highlight everything you need to know about purchasing Naples waterfront real estate.