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Common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid when buying a waterfront property

balcony at sunset

Waking up to soothing views of the lake or the ocean from your very own home is certainly something to look forward to when you’re in the market for a waterfront property. Before you get there however, you might need to navigate through unique twists and turns that come with most waterfront property transactions.

Here are a few costly mistakes you should avoid:

Not being proactive in obtaining financing

Waterfront homes are usually more expensive than standard homes. Thus, most lenders place this type of home under a specialty loan category. This might make the loan take longer than what you expect, which means you may have to wait until the last minute to obtain the financing needed for the transaction.

Not being proactive in obtaining financing could turn out to be a roadblock in your search, and could possibly even jeopardize the entire deal.

Settling on a poorly built home

A waterfront home needs to be able to withstand the elements. It needs to be constructed out of quality materials that can withstand water and strong winds. If certain parts of the home’s exteriors consist of metal, such as gates, locks, or grills, they need to be made out of stainless steel.

Waterfront homes also need to be equipped with protective features such as taller-than-average foundations and storm-proof window shutters.

Failing to ask about future improvements or renovations

Before closing the deal, you or your contractor need to get in touch with the district office in case you plan on making any improvements on the home, as there may be environmental protection regulations near certain bodies of water.

The neighborhood’s homeowners association may also require residents to follow certain restrictions when it comes to any changes to the exterior, including landscaping, fence installation, and the color of paint you use.

Not assessing the bulkheads

Bulkheads act as walls or barriers that separate the lot from the water. Buyers are typically responsible for the construction of bulkheads, but sometimes the home seller or previous landowner is responsible.

With bulkheads, you don’t want to take any risks whatsoever. You need to hire a specialist or a licensed bulkhead inspector who will thoroughly examine the bulkhead or the section in the property where it should be placed. The inspection will also give you an idea of how much you’ll have to spend in order to build a quality bulkhead.

Not getting info from existing residents of the area

Talking to other residents may be hit or miss, but it can help if you can get valuable advice from someone who has been living in the area for some time. Striking a conversation with current residents of a waterfront neighborhood might give you the needed information on the home you’re planning to purchase, as your potential neighbors are usually in an excellent position to offer good advice.

Searching for the perfect waterfront property in North Colorado? Call me anytime at 970-316-5200 / 970-889-0307, or send me an email at matt@welcometonoco.com