A view of the water from your back porch: Adirondack chairs angled toward each other and a mug of fresh morning coffee. You sit in the calm and watch the sun come up over the horizon to greet you at the beginning of your day. Waterfront property has an allure. Are you prepared to search for the perfect place to relax and enjoy the serenity and the shoreline? Ready to purchase your first waterfront property in hopes of enjoying water sports and leisure activities?

Here are several helpful things to consider before you just “dive in” and start bidding on your first waterfront property. This guide aims to help you think of some important things to research. Things you can address with your Realtor in order to help you understand what you really want from your waterfront property. With a little homework you can easily achieve your waterfront goals with minimal hassle and less surprises. (Especially those financial ones we prefer to avoid)…

BYLAWS AND ZONING REGULATIONS

Remember, with waterfront purchases there can be specific by-laws and zoning regulations. These laws can directly affect your property. It’s a good idea to look into these things closely, depending on your specific property aspirations. There are certain regulations that can affect your purchase plans. Ultimately, these unforeseen regulations may end up costing you more than you initially planned. To avoid that, take the time to do some simple inquiry. What is the main goals for you in purchasing waterfront? (Especially consider any development or construction plans you might have for that property). This can benefit you in important ways, and help you avoid any unwelcome surprises.

Waterfront property purchases come with a little extra consideration, but they can make excellent investments. With the right mindset and informative approach.

As Mark Twain famously states: “Buy land, they aren’t making it anymore.” We can expand on that statement  when we consider lakeside properties. While subdivisions may pop up everywhere and anywhere; lakes are limited – especially in proximity to larger city centres. Therefore, the shoreline can be in high demand.

THREE KEY WATERFRONT PROPERTY CONSIDERATIONS:

Here are some things you might consider closely as you look for the right waterfront property to dock your Boston Whaler:

  • First: Waterfront often means water management. Become informed about the rules, regulations and bylaws that might affect your waterfront property zoning. This could be in terms of household water usage, consumption, and removal. Consider water & waste management; water quality; water mains and valves that may be necessary.
  • Second: Shoreline property also means water management in other ways. Be aware and ask your realtor about typical water levels. Are there any increase seasons? How high does the shoreline water rise and fall each year? Gaining some basic information about water depth and the slope of the lake bed can benefit you immensely. These factors may affect your shoreline and property directly. And, sometimes, even affect the leisure activities you are hoping to enjoy on  your property. It is good to understand your responsibilities as a land title holder in terms of protecting and maintaining the shoreline. Similarly, it’s also good to know this information to ensure your leisure activities will be satisfied.
  • Third: There may be particular bylaws that effect your waterfront property. Understand the zoning bylaws, restrictions, and special by-law regulations that may apply to the property you are interested in. If you have expansion or building plans, understand the restrictions on how close to the water, how large a facility, and other important information you might gain from your realtor or township office.

LEISURE AND PROPERTY USAGE

On another note, it is very important to know your exact interests in purchasing a shoreline property: are you interested in water sports and leisure, or just searching for a panoramic view that can greet you before and after a long day? If you are looking for a property that is good for swimming, boating, and water sports, you will need to consider this before your purchase. Or, if you have children who may enjoy the property, then take this into consideration as you search for the right waterfront for your needs. With family swimming as a priority, you might search for properties that remain somewhat shallow, or that host a sandy or pebbled lake bed. If boating is a priority, then you may want the lake bed to gain depth quickly. How far from shore the lake bed gains depth is important to consider in any event.

What are the boating regulations, and are there any boat house restrictions? Make sure you understand the rules & regulations when it comes to building, improving, or expanding your dock, porch, or boathouse needs. If there are already existing structures, then you might consider the condition of these structures, and their ability to weather the changing seasons.

ACCESSIBILITY

Consider the driveway and approach that your waterfront property has, or potentially still needs. Make sure you pay attention to the road quality and maintenance level. The busyness of the highway is important. Also, you will need to consider the pros and cons if there is any demand to share a private road with neighbouring waterfront buyers.

CONCLUSION

Finally, find a good realtor who knows about the waterfront in your location of interest. This can help you locate the perfect waterfront property for your needs, and help you understand the important information you need to know before committing to your dream waterfront property.

Waterfront is an excellent investment. With a little research and consideration to your usage dreams you will be able to enjoy your waterfront property for years.  And, together with family and friends, you will enjoy the benefits of owning waterfront property, while equally enjoying the financial rewards.