5 Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Waterfront Home for Your Family

5 Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Waterfront Home for Your Family

  • Waterfront Lifestyle Group

Everyone knows at least a little about what to look for when buying a house. A solid foundation, good wiring and plumbing, and signs of regular maintenance all top the list. However, when it comes to buying a waterfront home, that list becomes much longer. Particularly when looking at waterfront homes for sale in Estero, Florida, there are specific things to look for that will not apply to other areas of the country.

Of course, the most important advice you can receive will always come from an experienced real estate agent who knows the area. Still, if you are looking for a place to begin, this list of essential waterfront property tips should start you down the right path.

#1. It's the property, not the house

If you are looking for a waterfront home, you are obviously already setting the property and its location as a priority. However, once buyers start looking, they can easily find themselves distracted by the home itself, forgetting that not all pieces of waterfront property are equal.

Whether it is for the views or access to the water, keep in mind why you are even looking for waterfront property as you shop. Do not let yourself become distracted or compromise on what drew you to the waterfront in the first place. You can always remodel a home, but it is unlikely you will be able to significantly alter the property if you find yourself disappointed with it down the line.

#2. Consider your lifestyle


This point follows from the first, but goes a bit further. Just because a property has access to the ocean does not mean it is right on the ocean. If you have a boat and want to actually get plenty of use out of it, you need to consider how difficult it is to reach open water from the property. While it may not seem too much of a bother to navigate canals to the ocean on occasion, even something so simple may actually prevent you from experiencing the full enjoyment of waterfront property. Even something as simple as a steep approach to the water may not seem like a big deal right now, but it can hamper your enjoyment of the property down the line.

If the home you are looking at will not be a primary residence, take into account how convenient it is to reach. Again, how important this is will be informed by your own lifestyle. If you plan to stay at your waterfront property for long periods of time, accessibility may not be a big deal. However, if you are looking for a retreat you can pop off to on the weekends, the more of a hassle it is to get there, the fewer opportunities you will have to enjoy it.

#3. Keep an eye on the weather

Hurricanes are a given for Florida, particularly along the Gulf Coast. That has, of course, done nothing to dampen the desirability of waterfront homes for sale in Estero, Florida, and for good reason. With a little preparation and care, you can guard yourself and your waterfront home against the worst that nature might bring.

However, it is still good to ask, when looking at a home, about the impact of past hurricanes. Familiarize yourself with the area and the best steps to take to minimize damage. Ask about erosion and how the existing property owner manages it. Never let concerns that you might come across as uninformed prevent you from finding out the information that you need to know.

#4. Ask about responsibilities and restrictions

If you were looking at a home in the suburbs, you would want to make certain you knew what your obligations were regarding sidewalks. Similarly, you might look into what the local homeowners association's policies are regarding what you can have parked in your driveway or how short you have to keep your lawn.

Waterfront properties often have similar responsibilities and covenants. Some of them may even be legal requirements. To protect yourself against any potential fines or liability, ask about any requirements that come along with the property. In addition, you may find that a property has restrictions that will hinder your lifestyle. So, before you make plans for the boat you want to have or a swimming dock for your children, make certain that the property you are looking at does not have any restrictions that will hold you back.

Of course, a good real estate agent will be on the lookout for properties that fit what you envision. However, you need to make certain you have talked through all your expectations with your agent. Otherwise, they will not know when some restriction would put a kink in your dreams.

#5. Keep your family in mind

As you begin looking at waterfront properties, it can be easy to forget everyone else who you want to be able to enjoy the property as well. That applies not just to your family now, but your family in the future as well. If you have older family members who you want to be able to visit and enjoy your home, consider things such as the approach to the waterfront and the accessibility of the home itself. If you want to be able to host large gatherings, keep in mind the space for entertaining.

Parents and children age. What was a wonderful spot for building childhood memories may not be as useful as your children grow. Keep in mind not only the immediate ways you will use the property and home, but how you may want the property to grow with you as well.

A bonus tip

The most important tip when looking at any kind of home—let alone waterfront homes for sale in Estero, Florida—is to find an experienced real estate agent who knows the area. A knowledgeable agent, such as those at the Waterfront Lifestyle Group, can provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are making an informed and considered choice.

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