Friday, February 04, 2011


1. Not Understanding the importance of controlling Depth.
When buying waterfront property, both the actual value of the property and it’s usefulness as to boating are governed by controlling depth.

What is controlling depth?
It is the depth at which your boat can safely get to open water at average low tide. Another way to look at it is boating draft.

For example, most sailboats have at minimum a 4 foot draft—meaning they need at least 4ft of water to safely navigate without running aground.

So-If you own a sailboat or are ever considering the purchase of one, the waterfront property you buy has to have at least 4 feet of controlling depth.

How does this affect value?
People that own 50 ft boats and larger sailboats, that require 4 to 5 foot draft, will find that neighborhoods have controlling depths of 4-5 feet or more are typically more expensive as to real estate prices.

To Consider.
Even if you don’t own a boat, you may want to buy one in the future or will possibly have friends coming to visit that do have a larger boat. So first and foremost take Controlling depth into consideration.

2. Not knowing what types of Boats are allowed.
Generally there is no problem with pleasure craft, however jet skis and commercial fishing boats can be a problem based on neighborhood (subdivision) restrictions (if any)

For example: Many boating communities frown upon Jet Skis due to the noise. If you plan on using jet skis or having friends that use them, look into any restrictions.
The same thing goes for commercial boats.

3. Not paying attention to Flood Zones.
What type of Flood zone is the home you are buying?
For example flood insurance for a home in a VE will be triple that of a home in an AE zone. So one of the first things to find out is the Flood zone and then check with a local insurance company as to costs.
4. Using outside of the area lenders.
If you are buying waterfront property in Florida and are considering a lender in Colorado, you can have a problem. Why?
Because lenders outside of the state can place prohibitive restrictions on a property.

For example, some lenders will feel that any waterfront home bought in Florida needs to be constructed of Concrete block as opposed to wood frame, due to potential hurricane damage.
Be sure to talk to Local (at least State) lenders, as they will be familiar with the area.

5. Not determining area (county or subdivision) rental Laws.
If you are considering using your waterfront home as a rental, look into the area or subdivision zoning laws as to rental periods allowed.
For example-can you only rent monthly-every 6 months or are weekly rentals allowed. Whatever the law, it will make a big difference in both ease of renting and your potential income.

These are just some of the most important issues to seriously look into. As your Agent, I will help guide you through all of this.

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