10 Tips for Buying Miami Waterfront Property

December 7, 2016

miami-waterfront-homesThere’s nothing quite like living on the water. It’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to enjoy your home, if you live a busy lifestyle. However, when you live on the water, you get to go home to a serene escape from reality.

Waterfront property buying isn’t the same as buying just any old house. There are things to consider if you want to own a piece of paradise and enjoy the sunsets and sunrises regularly. While the process of buying a waterfront home in Miami may start out the same, there are elements to the process that are quite different.

Just like any other home purchase, you want to start with a list of wants and needs to make the decision easier. However, homes found on the water are anything but typical. There are additional factors you need to consider. Here’s a look at some of the things you should consider when purchasing a waterfront property in Miami.

Start with the Needs and Wants List

While it may be the same as any other home purchase, starting with your needs and wants list with waterfront property is different. You should think about the normal things, such as how many bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the home, one story or two and other normal home features. However, you have to go deeper with waterfront properties.

Along with the property itself, consider the type of activities you enjoy, the lifestyle you want to live and how long you plan to live in the home. Some waterfront properties are perfect for boaters, while others suit the needs of beachgoers. If you need a dock, you want to make sure this is a part of the deal. However, if you love to fish, you may want to be closer to deeper bodies of water.

watefront-homeWhen it comes to your lifestyle, you need to make sure your needs are met. If you travel often for your job, make sure you’re close to the airport. Those with kids may want to make sure they are near the right schools. It’s also important to consider your shopping and dining needs. You may prefer a more secluded home or maybe you want to be right in the middle of the action.

If you plan to live on the water year-round, it’s a different discussion compared to using the home only a part of the year. This is also different if the home will serve as a vacation home you rent out when you’re not using it. Make sure you consider these factors when making your needs and wants list.

Erosion Control Might Matter

Waterfront properties come with certain challenges, such as erosion. This can be a major concern for those owning a home on the ocean or on any body of water. Over time, you may lose your home if the shoreline has not been protected properly. If a seawall or bulkhead already exists, you may still need to have it inspected to ensure it has been maintained over the years.

Will Storms Damage the Property?

A home on the water will be exposed to the elements more than a home found inland away from the water. It’s important to make sure the home will be able to withstand the climatic conditions of Miami. Corrosion from the salt in the air, tropical storms and other weather issues may be of concern.

However, if the home has been properly constructed, it should be able to withstand most of the area’s conditions. Make sure the home is hurricane proof with barriers. You should also consider what you might do with a boat, if a storm is rolling in.

Understand the Legal Restrictions

waterfront-propertyHomes on the water don’t play by the same rules as other homes. There’s probably going to be some restrictions you need to understand before you buy. A Declaration of Convents, Conditions and Restrictions may be presented to you, which is something you should understand well before buying.

There may be some protected areas, tidal wetlands and other zones you need to be aware of on your property. You may also need to understand the process of having a pier or dock constructed, if you won’t get one with the home. It’s also important to know if you own the area extending to the water or not.

A few other things to consider when buying a Miami waterfront property include:

  • The Location
  • Cost of Insurance
  • Cost of Maintenance
  • Type and Quality of the Dock
  • Tides and Water Depths
  • Water Quality
  • And More!

Related: 4 Tips You Must Consider When Listing Your Luxury Home

Before you start shopping for a new waterfront home in Miami, make sure you take the time to find a good, local agent to help with your search.

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