1. Find a waterfront real estate agent.  You want a true waterfront specialist.  The average agent will not have the knowledge needed to guide you through the waterfront buying process.

2. Get financing before you shop.  The mortgage market has heavily changed.  You will either be paying cash or most likely be in a Jumbo Loan.  Jumbo loan limits and down payment percentages are different between lenders.  The faster you can get your financing set up, the smoother your buying and closing process will be.  Contact Brad for our preferred waterfront jumbo loan lenders.

3. Consider the land more than the house.  Location is everything when it comes to waterfront.  You can always add on, renovate, update, or mow down and rebuild.  You can not change location, view, and your property's waterfront access.

4. Choose based on your lifestyle.  Need to be close to work, school, shopping, don't buy in the middle of nowhere or across town.  Big offshore fisherman, don't buy waterfront that'll take you an hour of cruising before you hit the jetties.

5. Consider construction.  Waterfront homes receive a battering from the elements due to wind, moisture, and salt depending on salinity of the water and your closeness to the ocean.  Take the time to understand the type of construction and what maintenance will be needed on an ongoing basis.

6. Bulkheads and Docks should be inspected.  I highly recommend both dock and bulkhead inspections be performed by a qualified dock and bulkhead inspector / contractor.  The average home inspector doesn't have enough knowledge of docks and bulkheads, so get this added inspection completed during your inspection time period.  Same goes for pools.

7. Understand floodplains and insurance.  Flood insurance will almost always be required and will be based on the floodplain of the property.  Your waterfront agent should have this info for you.  Contact your home insurance agency and get estimates to make sure you are comfortable with the added expense.

8. Get comfortable with waterfront home values.  Waterfront homes always have a higher value than non-waterfront.  Therefore, you must become comfortable with the prices by comparing apples to apples.  Start by searching our waterfront homes for sale section.

Looking to purchase a waterfront home?  Search the entire MLS of waterfront real estate in Jacksonville FL.

Posted by Brad Officer on
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