5 Key Things to Know About Buying Property Near the Water

Better Investing

What's Hot


5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Amazon ShoppersMore

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 7 Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Ah, the surf, sand, crashing waves -- and investment risks -- of buying a house on the water. Here's what you need to think about before putting your money down.

Over time, assuming climate change continues doing what scientists say it is doing, a lot of seaside property will be under water — figuratively or literally, as we reported yesterday. But let’s just say you still want to buy something within earshot of the surf. There are still better and worse choices. Here are five keys to getting the best investment in waterfront property you can.

1. Complete due diligence

Nikuwka / Shutterstock.comNikuwka / Shutterstock.com

You want to make sure your home will last at least as long as your mortgage, cautions Forbes. Most mortgages are for 30 years. Don’t just hope your home will still be standing and valuable by the time it’s paid off. Consult the state’s geological survey to make an informed decision, they suggest.

2. Is the house in a hurricane path or flood zone?

Tad Denson / Shutterstock.comTad Denson / Shutterstock.com

Before you buy a waterfront home, fully research the hurricane and flood probabilities and purchase appropriate insurance, recommends Forbes. As we’ve reported in the past, such insurance is expensive, so be sure to figure those expenses — and preventative measures you should take to protect your home — into the overall cost of the home.

3. Factor in continuous maintenance

bluedog studio / Shutterstock.combluedog studio / Shutterstock.com

Salt water and humidity wreaks havoc on siding, pipes, paint and other housing materials, reports U.S. News & World Report. Plan to constantly sand wood, invest in impact-rated glass and constantly maintain stainless steel and other materials. Add those costs into your oceanfront budget.

4. Plan to secure your property 

Kawin Ounprasertsuk / Shutterstock.comKawin Ounprasertsuk / Shutterstock.com

Burglaries, vandalism and even the theft of boats are major issues at waterfront homes, reports Bay Area Houston magazine. If you’re surprised, remember how many people treat oceanfront property as public.

“Many homes have inadequate security and fencing,” real estate agent Richard Schulman told U.S. News & World Report. “There is lots of opportunistic theft, because people make it so easy.”

Plan to invest in locks and security systems, he recommended. And think twice before you leave all of your windows open at night to enjoy the breeze.

5. Remember your private home is fairly public

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.comESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Even if you buy waterfront property that has private land, you can’t stop people partying on boats in the water in front of your property and in some places — Hawaii is one locale that allows public access to beaches — even on your stretch of sand. “You might own a $4 million house and have people camping essentially in your front yard,” Schulman told U.S. News & World Report.

So should you buy a waterfront home? Experts recommend you think twice. And MoneyTalksNews founder Stacy Johnson cautions against buying any large home — waterfront or not — if you have to borrow heavily.

I get it: If you have millions of dollars, you’ve got to put it somewhere, and where you live is as good a place as any,” he wrote.

“But if you’re borrowing heavily to impress your friends with a house that’s way bigger than you need or can afford, you’re not looking rich, you’re looking crazy.”

How much does climate change figure into your decisions about investments and purchases? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Will Rising Sea Levels Sink Property Values?

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,763 more deals!