Imagine strolling down to your private boat dock each morning with your cup of coffee to watch the sun come up. While this might sound like something reserved for the rich and famous, the country is filled with opportunities to buy on a lake, river, ocean, and other waterways. From small streams suitable for canoes or kayaks to larger ocean-ready craft, before you write an offer on your dream home, there are a few considerations to think through.
4 Things to Consider before Buying a Boat-Access Property
1. Types of Boats Allowed – This is the most important consideration to research. Between local authorities and neighborhood associations, the kind of boat may be limited to length, engine, speed, height, and much more. Make sure the property allows the kind of boat you want.
2. Water Depth – Just because there is a dock on the property doesn’t mean year-round access. The average depth of the water is critical. Understand the way the seasons can affect water depth and if you’ll need to pull the boat and store it for any part of the year.
3. Environmental Restrictions – Almost all waterways include restrictions. These can include easements and areas inaccessible due to military or power company use. They can also include restrictions to protect wildlife such as fish or bird populations.
4. Type of Ownership – Waterfront properties generally include some private ownership. This can include shoreline or be limited to the boat dock itself. Before purchasing the property determine if the shoreline is part of your ownership or a public/community-controlled strip of land.
Owning a boat-accessible property is a wonderful lifestyle choice but it can also be an expensive one. Before writing the offer, it’s important to understand exactly what is and is not included in the title.