If you’re aiming to build a home and you’ve got your heart set on the luxury and freedom of a waterfront lifestyle, there are a few things you should consider before making your purchase and planning the build.
Condition and Maintenance
Waterfront properties are typically more affected by the elements than those further inland. They can often cop the worst of weather, water damage, sea spray and rust. For this reason, it’s important to speak to neighbours and professionals in the area to determine what kind of damage is common amongst waterfront houses in the area, which you may need to safeguard against.
You should also try to find out as much as you can about the regular maintenance of surrounding waterfront properties. You’ll want to know what kind of upkeep the house will demand, as this can often be higher for waterfront properties. You will need to consider what measures need to be taken in order to minimize any maintenance, damage and wear to the property and best protect your garden, exterior, interior and any vehicles.
Alterations and Improvements
Once your home is built, it’s possible that you might, at some time, want to improve, renovate or add to your existing structure (like the inclusion of a jetty, a garage or updated landscaping, for example) so you’ll need to investigate any possible obstacles. On waterfront properties there are sometimes unexpected laws and restrictions that may prevent you from making your intended changes. Be sure to investigate this fully before purchase so you’re not stuck, unable to make later improvements to the property after your original build.
For many waterfront properties there is a buffer area in front of your block, between your land and the water’s edge, which is not technically owned by you. It’s important to consider this, especially if your block is situated in a more public spot, as there’s a change that you may be uncomfortable with the lack of privacy if the front of your property is frequented by people swimming, fishing etc.
Make sure you scope out the waterfront on weekends and chat to neighbours to determine whether or not you’ll be comfortable and feel private enough on your chosen lot.
Before purchasing, get as much information about your planned house and waterfront block as possible so that you can discuss insurance with your broker or provider. Sometimes waterfront properties can carry with them their own unique challenges and risk factors when it comes to insuring your home, contents and even vehicles. You want to be sure that you can find a policy that will provide you with the cover that you need, and that you’ll be able to afford it.
Consider your Needs
Before you fall in love with a property, take a practical and honest look at its suitability to your needs and lifestyle.
Consider surrounding amenities, is it easy to travel to work? Are there parks for the kids? Schools nearby? Also consider your use of the property, for example, if you have young children, is the water calm and suitable for swimming, or is there a strong current and submerged rocks? Can you install a suitable fence to keep kids safe? Or if your passion is boating, is there waterfront suitable to construct a jetty? Is there boat ramp nearby?
Be realistic about your needs, your lifestyle, and how well the property really suits you, rather than simply falling in love with the waterfront vista.
If you’ve considered all these factors and you’re ready to start planning your dream waterfront home, click here for some inspiring home designs.
Once you’ve chosen your ideal waterfront block and the perfect home design, all that’s left is the excitement of starting your very own waterfront build, followed by settling in for years of stunning views and relaxing afternoons by the water.