The Special Considerations of Marketing Waterfront Real Estate Properties

Waterfront real estate niche.
Know the special rules and considerations of selling waterfront real estate.. (c) Photo: sxc.hu

Waterfront property buyers are focused on that "waterfront" aspect.  Whether it's a lake, river, stream, pond or other water feature, they obviously make that exposure a key factor in their property selection decision.  There are certain aspects and considerations you must be aware of in showing or listing waterfront property.

Setbacks from the water line.:

Though boat docks and piers are generally excepted, there are usually minimum building setbacks for structures, even gazebos, from the water line of lakes, rivers and streams.

More rigid septic system regulations.:

The proximity to water almost always carries much more rigid requirements for septic systems. This is due to possible risk of flooding, but mainly to keep leach fields from contaminating the water supply.

Know about riparian and usufructuarial rights.:

Depending on the area of the country and many times the state, owners of property with water on it or adjacent to it have limited rights to use that water. They might also have rights to limit the use of the water by others. Know these rights. Don't let your buyer come back later saying they thought they could irrigate their trees with lake water but were cited by local authorities.

Dock and Pier Construction Rights:

Be sure that your clients are made aware of what they can and cannot construct in the way of a boat dock or pier. These regulations can be quite strict in order to protect others using the waterway.

On lakes that are used for flood control, large variations in water depths can cause encroachments when floating docks cross their legally allowed boundaries.

Special Building Codes and Insurance Issues:

Especially in the case of flood control lakes and salt water areas, flooding can present a significant risk.

There might be elevation levels below which you cannot build, or building on raised piers might be required. Insurance can present be expensive or difficult to procure.

Lake Water Heating and Cooling Possibilities:

Since a large lake will have a rather constant water temperature at a certain depth, in many areas lake source heating units are common. A coil system is placed under the water and heat is extracted from the water and transferred into the home in the winter.

Enjoyment and Hazards Knowledge is Important.:

Have a thorough knowledge of the recreational features and sites on and around the water. Also know the sub-surface hazards that might be present, as well as the effect of high winds on boating. Larger water bodies are usually patrolled by the Coast Guard, and they're a great source of information.

Waterfront Property is a Great Niche Market - Just Learn the Special Things Well:

With environmentalism ever growing as a concern, there are more new regulations every year pertaining to the protection of our water resources.

Much of what you'll need to know when dealing in waterfront real estate will have to do with regulations to protect its quality.

This niche market presents a great opportunity to position yourself as the local expert. Develop a thorough knowledge of all the aspects and special considerations of waterfront property brokerage.

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