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Questions to ask before buying waterfront real estate

By Dan Sowden

It’s hard to find a person that doesn’t enjoy a beautiful waterfront view. What could be more enjoyable than drawing back the curtains in the lounge to open up an expansive beach front vista?

Water views are a hot commodity in the real estate market, and fortunately, real estate in Australia is great for those who want to take advantage of the country’s stunning natural landscape.

Whether you’re looking at houses for sale next to a river, beach, creek or lake, here are some questions you should ask yourself before you buy a waterfront property.

Is the location right? 

Some people dream of living in a home next to a tranquil lake that’s undisturbed by others. On the other hand, there are also people who love the thriving, surf-beach scene.

Before you go searching for a home, ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want. This can help you determine what kind of property you should look at and where.

For instance, if you love the surf but don’t want to be disturbed, perhaps properties nestled above the beach on a cliff might be the answer.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to take advantage of the beachy scene near the city, a luxury apartment could be a solution for you.

Will there be damage to my home?

Living close to water means you could be more susceptible to flood damage, so it’s a good idea to assess this risk before you buy a home.

Properties that are quite close to the beach could also see wear from sea salt spray, or even build-up of salt on windows and screens. Make sure you speak to your real estate agent to find out if the home has had any issues surrounding these problems previously.

If it’s near the beach, inspect the property during both high and low tide to see if it has any effects on the land or the home itself.

Is it safe for activities?

People don’t just buy waterfront properties for the view – it’s also access to the water they want, too. This means you’ll need to ensure that it’s safe for whatever activities you want to participate in.

If you’re an avid fisherman looking at a property by a lake, check if you’ll need to obtain a recreational fishing licence. You might want to check if the water levels are safe for swimming, too, especially if you’re buying a family home.

For any boat enthusiasts, find out if there’s an appropriate jetty or launch point nearby.

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