Waterfront properties are highly sought after pieces of real estate. Many people love the idea of a dreamy lakehouse to be enjoyed with friends and family! However, if you are seriously considering buying a waterfront property, make sure to do your due diligence, as there are many different factors to think about when buying a home on the water versus a home not on the water!
If you are considering a waterfront property, it is helpful to be specific on what type of waterfront home you want and why. Are you looking for a house on the edge of a river for fishing? Or, are you looking for a sandy beach area on a quiet lake? Do you want an all sports lake so you can enjoy boating and water sports? Or, do you simply want to live on a body of water just for the views? Speaking of “views’’, take into account the following quote from Melissa Holtje, a Contributing Author for homelight.com: “When looking at waterfront listings, it’s important to note the difference between ‘waterfront’ and ‘water views.’ If you’re looking for navigable water, you’ll want to narrow your search to listings that specify ‘waterfront’.But even with that designation, sometimes waterfront homes still don’t come with access to the water; sometimes, ‘waterfront’ is misused to describe listings located on a retention pond or another unusable body of water.” Along those lines, it is also important to figure out what your non-negotiables are. For example, are you okay with the lake being muddy or shallow? Or do you require a deep lake with clean, clear water? By figuring out what you are looking for and what your “must haves” and non-negotiables are, your realtor will be able to narrow down the search and only show you properties that meet your requirements.
When it comes to the financial aspect of buying a waterfront property, Lucy, a writer for residencestyle.com states this: “The price tags for waterfront properties are quite high, and the sellers only sell the property to the certified buyers. For this reason, you have to apply for a loan a lot earlier than you would for a regular home because the processing time is longer. You will not want to lose good property just because of late loan approval. Keep the loaned money ready to buy the desired waterfront home in time.”
On the investment side, a major benefit of owning waterfront property is that you can rent it out if you only plan on being there part-time! According to an article on gokcecapital.com, waterfront properties are always in high demand and tend to be rented at higher rates, which means more money in your pocket! Consider the following quote from rocketmortage.com: “Adding to the investment potential, you can even rent out your second home for up to 180 days per year when you’re not using it. The only rule is that if you rent out the property, you have to make personal use of the home for the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days it would otherwise be rented out at fair market value.” Another benefit of purchasing a waterfront home is that they typically appreciate in value over time. According to zillow.com, “Nationally, waterfront homes are worth more than double of the value of homes overall.” So as long as you purchase the home for a good price and sell it at the right time, you should have no problem making a profit!
Keep this in mind when touring waterfront properties: don’t get too distracted by the water! While the lake or river or ocean views may take your breath away, don’t let that deter you from inspecting the house closely and asking the right questions. Consider the following suggestion from Erika Benson, Cofounder of Gokce Capital LLC. “Do surveys, elevation certifications, water quality tests, wetlands delineations, bulkhead inspections, and other land and water-based inspections to ensure that your waterfront property is in good condition” (Benson, 2022). Benson also recommends that potential waterfront home buyers consult a qualified insurance provider to get a quote for the property and to look into the insurance requirements . On top of that, here are some other questions potential waterfront home buyers should ask their realtor: Who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the bulkhead ( the barrier between the water and the land)? Does the property have access to power, water, cable, and other utilities? Does the property actually extend to the water’s edge? Is the property part of a homeowner’s association (HOA) or property owner’s association (POA)? Was the house built to withstand the waterfront? Will the city allow you to make improvements on the waterfront property? Are you able to repair or build a doc? The list goes on and on. An article on HGTV.com even suggests talking to the neighbors to get a feel for what it’s like to live on a waterfront property! To sum it all up, just make sure you take time to ask the right questions, research the property, and consult a professional insurance provider if you plan on buying a waterfront property.
One of the coolest parts about living in Michigan is that there is no shortage of lakes, rivers and ponds! If you are interested in purchasing a waterfront property, here are some beautiful lakes to consider in the Grand Haven, Hudsonville, and Grandville areas!
Grand Haven: Lake Michigan, Spring Lake, Muskegon Lake, Mona Lake, and Pigeon Lake. Hudsonville: Georgetown Shores (2 lakes) , Elmwood Lake, Apio Lake, Lake Michigan (Holland) Rushmore Lake (Georgetown Township), and Jamestown Shores Lake
Grandville: Indian Spring lake, Big Spring lake, Whispering Springs lake, Kenowa lake, Lake Leota in Millenium Park, Porter Lake, and Lamar Lake
If you have questions about waterfront properties, or if you are interested in purchasing one, the team here at BP Realty is more than happy to help! Our group of real estate specialists have the knowledge and experience to guide you along your home buying journey, whether that be a waterfront property, or not!