Buying waterfront real estate is not like buying any ordinary type of property. Buying waterfront property requires more specific and in depth due diligence. Set out below is a very general list of matters that need to be investigated before buying a waterfront home:
- Is the property affected by flood? Check the flood maps at Council.
- What is the insurance premium for the property you are looking at? This can vary significantly depending on previous flood events or flood levels. Contact your insurer for a quote.
- What is the depth of the waterfront at high and also low tides? What is the variance?
- Can you install a jetty and/or pontoon? Check with Crown Lands.
- What are the additional licence costs for the waterfront portion of the property, the jetty, pontoon and any foreshore pool?
- Is there an applicable foreshore building line? This could restrict how close you build to the foreshore.
- If you propose mooring a boat at the front of your property – do you have sufficient depth?
- What are the mozzies like in summer? Properties close to still water and mangroves, often attract mosquitoes, midges and blowflies. Check for surrounding nature that could attract these bugs.
- If you have a sailboat – are there any prohibitive bridges? Check local maps.
- What is on the bottom at the waterfront? Is it mud, sand, rocks or something else?
- What is the orientation of the property? Will you get good sum or strong southerly winds?
- Does the foreshore require work to prevent erosion? This will need approval.
- Does the jetty, ramp and/or pontoon require work? This will require approval and quotes.
- Is the property absolute waterfront or waterfront reserve?
- Is the waterfront easily accessible or will an iinclinator be required?
- What are the neighbours like?
- Are you allowed to permanently moor a vessel there? What size? Is there mooring poles?
- Is there any part of the foreshore that has a heritage overlay? Will need to contact Council and check State Registers and Contract.
- Is there party boats that pass the property? Will this annoy you?
- If you have a jetski that you want to use from your property – Does the waterway allow the use of jetski’s?
- What is the driveway access like?
- Do you have a building height limit that could prevent you extending as you desire? Check with Council.
- Are there any easements or rights of way that give others access across your property that could restrict your enjoyment of the property?
- Is there any privacy issues that need to be addressed?
- Who is looking into your backyard?
- Are there any security issues?
- If you have young children – can you install a fence along the waterfront?
- If you want a pool – will that be possible?
- If the jetty is shared – what are your rights? Obtain a copy of the joint licence.
- Make sure you select a property that suits your lifestyle.
As you can see, there are many due diligence items that need to be addressed before buying waterfront property. Every location is unique and will pose different problems. For example, if you want to use a jet ski on Sydney Harbour – this will NOT be possible – Is this a deal breaker?
Buying a waterfront home is usually an expensive exercise. It is important that thorough due diligence is completed on any proposed purchase.
We definitely recommend that you engage a Waterfront Buyers Agent that is experienced and familiar with purchasing waterfront real estate.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss buying waterfront property – contact our Waterfront Specialist – Dean Carver. We can help you find the waterfront property that fits your criteria and budget. So you can start enjoying the waterfront lifestyle sooner.
Dean Carver – Solicitor | Waterfront Buyers Agent
Office: 02 8916 6104