Waterfront property is in high demand, especially during the hot summer months. Stepping onto your back porch to see a beautiful river or a tranquil lake is a dream come true for many.

On average, Americans desire waterfront property more than any other home feature, according to dwell.com. In addition to the peace and serenity a waterfront property brings, it can also provide an entire lifestyle full of exciting water sports. From boating and swimming, to jet skiing and fishing, the activities that waterfront property provides are endless.

Is waterfront property more valuable? The short answer is yes. According to Collateral Analytics, lakefront homes show an average of 25% higher property value, with riverfront homes showing a value of approximately 24% higher than landlocked homes in the same ZIP code. Additionally, there is a very strong potential for appreciation, according to Bankrate writer Holly D. Johnson. “Although waterfront properties fluctuate in price like the rest of the real estate market, they consistently sell at a higher price than homes that are not on the water,” according to a nationwide 2018 study conducted by Collateral Analytics. Needless to say, waterfront homes are a great investment.

While waterfront property is undeniably a good investment, how easily one can access the water greatly impacts the property’s value. Some might ask why have a waterfront home if getting a boat to the water is a huge hassle. Is the home located at the top of a steep cliff, or can you walk out onto your deck, across the yard, and right into the water? Additionally, one must consider the options for a private access. Waterfront homes with a private dock or pier are valued higher than those without this convenient feature. General rule of thumb is the easier the access, the more valuable the property.

Waterfront property does tend to be more expensive. The reason? Supply and demand. While landlocked property is plentiful, waterfront property is very limited and very desirable. This combination makes waterfront property prices higher. Moreover, homeowners living on waterfront property typically have additional expenses including flood insurance, the potential for docking fees, and higher maintenance fees.

One big thing to keep in mind before jumping into purchasing your waterfront dream home is insurance. Generally speaking, homeowner’s insurance prices are much higher than that of your fellow neighbors’ landlocked properties. This is due to the higher risk for flooding. The type of water the home is on can also affect insurance prices. Lakefront homes, for instance, will have a different insurance premium than a riverfront or oceanfront home. Additionally, homeowners are usually required to obtain flood insurance, which can be expensive, especially if a buyer is financing the purchase themselves. Zoning is also a factor when considering homeowners and flood insurance policies. The zone of the home, or how far away the home is set from the water, can affect prices. Be mindful of these costs prior to putting in an offer by speaking with an experienced real estate agent and your bank lender. You want to ensure that you fully understand insurance policies premiums and payments that will be required.

At the end of the day, the value of a waterfront home isn’t expected to diminish anytime soon. With waterfront home values only rising, now is the perfect time to snag a property that fits all of your R&R needs.

Casey Caudill is a Realtor for SWC Realty – Washington, PA. She can be reached at ccaudill@swcrealty.com/.

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