Top tips for buying a waterfront home

There’s something very special about a waterfront home – and even more special if it comes with a private berth for your boat.

But acquiring a home “on the water” can also be quite a complicated process, says Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate, not least because there are so many different locations and types of waterfront property to choose from in SA.
“We have several marinas, both on the ocean and inland; at least two island developments with waterfront homes that have their own docks or jetties; secure estates around large dams with both shared and private boating facilities, and of course many freehold properties right on the beach or riverbank, some in remote, very quiet locations and some close to bustling holiday resorts and even within easy reach of a major city.
“So it’s very important to do thorough research and find the home that most closely matches the lifestyle you envisage, ideally with the help of an agent who specialises in waterfront homes and will understand your priorities.”
Some factors to consider before you commit to a waterfront purchase, he says, are:
*On the coast or inland? If you love to go open-water sailing or deep-sea fishing, the answer is obvious, but if you prefer calmer waters, an inland location might suit you better.
*How deep is the water? If you have a boat, water depths and tides are essential considerations. The depths or drafts required for different types of boat can vary widely, as can the length of those boats and the size and strength of the dock required. You will need to inspect any property in a tidal location at both high and low tide and also establish where the channels and any sandbars are.
*Do you like the house? It’s all very well to find the perfect home for your boat, but you should also consider whether the house on the property suits you. Just as with homes in ordinary estate or suburban locations, you also need to think about the condition of the property and the floor plan as well as security and privacy. A spot on a dam popular with weekend watersports enthusiasts won’t do if what you really enjoy is a peaceful, natural environment where you can watch the birds or savour the sunset from your front veranda.
*Do you like the view? Uninterrupted views are paramount for most waterfront purchasers, so it’s important to check what the water looks like at low tide or high tide, or in winter as opposed to summer when there is more vegetation, or in the rainy versus the dry season. You will also need to be comfortable with any restrictions there may be on building height so as not to block someone else’s view, or removing trees that block your sightlines.
*What’s the weather like? Waterfront homes tend to take more abuse from the elements than the average property, and if you live on the beach, you can expect to have to deal with corrosion due to the salt air.You may have to take additional measures to protect such homes, such as installing storm shutters and stainless steel locks, and they may require more maintenance. In addition to that, of course, the weather will have a major effect on your ability and inclination to go boating.
*Will you need additional insurance? You should establish whether you will need any policies for a waterfront property in addition to your normal home owners’ insurance (HOC). Your lender may require special flood or wind insurance, for example.
*Are there any other restrictions or responsibilities? Find out whether you would be allowed to make any changes to your waterfront property, such as adding a seawall or buffer to counter erosion. On the other hand, if the property is in an estate, you’ll need to know what you would be expected to contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of the communal waterfront.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us