Avoid These Costly Mistakes When Buying Waterfront Property in BC

When it comes to waterfront property for sale, BC delivers. With so many incredible and luxurious options on the market, it can be difficult to narrow your search and choose the property best aligned with your house-hunting goals and dreams. Partnering with a real estate agent can make navigating these confusing waters exciting and help you avoid costly mistakes in the process.

Waterfront property is accompanied by different nuances than inland property, and mistakes are common and costly – especially if you work without an agent. In this blog post, we share the most common mistakes buyers make when purchasing their dream oceanfront home. An educated buyer is a satisfied buyer!

#1 Overlooking flood insurance

If you’ve never bought a house near water before, it’s common to assume that flood insurance is included in your homeowner’s policy. This small mistake can be costly and leave you with an unexpected insurance cost or, even worse, an uncovered loss if you experience water damage due to flooding.

Before you purchase your dream home on the beach, get a flood insurance estimate from your homeowners insurance carrier. Flood insurance is an additional coverage above and beyond your homeowners policy, and requesting a quote early will help you accurately estimate the cost of home ownership and protect your home adequately in the case of loss.

#2 Choosing a home that can’t withstand the elements

Homes built near the water need to meet different specifications in order to withstand the test of time. Buyers often choose the home that best meets their needs in terms of view, layout, or square footage, but construction is critically important. When it comes to beach properties, passing inspection isn’t enough; you’ll also want to know if the home was built using materials that are designed to withstand exposure to wind and water.

#3 Failing to do the research

Many homeowners consider waterfront property in hopes of renting it out in the off-season or making improvements to the property only to find out after purchasing that there are limits in place by the city or Homeowner’s Association (HOA) preventing them from moving forward. If you plan to do anything to your property aside from live in it – like rent it out, open a daycare, paint it, build a dock, or clear out trees – be sure to thoroughly research what’s permitted before making an offer.

#4 Skipping the bulkhead inspection

Not all home inspectors are comfortable with bulkheads, which are retaining walls that serve as a separator between the water and the property. For this reason, you’ll typically need to find and hire somebody who specializes in inspecting bulkheads to ensure the bulkhead is in good condition and doesn’t require replacement or repair. If you buy a home and find out later that the bulkhead needs to be replaced, it can cost tens of thousands or even more.

#5 Going it alone

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone can search for waterfront property for sale in BC, but buying waterfront property is incredibly complex and comes with more risk than purchasing landlocked property. Partnering with an experienced real estate agent is crucial for reducing risk and ensuring a happy ending on the beach.