No matter which direction you start to drive in Vancouver, you’ll eventually run into a beach or waterfront. Those that move to Vancouver not only get to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, but also are minutes away from our beautiful beaches. A home idyllically situated right on the shores of a waterfront can be a tough find. Those fortunate enough to own such properties often enjoy pristine views, tranquil surroundings, and full immersion in other Nature. Yet, the process of researching waterfront homes isn’t without its complexities and requires careful thought. Besides, finding a house on the water connects with a timeless housing adage, “it’s all about location, location, location!” Here are 4 tips to help you decide if that waterfront property will meet you and your family’s needs and expectations.
1. Assess the Water’s Layout and Safety
It’s important to make yourself aware of the waterfront’s shoreline, depth, and cleanliness. This will help give you an idea of what’s really behind your potential future home. Find the answers to these questions:
-How does the water clarity appear?
-Are there any steep drop-offs or shallow sandbars? Drop-offs can catch young swimmers by surprise and sandbars can cause diving injuries
-How much does the water level fluctuate?
-Are there any currents or is the water still?
-Is it home to potentially hazardous wildlife?
-Does or has the water ever contained threatening pathogens that cause illness?
-From where does the water flow? Where does the water originate?
Most if this information is accessible online or from your realtor. Additionally, evaluate your own specific situation. If you live with small children or plan to have children, safety should be a priority. Educate your children about the waterfront layout and about safe behaviors.
2. Scope the Waterfront’s Recreational Activity
Depending on the recreational policies of the waterfront’s governing body, your prospective home might sit next to a placid body, or a turbulent space defined by waves and constant boating activity. Loud mechanical noises emanating from nearby water vehicles can create a cacophonous din. Though usually quiet during cooler months, it’s something to be prepared for during warm summer days. Summer holidays are especially boisterous.
3. Consider the Waterfront’s Location
Consider the home’s regional proximity to towns and cities, and even work. This aspect is subject to personal opinion and taste as some people prefer living closer to cities, whereas others prefer remote solitude. Also it’s important to determine how much shoreline is yours and how far out into the waterfront is considered your property. A plat map is a good guide to answer these questions.
4. Determine the Structural Integrity of the Home
With such constant exposure to nature’s wet elements, there’s a chance the home may require certain repairs and/or modifications to reinforce its structural integrity. Although a professional home inspector will identify any required renovations, you should take note of any immediate concerns.
It’s also important to determine how close your home is to the water’s edge. Does it sit on a ledge or short cliff? Have previous owners experienced flooding?
With proper research and evaluation, you can find a house situated on a waterfront that perfectly fits your needs and specifications.