If your dream is to live on the water, you’re not alone. Lake or riverfront living is the dream of many and, if you own a boat, it’s understandable that you want to buy a home with a place to keep your “baby.”

View of the Village of Put-in-Bay, Ohio on South Bass Island

Let’s take a look at a few things to consider before shopping for waterfront property.

Do you need to shore up the shoreline?

Middle Bass Island Lakefront Home

Erosion is always a concern when water laps against land. Have the homeowners done anything to stabilize the shoreline, such as planting native vegetation, install riprap and retaining walls?

Shore protection is going to be an ongoing issue to some level, for island river and shoreline property. Budget for it, and do a little research.

Will you need flood insurance?

Even if you live in a low-risk area, the pros at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) suggest that you carry flood insurance.

“If you live in an area with low or moderate flood risk, you are 5 times more likely to experience flood than a fire in your home over the next 30 years,” they claim.

Because homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, if you live inside or in close proximity to an area with a high risk of flood, purchase flood insurance.

Flood insurance is required by law if you have a federally-regulated mortgage. To find out if you do, go online to MarketWatch.com and scroll to the paragraph that begins with “Now, for the Quiz Answer.”

Some states require those in high-risk areas to carry flood insurance as do most lenders. Many Northern Ohio areas, even areas you would never think are in a flood area, would in fact be in areas where insurance would be required if you are obtaining a loan.

To learn the risk of flood damage for your home, enter your address here, at FEMA.gov.

Ensure that your boat type and size is allowed

Most states with waterfront residential property impose restrictions on the types and sizes of watercraft allowed on smaller inland lakes and rivers. Check with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for restrictions.

Make sure the type of boat you have will work for the type of water you will be navigating. A sailboat will not be possible on Sandusky Bay, but will in most areas of Lake Erie. A pontoon boat is great for Sandusky Bay and many of our river areas and inland lakes, but could be a risky alternative for our Great Lake.

Dock considerations

If the home you have your eye on doesn’t have a boat dock and you plan on installing one, you’ll need to determine what, if anything, is allowed in the area. What type? How big? These are all questions that either that the DNR and city officials can answer. It can be impractical along many areas so private and state marinas and boat ramps may be a better alternative.

Living on the water is a dream for many homebuyers but it’s important to learn all you can about waterfront living before placing an offer to purchase. Waterfront living can be amazing adding an entirely new dimension to your life.

Contact me today, Lee Hisey, at 440-315-6000 or [email protected] to help guide you through the process, and our many island, river and shore neighborhoods.