Buying waterfront properties in Rhode Island
From loan approval to buying points in advance, purchasing beachfront homes is a difficult process. But add “waterfront” to the process, and things get crazy fast wherever you are and Rhode Island is no different. Luckily, real estate agents who handle waterfront properties know the pitfalls of this process. Here are ten tips from that will give you a head start on what to expect when buying a waterfront home.
- Find a real estate agent who is a proven RI waterfront specialist. The typical agent will not have the specific knowledge of waterfront homes in your location to best assist you in finding the right deal on a home. You may think you’ve found the right house, later find out there is something like a clam bed off the dock limiting boat access.
- Consider the property itself more than the home on it. People will fall in love with a home, but after the purchase, they find out that the swimming is gross, the view is not what they thought, it’s harder to get down to the water than it seemed at first, or the privacy is less than you thought on first inspection. You can change the structure, but you cannot swap out the location. So, the property must come first.
- Choose a property that best fits the way you really live. You may find a wonderful property for sale, but it’s really 30 minutes or more from getting out to the ocean. If you love open sea fishing, the distance might mean all the difference in how often you actually do it.
- Look into mortgage loans as early as possible. Many beachfront homes are more expensive than other properties and so loans will fall into the “jumbo mortgage” sector. Banks will usually only consider “perfect” buyers. So, buyers need to start that looking for loans before they start looking for homes because that can take longer than expected, compared to normal home loans.
- Make sure the house can take the weather. Waterfront properties get far more abuse from the weather than the typical home, so extra precautions should be taken to protect them. For instance, installing storm shutters for houses in hurricane areas and stainless-steel locks to prevent salt-air corrosion.
- Insurance is expensive and tricky. Look into this as soon as possible to be sure you know what all the factors are. For instance, homeowners in Florida have to buy several policies to cover wind, floods, and general hazards which are also not all through the same insurer.
- Find out what you are allowed to do with the property. If you will want to be making any updates to the home, like adding a dock or a gazebo, start this process soon to find out if these change will be allowed. Government agencies are very strict, and you don’t want to even think of purchasing an expensive luxury home without knowing if you can do what you really want to do to make it the way you want it. And, find out what kind of activities are permitted on the water, because some areas have restrictions on water recreation vehicles, and other things you might assume are OK.
- Talk to potential neighbors. Get inside info from neighbors! Start by asking if them if they really enjoy living there, and if they have any issues with the property you have in mind, or if there are any beachfront problems that don’t seem obvious.
- Examine the utilities in remote areas. Waterfront homebuyers who are used to convenient suburban life may assume that all the basic utilities they are used to will be readily available at their new location. However, this is often not always the case. Setting up these services in remote areas is expensive, so know what the story is there before getting too far into the purchasing process!
- Learn and understand your responsibilities as a beachfront homeowner. If you have to join the homeowners association, learn what kind of maintenance the house will be required by reviewing the fine print of the association’s bylines. Waterfront homes for sale in Rhode Island each have their own associations with their own distinct rules that can vary a great deal from location to location, and they have every legal right to do pretty much whatever they want in their communities, as voluntary organizations.
There you go! 10 tips to get your thought process wrapped around all the complexities of purchasing a beach or waterfront home in Rhode Island. These tips touch on what, you will soon, find out, is just the tip of the iceberg in your journey to purchasing your dream home with a view of some lovely body of water! But, once you get through this successfully, you’ll have a wonderful home, sanctuary, and place of repose you will cherish for many, many years.
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