Ongoing Expenses To Consider When Buying A Waterfront Home

Before you purchase a waterfront home for sale in your area, there are several ongoing expenses to consider. Make sure you take the following expenses into account so that you know you can afford to own the waterfront home you plan to purchase.

Property Taxes

While every property comes with property taxes that must be paid annually, waterfront homes often have especially high tax rates. 

Some municipalities tax these homes according to their linear footage of shoreline, and this can add up to a sizeable bill if a home has a large lot. Even on smaller lots, though, property tax bills can be substantial because waterfront property is usually considered quite valuable.

To find out what the property taxes on a particular waterfront home are, check with the local tax assessor's office. Taxes are a matter of public record, and the assessor's office is the agency that calculates tax bills. If you're unsure of what town or city your home is located in, representatives at the county offices will be able to tell you.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs are another expense that comes with owning any home but can be higher if you own a waterfront home. Not only do you need to care for the home and its surrounding yard, but many waterfront homes also have shoreline features that have to be repaired occasionally. For example, a waterfront home that's for sale in your area might come with one of the following:

  • Retaining wall
  • Boathouse
  • Dock
  • Boat launch

Some of these not only require periodic repairs but also regular seasonal service. A dock, for instance, might have to be put into and taken out of the water each boating season. 

Repair and maintenance costs can be difficult to definitively state, but the current owner of a waterfront property should have some idea of what they've spent each year on these expenses. The past owner's costs will help you estimate what you'll have to pay. A home inspection before your purchase can also help you identify any immediately needed repairs.

Boat Ownership Costs

If you're getting a waterfront house in order to boat regularly, make sure you also consider the cost of owning a boat. Although this isn't directly tied to your house-related financial obligations, having a boat is essential to you fully enjoying the property if this is a main priority for you. Thus, you should make sure you can afford this aspect of owning the home.

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