As with any type of real estate, waterfront real estate comes with a few special considerations.
If you are purchasing real estate on the water, be it a river, lake or oceanfront, you'll want to know for certain what your rights and responsibilities are to that water and its shoreline. For example, are you obligated to build a certain type of dock? Many areas have regulations governing what type of dock can be built. Are you even allowed to moore your boat there? Sometimes your rights end at the waterline. Is your beach accessible to the public or can you limit who goes there? Can you build right beside the waterline, or do you have to have any structures a certain distance away? Be sure you investigate the maximum water levels, and research the flooding history of your area. All of this will be important in your future at your waterfront home, so be sure to get the facts before you buy, so you know exactly what you'll be working with.
Living beside a body of water, realize that it is a delicate ecosystem and be sure to consider the environmental impact of what you do. It might be best to avoid things like weed killers on your lawn if it's just running down a slope into the water. There may even be laws governing what is safe to use and what is not. For this similar reason, homes with septic systems will have special regulations beside the water. Because the water level is higher underground, follow the rules carefully to avoid sewage leaching either into the lake, into your drinking water or into your basement during especially wet times of year.
You will also definitely want to consider safety when living beside the water. Ask around about any local dangers such as hidden currents or underwater rocks close to the surface. Also rusty old boats or garbage that has sunk that could hurt unaware swimmers.
Once you've figured out everything you should know about your own unique piece of waterfront, it's time to sit back and enjoy some of the benefits. Not only will you enjoy living in such a beautiful area and taking advantage of the local recreation, you'll have peace of mind knowing you've invested in some of the most valuable real estate around.
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