Buying a waterfront home in Southwest Florida?

Buying waterfront property in Southwest Florida? Hire a Realtor that knows how to navigate the waterways, find the fish and present the property by boat. A Realtor that is experienced in Waterfront Property closings knows the many factors that determine market value of a particular property. Visit my web site for more Real Estate and buyer’s info & tools



Here are some factors in a waterfront home that affect its market value.


1.      Elevation: Insurance Company’s will require an Elevation Certificate. This is basically a finished height of the properties slab compared to the sea level elevation.


 To reflect the most current flood risks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating the nation’s flood maps using the latest data gathering and mapping technology. New flood maps (known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or DFIRMs) are being issued nationwide.  With these ever changing elevation flood level requirements, waterfront homes are getting harder and more expensive to insure. I work with Insurance agents who know the rules and can write the proper policy’s for your needs. For instance if a home was built in the 1970s and was compliant to the elevation rules at the time it was built, that home could be protected under the grandfather rule, resulting in lesser premiums. See FEMA web site for more information on flood zones and Grandfather Rules.  I would recommend getting at least two insurance estimates (with Flood insurance) before making an offer on a Southwest Florida Waterfront home.


2.       Which way is the back yard facing? (Rear Exposure) In my opinion, Southern exposure is most desired & valuable. Especially if the property has a pool or a pool is part of the future plans.


In the Winter, the SWFL  sun dips lower in the  southern sky. When the temperatures are cooler the sun sparkles and warms the pool and back yard all day. My second choice would be Eastern exposure. We spend a lot of time on the back patio in the afternoon. So we enjoy the shade at that time. Some Buyers prefer Western exposure so they can enjoy the beautiful SWFL evening sunsets from the back yard. Every buyer is different. My former neighbor lived across the street and preferred his western exposure. He liked to work in his garage in the late afternoon after work. So when my garage was 100 degrees in the summer afternoon his was in the shade. It’s very important to meet with and get to know your buyers before viewing potential properties. This saves both parties a lot of precious time in choosing the right property for them.




3.       Location of the Lot: If you’re a Boater or like to fish, how far, and more importantly how long does it take to get to your favorite beach or fishing spots. A boat visit to the property is a must before you buy!! Some areas may not be accessible at low tide for the size or type of boat you have.


4.       Permits: Do you want to build a pool? Boat lift? Dock? Add square footage? Better bring a survey down to the zoning department and or Southwest Florida Water Management Etc. to make sure your project is acceptable.


An experienced Realtor can guide you through this process and even write the contract contingent upon buyers obtaining a permit for boat lift or any other project that’s high on your priority list.

David Foster GRI E-Pro 239-246-5660