Owning a waterfront property is an Okanagan dream. It opens up an exclusive lifestyle that comes with numerous advantages. When you buy a lakefront or beachfront property, you are buying more than just a home. You are buying a spectacular view, easy access to the water, privacy and a solid investment. Waterfront properties tend to appreciate more than other property types and they are always in high demand.
Owning a lakefront property definitely has its advantages. However, there are a few extra precautions you should take. Keep the following things in mind when you are browsing Okanagan lakefront properties for sale.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
There are far less waterfront properties for sale compared to other property types. This can make the buying process quite competitive. For this reason, it’s crucial that you get your mortgage pre-approved before you start house hunting. If you end up competing in a multiple offers situation, you don’t want to lose out simply because you aren’t pre-approved. If you are purchasing your home with cash, this doesn’t apply to you. However, you should still be aware that you may be competing with several other buyers.
Ensure The Inspection is Thorough
Don’t let yourself get too distracted by the views. In addition to a basic home inspection, you should consider a foundation inspection and an inspection of any retaining walls on the property. Depending on the location, you may even want to have the soil and water inspected.
Get Familiar With the Waters
Whether you are looking at a property by a lake, river, creek or a pond, you’ll want to know the history of that body of water and if there are any regulations that you need to be aware of. Is it prone to flooding? Is it safe to swim in? What wildlife can you expect to see and encounter? What kind of permits are needed for building or repairing a dock? Are there any restrictions for watercraft use? Ask your real estate agent for help getting these questions answered.
Know The Insurance Requirements
Flood insurance is a must when you are buying a waterfront property in the Okanagan. Water levels rise in the spring when the snowpack melts, and despite the region’s reputation for having a dry climate, some areas in the Okanagan experience flooding.
Due to their close proximity to the water, waterfront homes are subjected to more natural wear and tear, and may be more severely affected during harsh weather conditions compared to landlocked homes. This makes for higher insurance premiums, but given the potential for water damage, it is well worth the cost. So make sure to do your research before submitting an offer.
Ask About Any Association, Community or Strata Fees
Purchasing a townhouse in a waterfront community can be a wonderful way to enjoy all of the benefits of having a waterfront home without a lot of the maintenance. If this is an option that interests you, make sure you are informed on any additional costs and fees that are not included in the listing and know what is included in your strata fees.
For single family homes, make sure you are aware of any HomeOwner Association (HOAs) that you will be part of and what the fees are.
Hire a Waterfront Property Specialist
If you’re in the market for a waterfront property, you’ll want to make sure that you have experienced realtors on your side. Jason and Dave Domeij are an award-winning team serving the Okanagan’s luxury real estate market. With three decades of experience, they bring luxury product knowledge, advanced negotiating skills, personalized service, and a reputation for excellence to every real estate transaction.
Having brokered transactions for some of Kelowna’s most sought-after waterfront properties, Jason and Dave know what to look for. They’ll keep you well-informed and use their expertise to ensure a smooth buying process.
Ready to start the process of finding your dream waterfront home? Contact us today.