Join our VIP list


Main Content

Home » 5 Waterfront Buying Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

5 Waterfront Buying Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

Buying a waterfront home? Here are some costly mistakes to avoid:

  1. Choosing a poorly constructed home
    Waterfront homes are exposed to the elements, which is why they should be constructed of specific materials that can withstand wind and water. If a waterfront home has metal on its exteriors, the metal should be stainless steel. This goes for the grills, gate hardware, locks, and so on. The home should also have protective features such as storm shutters and a taller-than-average foundation.
  2. Forgetting to have bulkheads inspected
    Retaining walls or bulkheads keep water away from the property. If the retaining wall appears run down, you will likely need to have it repaired. Have it inspected for sinkholes and rust-filled cracks that can weaken it and make it more likely to fail during a calamity.

    Keep the longevity of the bulkhead in mind – if you intend to use the property for many more years, then having it replaced might be your best option. A large bulkhead can cost thousands of dollars.

    Composite materials and modern vinyl are commonly used for walls along Florida’s waterways because these materials are durable. Moreover, they don’t corrode or leak toxic chemicals that can harm organisms in and around the water. Wood and concrete, by contrast, don’t hold up as well.

  3. Not asking if you can make improvements to the property
    When buying a waterfront home, you and your contractor should contact the district office to determine whether or not you can make improvements to the property. There are environmental protection regulations that control constructions near or on the water throughout Florida. The state’s Coastal Construction Control Lines (CCCL) serves as a guideline for preserving coastal barrier dunes and adjoining beaches.

    For instance, you may not be allowed to have an existing non-conforming structure expanded beyond its current footprint and elevation if the proposed improvement amounts to or goes beyond 50% of its fair market value.

    Moreover, homeowners associations (HOAs) often require residents to follow guidelines when making changes to their home exteriors. You may only be allowed to paint the home a certain color, and there may be restrictions on landscaping and fence installation.

  4. Not minding your obligations as a waterfront homeowner
    If you’re buying in a community with a HOA, read the rules and regulations carefully. This will help you become aware of your responsibilities as a waterfront homeowner and what will be expected of you. This is especially crucial if you’re purchasing a waterfront condo – there will be restrictions on the common areas.

    Some communities, for instance, disallow residents from leaving bicycles and strollers in shared areas, while other HOAs expect homeowners to keep their garage doors closed when not parking or taking the car out.

  5. Neglecting to secure permits for docks and outbuildings
    When buying a waterfront property that has a dock, clarify if it has been permitted. Just because it comes with the home doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to use it. Part of due diligence when purchasing a home that fronts the water is ensuring that the private dock and anything attached to the land has been legally permitted.

Self-contained communities like Verona Walk contain some of the most sought after waterfront properties in Naples. Call the Victor Cuccia Team at 239.417.3300 or send an email to to explore your options.