Miamism Blog

You are here

7 things to consider when buying a Miami Waterfront Home

Ines Hegedus-Garcia
ines@miamism.com

If you are buying a Miami Beach waterfront home, you are likely to have a boat or will be considering a boat in the near future. We are constantly asked a number of questions regarding waterfront purchases and Rick and I decided to write a list of 7 important factors to consider when buying a waterfront home in Miami.

Miami Beach Waterfront homeCondition of Sea wall -

It is important for anyone buying a waterfront property to get a seawall inspection by a structural engineer or a seawall specialist.  Inspections should include not only the actual seawall but also settling cracks within the main house, patios and pool as well as dock areas.  Because most canal systems in Miami and Miami Beach are artificially made or made with landfills, the integrity of the seawall could ultimately determine the integrity of the structure of the home.  Doing a visual inspection of seawalls of adjacent properties is also recommended in order to avoid future settling.

Miami Beach Luxury HomeType of waterfront property

If you look at an aerial view of Miami and Miami Beach, you will notice that there are numerous types of waterfront properties:  lakes, rivers, canals with direct ocean access, canals with fixed bridges, canals with no ocean access, non-navigable canals, and bayfront homes, to name a few.  Depending on the type of boat you have, you will need to consider fixed bridges (clearance heights), depth of canals, and proximity to bay and or ocean access.  There are several waterfront communities in Miami and Miami Beach that have direct ocean access but you have to navigate at idle speed for miles which can mean being on your boat for a couple of hours before you can really do some boating.

Miami Beach waterfront real estateBoat Dock

It is important to inspect not only the condition of an existing dock, but also if the type of dock can accommodate your boat. There are a lot of canals in Miami with natural coral sea walls and no docks - you may not want to dock your boat next to natural coral.  If there is no dock on the property, it may be a good idea to contact DERM (Department of Environmental Resources Management) about what kind of dock they will allow in a particular canal.  DERM may even send an inspector out to the property in order to make recommendations.

Miami Beach Real EstateDavits and/or Boat Lift

Depending on the size of the boat, most boat owners will not keep the vessel inside the water and use davits and/or boat lifts to raise the boat out of the water while not in use. Whichever your choice, make sure to inspect existing davits or make sure the existing seawall can accommodate a boat lift of your choice.

Miami Beach Luxury HomeProtection from the elements Bayfront homes are obviously the most desired type of waterfront property but can also leave your property very exposed to the elements (weather and hurricanes).  Canal front properties are said to protect not only your house, but boats as well in case of increment weather.  This doesn't mean that you should not purchase a bayfront home, it means you should consider location when purchasing.

Miami Beach Luxury Real EstateLocation of home within a canal

Because of the intricate design of canals in Miami and Miami Beach, some canals may be comparable to dead-end streets.  These canals, depending on currents and wind may accumulate debris and garbage that can become a nuisance.  If a property is located at the end of a dead-end canal, make sure you ask about accumulation of debris throughout the year.

Miami Beach Luxury HomeInsurance Costs

Just keep in mind that property insurance costs will be higher for waterfront homes, especially open bay properties.

There is nothing like owning a Miami Beach waterfront home. To be able to enjoy our beautiful weather as well as the views is priceless and it is what makes Miami Waterfront Real Estate so unique. [custom_button] *

originally published on Nov. 23, 2008*  


Recent Posts

  • Jan 15, 2018

No real estate transaction is easy but not all of them are as complicated as this last one.  We received a referral from a Washington REALTOR and we take referrals to heart because our reputation is very important to us. ... more

Time to report about Surfside's Real Estate market in 2017.  While a lot of neighborhoods around Miami didn't fare that well last year, Surfside remained a power to be reckoned with.  The market did slow down in number of... more

To all our clients and readers with commercial properties, keep in mind there is a sales tax decrease for real property rentals which include: Commercial office or retail space warehouses self-storage units or mini... more

Is 2017 really over?? Talk about a strange year for real estate.  Strange because the media tried to push gloom and doom but they didn't really succeed.  Small cities like Miami Shores continued to appreciate but the market... more

Our Twitter

What is the Value of my Home?

Obtain a free personalized home pricing report.