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Sun, Jul

Navigating Waterfront Property Financing: Tips for Coastal Living

STATE WATCH

BEACH LIVING - If you love a good waterfront property, you’re not alone. Many people dream of the perfect beach house. Coastal communities are also culturally rich and friendly. However, there are some caveats to waterfront living, and they’re usually about the price tag.

Benefits of Coastal Living

Coastal living is a dream for many people. This lifestyle is great for those who love the water—whether you enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, or simply playing with your dog. Coastal communities are typically friendly and highly cultured due to their waterfront lifestyles. Seafood in the area can be divine. You can even catch your fish for dinner if desired. Living on the water can promote a more active lifestyle for many different age groups, especially retired couples. Adequate sunlight and scenic waterfront views can even boost mental health.

There are many popular coastal cities throughout the United States and the entire world, including Georgia’s Savannah, South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, and Florida’s Siesta Key. There’s a coastal community in many different states and areas, so if you prefer changing seasons or tropical greens all year round, there’s a perfect community that fits your needs.

Waterfront Properties

If you’ve decided waterfront living is perfect for you, you’re likely craving a waterfront property to live or vacation in. These are great for resale value, proximity to the water, and beautiful views. However, these properties can be expensive both in price tag and insurance costs due to water proximity. Paying for these properties can present a challenge or even a shock if you’re not prepared for it, no matter what community you’re considering.

Costs of Waterfront Living

The cost of an average waterfront property depends on the body of water you’re eyeing as well as the state where it’s located. A beach or waterfront home can be more affordable in smaller towns such as Port Arthur, Texas, or Gulfport, Mississippi. Waterfront homes can be as cheap as $250,000 or as expensive as over $1,000,000!

Finding the Right Mortgage

Most people can’t afford to pay cash for their dream waterfront home. This is where a mortgage comes in. Finding the right mortgage means finding the best lenders who offer the best mortgage rates to lower the cost of the loan. 

Lenders

You can research lenders in your area yourself online or by visiting in person. You want to look at several different lenders to gauge the best interest rate. Home loan brokers are also great for connecting you with good lenders that offer competitive rates, as they exist to connect lenders and buyers.

Types of Loans

Conventional loans aren’t the only types of mortgages available. If you’re a first-time homebuyer for your waterfront property, many first-time homebuyer loans have lower down payment requirements or more competitive rates than a traditional mortgage. There are also Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans that can help you purchase a waterfront property in a more rural area at better rates. Ask your lender what loan types may work best for you.

Budgeting for Down Payments

Down payments can be as high as 20% of the purchase price; anything less may require paying for mortgage insurance. With the price of waterfront properties, this down payment can be quite high ($100,000 down payment for a $500,000 house). You’ll need to properly budget for this payment. Eliminate unnecessary spending or only allow a small percentage. Get rid of as much debt as you can. Designate automated transfers to a savings account that you don’t touch in case of emergencies.

Homebuying Assistance

If you’re lower income or a first-time homebuyer, there may be grants, first-time homebuyer programs, or down payment assistance in the area you’re looking to purchase a waterfront property. This can help you pay for the down payment and make homeownership more accessible.

Real Estate Agent Recommendations

Consider hiring a real estate agent to find your home. It makes the homebuying process easier, and they may have insight into great lenders in the area with better loan rates or ideal homebuying programs that you could qualify for.

Home Insurance

It’s important to factor insurance costs into your monthly mortgage payments. Insurance rates may be higher on waterfront properties due to flooding risks. Your realtor can identify what flood zone a property is in to give you a good estimate regarding insurance rates.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are important to factor into your savings and financing plans. Closing costs can be two to six percent of the home’s purchase price. This may not seem like a lot, but it can add up if your waterfront property is expensive.

Making the Right Offer

Know how to make the right offer. A real estate agent can be great for this, as they have a lot of experience in this area. You’ll want to make a competitive offer, but you can lower the asking price depending on any repairs that the home may need. This can lower how much you pay for the home by a lot!

Conclusion

Living on waterfront properties or in coastal communities has a lot of benefits, such as improved mental health and an active lifestyle. However, these properties can be expensive, so it’s important to prepare yourself in terms of savings and choosing the right financing options.

 

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