If you want to buy a vacation home for your family near the river you love to fish in, then it is important you understand this type of purchase has a few unique issues. Homes that are located next to lakes and rivers are subjected to seasonal flooding, higher insurance and mortgage costs, and can have a lot more pitfalls than other types of residential property. To help you successfully navigate these issues and make the best purchasing decision, follow these tips:
Tip: Research the Location of the Historical Flood Plain
Regardless of what anyone tells you, all creeks, streams, and rivers flood during large storms. The amount of flooding is controlled by not only the rain that falls but also the melting snowpack and releases of water from dams upstream. Because of the additional factors, your vacation home can be located a mile or more from the river and still be located within the historical flood plain.
If your new riverfront home is located in the historical flood plain, then you will need to purchase flood insurance at an extra cost to you. Additionally, you should expect a home located in the flood plain will flood at some point.
Before you make an offer on your new vacation property, first contact the local building permit office and inquire about the local flood plain maps. The map will show you if the property has flooded in the last one hundred years.
Tip: Get Preapproved for a Vacation Home Mortgage
If you need a mortgage for your new riverfront vacation home, then you should start the preapproval process as soon as possible. This is very important because getting a mortgage on a vacation property is a lot more challenging and often the loans offered come with a lot higher interest rates than mortgages for single family homes. For these reasons, you need as much lead time as possible while shopping for the right mortgage to meet your needs.
Tip: Work with a Real Estate Agent Who Specializes in Riverfront Property
Finally, it is vital that you work with a buyer's agent who specializes in buying and selling property along the river where you want to buy your family's vacation home. Since riverfront property is a specialty purchase, it is important to work with a real estate agent who has a lot of knowledge and experience with this type of property purchase.