Life on Lake Erie in Erie, PA is pretty amazing—from the breathtaking views to the immediate access to boating, fishing, swimming, and more. But there are so many beautiful homes from which to choose… how do you find just the right one?
Here’s what you need to know to find your dream waterfront home in Erie, PA.
What You Need to Know About Buying a Waterfront Home in Erie, PA
1. Start Loan Shopping Early
Waterfront homes tend to run more expensive than homes located away from the water, and therefore may require larger or jumbo loans. Since these are more difficult to qualify for and often take longer to process, it’s vitally important to start that process early.
2. Focus on the Property
You can change the home but not the property! Don’t fall in love with the house unless you’re in love with the land that surrounds it, too. Consider features like water views, privacy, and access to boating, swimming, and the overall shoreline.
3. Consider the Lifestyle
The most important part of choosing a property is ensuring that it fits your desired lifestyle. How will you use it? For swimming? Boating? Fishing? What type of shoreline is going to give you the best access to your lifestyle? Can you add a dock, fishing pier, or boat lift? Is shoreline particularly steep or flat?
4. Inspect Everything Carefully
Before you determine a piece of land is perfect for your lifestyle, get it professionally and thoroughly inspected. Elevation certificates, water quality tests, surveys, and other land and water based inspections can ensure the quality and safety of your property. Be sure to walk the property yourself with a critical eye, keeping an eye out for potential problems that could prohibit you from thoroughly enjoying your home.
5. Check Property Restrictions
Just because it looks perfect and everything checks out, doesn’t mean it is. Be sure to do your research to determine the legality of changes you want to make to the property, whether that’s cutting down trees, adding a dock or lift, or even painting your house or putting in a pool. You may also want to pull permits on any existing features, like a dock or lift, to make sure it’s legal.
6. Don’t Forget Homeowner’s Insurance
Waterfront homes are great—but they do receive a lot more wear and tear from the elements. As a result from added wear and tear, you’ll find that homeowners insurance runs more expensive for waterfront homes, and may require add-ons like flood insurance. Additionally, be sure to do a little research into the history of the shoreline to find out if the water level is rising or falling, as this could affect the safety of your home.
7. Talk to the Neighbors
When buying any home, it’s always a good idea to talk to the locals to find out how they enjoy living in the neighborhood—or to get the inside scoop on restrictions, noise levels, or other details that might not present themselves up front.
8. Find a Realtor Who’s a Waterfront Specialist
The most important thing you can do is work with the right Realtor—one who knows the area, who knows the waterfront, and who knows waterfront home buying. An expert Realtor can help you find the best deal (and avoid bad deals) and the best property for you.
Searching for a Waterfront Realtor in Erie, PA?
If you’re looking for a Realtor in Erie who will know the details about waterfront living in the area—from the best areas for certain lifestyles to property restrictions—then it’s time to contact Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services. We’re here to help you find the perfect waterfront home in just the right location.