Agents’ tips for buying waterfront property

Agents’ tips for buying waterfront property

WITH its extensive coastline and river, Perth offers residents an outstanding lifestyle and properties close to the water are often in high demand and can command premium prices.

However, there are many factors to consider before purchasing a property near the water.

We asked some local agents to share their tips.

Vivien Yap

Director, LJ Hooker Claremont

Mrs Yap said a water aspect would always command additional interest and higher prices.

“A lot of people aspire to looking out over the river or coastline,” she said.

“Ideally, you would like to have your prime entertaining or living area exposed to water views, but views from the master bedroom would also be advantageous.”

However, Mrs Yap said while water views were highly aspirational, for many people proximity to the water was enough.

“The opportunity to be able to walk or ride a bike to the beach or river – leaving the car in the garage – is a very appealing lifestyle opportunity,” she said.

“And these properties could normally be purchased for a lesser price than those with a water view.”

Mrs Yap said a property inspection was a given part of any property purchase, but even more so when considering a home close to the coast.

“Salt air can cause corrosion and the proximity to the shoreline can mean the home is exposed to greater storm and wind activity,” she said.

“Sometimes there can be damage to external electrical fittings and foundations as a result of coastal storms, and an inspector will also be able to pick up whether there has been any water damage from storms.

“If you’re on a canal-front home, proper assessment of the revetment is vital to ensure it’s fulfilling its purpose.

“It’s very important to pick these up prior to your purchase as there will be no recourse once the home has settled.”

Natalie Snooks

Director, Optimus Real Estate

Ms Snooks specialises in the City Beach area.

She said real estate purchases all related to location and when it came to properties in coastal suburbs, ocean views were always desirable.

“These properties tend to appreciate more so than properties without views,” she said.

However, while waterfront properties with unobstructed views tended to achieve a premium price, a buyer’s preference for one part of a suburb over another was largely personal.

“For example, City Beach also has an abundance of parklands so homes either facing or backing onto parkland are also highly sought after and buyers can still take advantage of the coastal location,” she said.

When it came to living along the coast, Ms Snooks said buyers also needed to consider the practicalities, such as garages to protect cars from the elements.

“Large block sizes in City Beach usually mean that garaging at the homes is generous,” she said.

“I also recommend that all buyers make a structural inspection report a condition of their offer. Living near the ocean does mean that the homes are more prone to wear and tear due to the wind and the salty air.”

Suzy Costanzo

Sales consultant, Space Real Estate

Ms Costanzo said when looking for a waterfront property, the most important consideration for buyers should be “how do they want to use the property?”.

“Why do they want a waterfront property – is it lifestyle (boating, fishing, kayaking), whether it be on the river or the sea, or just for a beautiful outlook,” she said.

“If it is a lifestyle decision, research should be done on boat regulations for river or sea, and watch the area at all times of the day to see how much traffic occurs on the body of water in front of your property.

“This will serve two purposes, as the buyers will also be able to see the wind conditions at different times of day as well.”

Ms Costanzo said buyers should contact the local council to find out about any restrictions with regard to the waterfront on the property, or restrictions as to any possible renovation or building on the property that faces the waterfront.

“It is pertinent to know prior to purchasing what a buyer can and can’t do in the future with a prospective property purchase,” she said.