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The Best North Carolina Waterfront Communities

Many people dream of living by the water. Absolutely nothing can compare to the feeling of serenity that a view of the river, lake, or sea gives you. If you crave experiences that generate creativity, curiosity, mental wellbeing, and a sense of happiness and satisfaction, it is not difficult to find the source of such a feeling hiding in a home by the water. Just a few steps away from your home, you may have access to sailing, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, water skiing, or walking along the coast. Is there a better mood booster than a speedboat or a yacht waiting for you in the marina, not far from your house? This list of the best North Carolina waterfront communities can help you make that dream come true.

How to choose the right North Carolina waterfront community?

Before presenting you with the best NC waterfront communities, it’s vital to figure out the essentials you are looking for in a home and its location. The move is sometimes the easiest part, especially with the help of professional movers such as those at Prime Movers NC. Before buying a property or choosing to relocate, you will need to develop a list of things you want and need for the new place – both negotiable and non-negotiable. You will need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the budget you are working with? 
  • Will this be an investment, a vacation house, or your future full-time home?
  • What kind of coastal activities do you prefer? Are you more about fishing and the wonders of nature, or would you like a more playful atmosphere with plenty of tourists and parties?
  • Do you want the beach or the water “in your backyard”?
  • Do you need marina access?

By answering these questions, you will have a good general idea of the kind of place you are looking for. If you are interested in an investment, you will likely go for an oceanfront home, which also makes a great vacation spot. However, rivers, lakes, and waterways are also worth every penny, especially for long-term residents. The best North Carolina waterfront communities are versatile and offer something for anyone! 

A list of the best North Carolina waterfront communities

With its 3,000 miles of coastline, the state of North Carolina gives a fantastic offer of waterfront communities

Beaufort

If you love history and that vintage feel of a place, then this is just the waterfront town for you! This lovely harbor bears the same name as a town in South Carolina, but don’t be confused. Beaufort is the third oldest town in North Carolina and certainly amongst the most charming. The dock is always buzzing with people (fishermen and tourists), the unique homes date from the 17th century, and it’s surrounded by water on three sides. It is also in the proximity of Rachel Carson Reserve, where you can enjoy the fantastic wildlife and nature. 

If you are already in NC and wish to move to Beaufort, you can hire experienced local movers for easy relocation within the state. This will allow you to be closer to the water and fully experience the fun activities that await in this charming community. 

Southport

Another historical gem of North Carolina, all the way from 1792. This maritime sanctuary has been refurbished and now stands as a glorious witness of the past times. A set for many movies and TV shows, Southport has also been voted America’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2015, and for a good reason! 

Some of the most entertaining things to see and do at this waterfront community:

  • Learn about the local history – With an abundance of museums — from The Fort Johnston Museum and NC Maritime Museum to the Old Brunswick County Jail — history buffs will have a blast in Southport.
  • Experience water sports – If you are in the mood for an adventure, kayaking here is an experience of a lifetime. 
  • Enjoy the Waterfront – The Waterfront Park in downtown Southport is genuinely one of the most picturesque parks you can find in NC. For a gorgeous vista, fishing, and bird-watching, continue onto Southport Pier and Riverwalk.
  • Feast! – The downtown area alone offers over 30 restaurants specializing in different cuisines – a true heaven for foodies.

Duck

Duck stands out from the rest of the Outer Banks centers. It offers a peaceful, green setting with historic houses and lush vegetation. There are no big-box stores or chain restaurants here. Instead, Duck gives a low-key vibe with independent and eclectic businesses. This waterfront community is also known for its one-mile elevated boardwalk that connects numerous stores, restaurants, and parks while offering spectacular views. It hosts a fantastic jazz festival and has been voted one of the Best Restored Beaches in 2018.

Surf City

People searching for a peaceful, family-oriented waterfront community should look into Surf City properties. This town is the oldest of three cities located on Topsail Island. It has a fantastic beach, a mini-golf course, and a turtle rescue and rehabilitation center. You can bet on this location if you want serenity. Great family values, a close community, and a friendly atmosphere is what you can expect to find here.

Kitty Hawk

One of the best attractions of this North Carolina coastal town is its maritime forest in Sandy Run Park and golden sandy beaches. You can also enjoy the family restaurants and explore the waterways. But maybe the most impressive thing is that Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved their first flight in Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located just south of this town. 

Lake Waccamaw

As one of the greatest geological enigmas of the east United States, Lake Waccamaw is intriguing for many. This is one of the best North Carolina waterfront communities for nature lovers. Limestone bluffs along the north shore neutralize the water of Lake Waccamaw. Nearby, you will see the Green Swamp, which is a botanical wonder. If you enjoy investigating the miracles of nature, including rare plants and endangered animals, you should look into properties here.

Tips for Maintaining a Waterfront Property

Buying a luxury waterfront abode is a dream come true, one that many do not wish to spoil with thinking of cleaning and repairing. But the inevitable reality is that every property requires regular maintenance, and waterfront homes are no exception. It is vital to realize that maintaining an oceanfront property routinely over the years is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, the building and the grounds easily fall into disrepair, decreasing property value and disproportionally raising restoration costs. An waterfront home is an investment, and the only way to get an adequate return on that investment is to protect it continuously.

The battle against humidity

The most important task for every waterfront property owner is to control and prevent humidity and mold. You can easily get this issue under control if you install a dehumidifier or properly ventilate the property. However, you might need to invest in a dryer. Depending on the humidity level in your area, air drying your laundry might contribute to the growth of mold indoors. This is something you definitely want to avoid.

Speaking of humidity, it is essential not to overlook home areas that tend to accumulate it. You may think that the only job in your garage is to organize a storage unit properly and create enough space for extra tools. However, you also need to protect those tools and your vehicles. Keep everything that might corrode in airtight plastic containers with a bag of desiccant.

Focus on landscaping as a part of your property

Maintaining your property includes taking care of your grounds, too. However, landscaping is hard work that requires a lot of time that you might not have. Don’t neglect your front and back yard if you don’t have a green thumb. Hire a local landscaping company to determine and advise you about plants that would flourish in your area. They can even maintain your garden for you.

A pretty garden shows that maintaining an oceanfront property is done right. A well-kept yard should be home to native plants accustomed to the climate. Native flowers, shrubs, and trees are resistant to local pests and better adjusted to salt and humidity levels. Choosing the right plants to enrich your surroundings results in lower maintenance costs over time.

Always start with a good finish

Regularly painting your coastal home is a necessity. Proper preparation is the key to a good paint job. It is crucial to scrape, peel and sand off the old layers and apply a new coat of paint properly to preserve the property. Painting doesn’t involve only the coating of the facade but also the patio area, wooden deck, and outdoor furniture. And don’t forget any metal elements!

You can extend the life of your patio furniture if you cover it with a tarp when not being used. It should be safe from salty aerosol and sand abrasion, but you still need to clean it regularly. Furthermore, metal hinges and door locks, among other metal parts, are very susceptible to corrosion. Use a special type of silicone to spray over and protect these elements.

Be a responsible owner

Maintaining an oceanfront property is mostly about prevention. Why have to fix it if you can do everything in your power to avoid potential issues? Waterfront homes, especially those close to saltwater or sandy beaches, get more wear and tear. Bear in mind that you and other residents bring salt and sand inside on your shoes which can cause scratches and discolorations on the floors. Apply quality hardwood finishing, but also make sure to treat your home well.

Sometimes, however, you can’t avoid repairs. Every time you start a home renovation, you need to protect your furniture and other belongings. According to Good Neighbors Moving Company, moving professionals with experience in packing, storage, and relocation of fine art, carefully preparing your property and belongings for renovation is crucial. Otherwise, you risk damaging instead of repairing your estate.

Prepare for the unpredictable

Insurance – there isn’t a major investment that doesn’t require adequate insurance coverage. An oceanfront property is no different. The more demanding the property, the more extensive the policy. However, in this specific case, you should also acknowledge climate change and potential natural disasters. Standard home insurance may not cover flood damage and should be considered separately. It would be best if you didn’t leave anything to chance regarding such a significant, long-term investment.

Do your homework and determine if the area around your home happens to be in a flood or hurricane zone. For example, to discover if a luxury Long Beach estate is in danger of flooding, simply enter its address on the FEMA Flood Map Service Center website. You will find out that this property is in an area with reduced flood risk due to a levee. Such information is essential not only for obtaining the right home insurance coverage but also for planning your property maintenance efforts.

Update your home but choose the materials wisely

If you’re buying an existing, renovated waterfront home, you may not need to refurbish it right away. But if you need to renovate the property, always rely on the best in business. Licensed ontractors should use the high quality materials, ensuring the highest customer satisfaction level. Use the opportunity to inquire and get pro tips on proper maintenance of certain materials, finishes, and luxury surfaces from the experts themselves.

Using only the best quality and most resistant materials for upgrading, renovating, and maintaining an oceanfront property will pay off in the long run, especially when you take into account the increased value of the property. You might even need to build a dock to connect your sophisticated Honeymoon Bay waterfront property to the waterways. Once again, team up only with the most skilled, reputable contractors who use the best materials. They will cost more but you can’t put a price on your peace of mind. After all, you are buying your oceanfront property to enjoy it as long as possible and to increase its value.

Four Common Problems with Waterfront Homes

Rustic home on waterftont. Image by Aline Dassel


Investing in a waterfront home is investing in an aspirational property and a defined way of life.

Living close to water prompts images of a calm and relaxing lifestyle, in a property that has views and unique aspects to its character that you cannot find in most big US cities. Whether you buy remote waterfront property for rural living or invest in marina real estate for a busier, but no less appealing lifestyle, you will not be disappointed living close to water.

However, there are some serious considerations you need to bear in mind when moving to waterfront property. Prior to buying, it is important to conduct due diligence and our article titled 12 Things to Consider When Buying a Lakefront Home will help guide you through that process. Even once you have purchased your home, you do need to be aware of potential problems with your new purchase.

To help you stay abreast of the issues you may face, we have put together a handy guide of common problems associated with buying a waterfront property.

Ownership

So, you have bought your first waterfront property and you are keen to enjoy your purchase. You walk out to your waterfront and find other people wandering between your property and the water. Where did you go wrong?

There are several different elements to waterfront access and in wider developments; you may find that despite being situated on the water, there are rights of access between your property and the tranquility you intend to enjoy. A developer may have reserved access for all the houses in a neighborhood, even those not on the waterfront. Make sure you check access rights if you do not want to be sharing your space with others.

Rising Water

We live in a changeable climate, which means that the water levels in some bodies of water are susceptible to rising. Many cities in the US are prone to flooding when levels rise and in owning a waterfront property you will be putting yourself at risk. Indeed, Business Insider warns that several US cities could disappear altogether courtesy of rising tides, and the first properties to be affected would be those on the waterfront. If you live on a seafront, changeable tides and weather conditions could also see your home at risk. It is worth making sure you are covered for extreme weather conditions or damage caused by flooding, even if there is not a history of such events in the local area.

Flooding

A waterfront property might be susceptible to flooding from the outside in, but like any home, you must also be aware of the potential for flooding from the inside out. Some waterfront properties may draw their water supply from the lake or river on which they are situated, but that does not mean you are not at risk from common plumbing problems from access points, such as a stopcock. In a HomeServe guide to fixing a leaking stopcock, they explain how it is situated where the mains water comes into your home. With a waterfront property, you may be drawing your water directly from a lake and therefore your setup may be different, but it does not mean you do not have to worry. Wherever your water supply comes into your home is at risk, even outside of the typical plumbing setup. Many waterfront owners might pay more attention to the problems posed by water outside the property, but to underestimate the potential from within would be a fallacy.

Maintenance

Finally, be sure to check your obligations when it comes to maintaining your piece of shoreline. It may be that expense incurred by falling debris, or the removal of collected flotsam, fall directly upon you. The Wall Street Journal explains how ships have been washing up on the Florida coast, and although it seems unlikely to happen to most homeowners, it is important to understand where you stand if such an occurrence takes place on your stretch of waterway. In a more remote property, it is likely you assume responsibility for general maintenance, but in communal areas on shared waterways, it could be ambiguous. Like any property purchase, conducting thorough and extensive due diligence will flag up any additional responsibilities you may have as a homeowner.

Living the Water View Dream

Living in a waterfront or water view home is a dream for many. The privacy, the tranquility, and the fresh air are only some of the things that these homes offer in abundance. If you are a swimmer or paddleboarder, or you love sailing, living on the waterfront allows you to partake in all of your favorite activities whenever you want. This is the place where you can take full advantage of good weather and water proximity with no need for a long drive. Not only that, but waterfront properties are also great for entertaining and spending a lot of fun time with your loved ones. Life on the waterfront is slightly different than landlocked living, but these waterfront living tips should help you find your footing easily.

Want to buy on the waterfront? Here is what you need to know

Obviously, waterfront living is a pretty general term. It can include coastal properties by the ocean, or houses on lakes, rivers, ponds, and bayous. Each of these has its own specificities that should be considered.

Liabilities

Waterfront homes are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change compared to other types of housing. One of the top 10 tips on waterfront property buying is to be aware of the high risk of flooding. This is especially true if the house is older. Newer homes nowadays are built differently in order to accommodate a certain amount of flooding which won’t ruin your home. Coastal homes are also at risk from storms, hurricanes, and rising sea levels. These are all events you should have contingencies for. One thing many people often overlook completely is how corrosive salt water is. So, if you are about to move to your new waterfront home in California, you want to bear in mind that its exterior and decks will probably require some extra maintenance.

Waterproofing

While waterfront homes are vulnerable to rain, wind, and flooding, even when the weather is fine, your property will still be in constant exposure to water. Whether or not it is saltwater, any amount can do damage. This is why one of the basic waterfront living tips is to waterproof everything. Heavy morning dew can greatly damage all of your outdoor furniture in no time. Covering all of your outdoor elements in a layer of waterproof paint or getting a cover to protect everything will pay off in the long run.

Boating

Waterfront properties are attractive to people with many different hobbies. However, they might be the most enticing for people who are into boating. Whether you already have a boat or you want to get one for your waterfront home, you have to make sure you know what size of boat your property can accommodate. Another one of the waterfront living tips is to pay attention to the regulations regarding boating and docking in your particular area. The size of your boat may not only be determined by the size of your property. It could also be impacted by the proximity of the neighboring properties.

Another thing to bear in mind if you are planning on buying a waterfront home in order to spend more time on your boat is the difference in bodies of water. As mentioned, saltwater is highly corrosive, so if you are moving to an oceanfront like California, your boat will require more maintenance. It will have to be rinsed with fresh water and its engine flushed regularly. Its life expectancy will also be shorter. On the other hand, a lake house or another freshwater-adjacent property will save you money on boat maintenance. No matter where you decide to move, though, you will want to pay special attention to the company handling the transport of your boat. Movers like Los Angeles Transfer and Storage will safely bring your boat to your new California home.

Secrets of waterfront living on a budget

When it comes to activities, if you do not already have a water-related hobby you are passionate about, you will probably find yourself trying out different ones at home. Now, many watersports can be expensive. Maintenance of your waterfront home could also be a big expense, so you do not need your hobbies to further drain your bank account. There are actually fun activities you can take part in without breaking the bank while still taking full advantage of your surroundings. Fishing equipment is quite inexpensive online. Stand-up addleboarding is a relatively inexpensive investment upfront and poses virtually no additional costs later on. Kayaking and row boating is a bit more expensive.

Safety

Safety is very important to consider in waterfront living. This is particularly true if you have children or pets. When it comes to children, living in a waterfront home will be as much of a dream for them as it is for you. Numerous outdoor activities available at a beach house will make it feel like an endless summer vacation. However, all of these perks come with certain dangers as well. Depending on your children’s age, of course, you will want to take certain precautions.

If your children are of age, you will want to have them take swimming lessons. All of your family members should be confident swimmers. In addition, make sure there are enough life vests on your boat and life ring buoys on your dock. If your children are very young, you will want to invest in gates and alarms. Gates should keep toddlers from accessing the waterfront unattended and the alarms on your door will let you know if any of them wander outside without you knowing.

There is nothing comparable to having a water view or waterfront home. Water you waiting for?

Seven Tips for Buying Water View Real Estate

Buying a waterfront property isn’t just like buying a land-locked property. Owning a waterfront property has its perks but it also involves a set of unique requirements and responsibilities. Living in one comes with a unique lifestyle, too. We have seven useful tips that will help you decide whether waterfront property buying is the right thing to do, and prepare you for the process if you choose to go through with it. 

1 Come up with a financial plan early on

Getting a mortgage pre-approval is of the utmost importance when buying a waterfront property — or any property, for that matter. Many real estate agents advise their clients (sellers) to accept offers from pre-approved home buyers exclusively.

This leads us to the second important reason to make a financial plan as early as possible: there is a lot of competition involved The number of waterfront properties you can choose from is traditionally much lower than the number of non-waterfront properties. Due to fierce competition, when there are multiple offers, you may end up losing a property unless you have your financing in order. 

Other things to take into consideration before waterfront property buying include property inspection costs, insurance costs, renovation costs, relocation costs, etc. If you wish to secure yourself during relocation and be safe and comfortable in your new home, this is not the time to cut corners. 

2 Choose the right body of water

Remember that you’re not just buying a piece of real estate – you’re buying the water view, too. Waterfront properties can differ greatly depending on the body of water they overlook. Some buyers are only interested in lakefront properties, while others prefer the ocean, a river or pond. What do you prefer?

Some buyers are so enchanted by the spectacular view that they disregard other factors, such as ease of access to the water and privacy. Perhaps you’re already picturing yourself and your partner watching the sun sink into the deep, blue ocean every evening, not counting on the noisy powerboats and hordes of tourists passing by. And just like that, your romantic dream turns into a nightmare. Therefore, research the body of water thoroughly before making an offer. 

Water bodies come in different sizes, depths, etc. If you plan on using a boat, find out about the water depth requirements for different types of boats. The quality of water is another important thing to check before buying a waterfront property, especially if you like to swim. The water could be polluted, or full of weeds or dangerous creatures you should know about. 

Additionally, bear in mind that shores gradually move over time. Hence, learning about the shoreline’s history and future erosion should be on your to-do list. 

3 Inspect the waterfront property

Another obvious tip on waterfront property buying is having a property inspection prior to making an offer. Spending some time on the water as well as the property itself is crucial, but you should also have professionals take a look at the property. Inspection costs are minimal compared to the peace of mind they provide. 

Since the property you are interested in is located near or on a body of water, an inspector should make sure there are no water intrusion issues. Another important inspection to conduct is a septic inspection. Repairing or replacing a faulty septic system could cost you thousands of dollars, so definitely have it inspected beforehand. 

4 Talk to the locals

People who live in waterfront communities are often very close with one another, which means your neighbors will probably be a big part of your life should you decide to occupy the property full-time. 

Having conversations with the local residents is a great way to get some first-hand information on the area. Talk to your potential neighbors and ask them everything you want to know. The locals will help you make a list of pros and cons in no time. They should give you their honest opinion that will help you form yours. 

5 Learn about the maintenance of waterfront properties

When it comes to its maintenance, a waterfront home is not just like any other home. Waterfront property buying comes with specific maintenance responsibilities. You must maintain both the condition of your home and the surrounding land. Unfortunately, waterfront real estate is generally more susceptible to damage caused by weather conditions than other types of real estate. 

By taking care of trees and shrubbery growth, you’re not only making your property look better, but you’re also protecting its structure as well as land. Maintaining the frontage of your property is one of the most important maintenance requirements. Your home’s break wall or docks can suffer serious damage, especially if it is located near a body of water that tends to have rough waters. Other important maintenance tasks include roof, deck, and siding maintenance.

You must make sure your waterfront property can withstand the harsh conditions it faces. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with expensive repairs all the time. If the property you buy is durable, you won’t have to worry too much about rain, seawater or wind, and frequent repairs won’t be necessary. 

6 Learn about flood insurance requirements

Flooding is a common cause of damage to waterfront properties. Therefore, one of your insurance requirements may be obtaining a flood insurance policy. Since not all waterfront properties face the same level of risk, the cost of flood insurance varies. Naturally, if your home has a higher risk of potential flooding, the insurance cost will be higher. 

7 Hire an agent to help you with waterfront property buying

The number of real estate agents who can help you through the process of waterfront property buying is limited. Only agents who specialize in waterfront properties should be taken into consideration. Experienced agents know exactly which questions to ask and whom to include in the transaction. When interviewing potential agents, in addition to asking about their experience, ask them to provide client testimonials. 

How to Buy Waterfront Real Estate

When people say that water view real estate is different than other types of property, they’re definitely not wrong. If you ever buy a piece of waterfront property, you’ll quickly realize what they’re talking about. Namely, there’s really nothing like the unique feeling of having a body of water within view and reach – all on your own piece of land! However, compared to land-locked properties, this kind of real estate will likely turn out to be more complicated to inspect, purchase, and maintain. There are some factors that you need to take into consideration with this type of real estate, that you possibly haven’t thought about before. Luckily, we’re here to give you a quick rundown!

Careful Inspection

As you’ll soon see for yourself, waterfront homes require careful and thorough inspection before you decide to invest in one. Water can be pretty hard on buildings. A waterfront home may have structural issues or even water leaks in the basement. There could be corrosion on the outside of your home due to salt air if you’re near an ocean shore. On the other hand, a lakehouse might suffer from mold or mildew problems due to rising moisture. Naturally, all of these things can be avoided if you buy the right home; but you want to get an expert to inspect the premises first. You want to do tests on the nearby water quality, get some elevation certificates, as well as other surveys and inspections. With a waterfront property, all of this is incredibly important. 

What Kind Of Water Would You Want?

It’s a pretty simple question when posed like this – but indeed, it is a key question: what kind of water do you want near your water view real estate? Trust us, waterfront home locations are an incredibly important factor when you’re choosing where you’ll move. After all, not all bodies of water are the same. If you’re someone who’s yearning for the smell of salt in their nostrils, you’ll obviously want to opt for a beach home. On the other hand, you may be a freshwater fisherman, looking to have some quiet time in a boat on a nearby lake. If that’s the case, you should look for a lakehouse. 

Take A Walk Around

If you’ve decided to buy a specific piece of water view real estate, there’s something you’ll need to do first – take a long walk. And no, we don’t just mean it to clear your head. You need to have a walk around the property itself and see if the water and the adjacent property are really as good as you’ve been led to believe. 

There could be all kinds of hidden issues with waterfront real estate; for example, the house might require repairs due to leakage.  Or you could be faced with a beautiful view, but not accompanied with proper access to the lake. Plus, the lake itself may seem gorgeous from afar, but could actually be choking in debris and weeds when you get up close. All of this could be a deal-breaker if you’re buying a water view home. After all, if you don’t like the backyard of a land-locked house you’ve bought – you just do some landscaping and change it. But if you’re buying a waterfront home, you’ll be hard-pressed to change the lake itself. 

Watch Out For Hidden Expenses

When it comes to water view real estate, you could be looking at some hidden expenses that you, as a buyer, might not be aware of right from the get-go. For example, sewer and water utility expenses will probably be higher than with an inland home; that’s something to take into account over the long term. Plus, if you’ve got a boat, think about the lift and dock fees. And depending on the infrastructure, the upkeep for your well and septic tank if you’re thinking of buying in a more remote locale. 

Find A Deal

Naturally, buying your very own waterfront property can really be a dream come true. But there are many people who grow disillusioned with owning water view real estate or have debts that they need to resolve. The point here is, even with lucrative waterfront spots, you may be able to find a good deal. So shop around once you choose your area and don’t settle for the first thing you see. And don’t worry about home amenities too much, if you find a spacious home. Stuff like your home library, entertainment setup, or your home gym can be easily relocated.

Devise A Strategy

You need to ask yourself if you’re going to live on this water view real estate full-time. This will largely determine your financial strategy for the purchase, going forward. For example, if you want to live there all the time, you’ll have to bear the brunt of the expenses for buying the house. But, if you only intend to use it as a vacation home, more opportunities arise. You can rent the house out while you’re not staying there and put a significant dent in the mortgage payments. Think Airbnb.

Find An Expert Agent

As you might have gathered – buying and owning water view real estate isn’t simple. From headaches like structural issues, sale complications, and potential title issues, the handling of such a property in a transaction requires close supervision by an expert real estate agent. Don’t even consider going into such a purchase without a specialized waterfront realtor by your side. USAWaterviews.com has many qualified water view experts on the Agents page.

So, if you want to buy a piece of water view real estate, find a good moving company through a place like Master Moving Guide – and start your shore life anew!

 

How to Control and Prevent Humidity and Mold in Waterfront Homes

by Lucy Hudson

Every home requires maintenance, and homes in warm, humid climates are no different, especially when it comes to mold. While studies don’t show that mold is more prevalent in waterfront homes than normal ones, studies do reveal that in any given home across the United States there could be one of thirty different types of mold present. Since fixing mold damage is a time and money-consuming project, it’s best to take preventative action before it gets out of hand. The great news is, however, is that it’s pretty easy to prevent as long as you’re mindful about it and put in a little effort.

Clean Regularly to Get Rid of Pollutants

While you probably clean your waterfront home regularly, if you aren’t doing it in the right way, you’ll miss a lot of the small, microscopic toxins that are floating or lying around. Mold is one of the most prevalent and dangerous of these toxins and can cause nasal and sinus congestion, a chronic cough, and even eye irritation. When scrubbing your walls, especially in damp areas like the laundry room or basement, you’ll want to use a non-ammonia cleaner or dishwashing soap and water to remove mold and other small spores that can cause respiratory problems. Using a HEPA vacuum cleaner or air cleaner is a good idea after washing any area of your home in order to remove any leftover mold spores floating around in the air.

Check Humidity Levels

Becaise most waterfront properties are situated in areas that are likely to be more hot and humid, you’ll probably already have a high-quality HVAC system you to cool your home. This is great, as cool air holds less moisture than warm air, and with the right A/C unit you can ensure your waterfront property is receiving dehumidified air. Industry professionals refer to this as exfiltration, and certain HVAC systems will provide you with better exfiltration abilities than others, as well as the ability to monitor the humidity levels in your home. If you live in a particularly humid waterfront area, it’s a good idea to invest in a smart humidity monitor that will alert you if the place gets too humid. Normally, these levels should be between 35% and 50%, but in really humid climates you might have to live with levels up to 55%.

Monitor Your Home Regularly

Preventing mold in a humid climate is something that you might always have to deal with, but it’s so easy to do that the myriad benefits of a waterfront property greatly outweigh that one small task. By properly cleaning your home regularly to avoid the buildup of dust and other pollutants, you can ensure that you’re not providing mold with an environment to thrive in. Investing in a humidity monitor and the right HVAC system will then help keep your property at the perfect temperature and humidity level to enjoy all of the stunning waterfront sunsets comfortably inside of your home.

The Ultimate Housewarming Party For Your Waterfront Home

by Lucy Hudson

A housewarming party is a perfect way to celebrate your new house with family and friends. It is also the perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors and make new friends in the area. Your waterfront home is something to be really proud of and having a party will show your space at its best. Here are some great ways to make sure that your housewarming is one to be remembered.

Install beautiful lighting

When you have a home on the waterfront, you are surrounded by beautiful reflections. You can use this to your advantage when you’re throwing a housewarming, and create a truly atmospheric backdrop with lighting. If your party is in the evening, fill your home with soft sheen lamps or candles in tea light holders. This is even more effective if you have decking in front of your home leading to the water. Your lighting will be reflected in the surface of the water, giving a feeling of even more space. Another way to make your home feel bigger and to focus on the water is to decorate your home with mirrors. It will give your housewarming a modern feel and fill your living area with reflections and subtle illumination.

Serve delicious local cuisine

One of the most wonderful things about living near the water is the availability of seasonal, local food. You can delight your friends by serving them a variety of fish or seafood. Provide your guests with delicate canape style dishes that they can eat while socializing. For instance, marinated shrimp or delicate white fish on skewers will look dainty and taste divine. If your housewarming is a casual party, having a barbecue is a great way to show off the local cuisine and guests can even help with the cooking.

Take the party outside

On a warm summer evening, take your housewarming party outside to look out over the water. Invest in some extra deck chairs, or canvas director’s chairs, that you can get out when you have friends and family over. Put a bar outside so you can serve drinks to your friends, or fill some ice boxes with beers for a more casual party. It’s a good idea to put some citronella candles outside to keep away the insects. They will also fill the air with a wonderful scent. If you are planning an outdoor party, make sure you start an early evening, so that your guests can see the glory of the sun setting over the water.

Enhance the atmosphere with music

Playing some good music is a guaranteed way to give your housewarming party a great atmosphere. Make a housewarming playlist on your streaming service for your party. For a more laid back affair, try some jazz or chillout music. If you are having a wild and lively party, hip hop, Motown, and chart hits will get everyone dancing. Try to include something on your playlist for each age group you have coming to your party. 

A housewarming party is a perfect way to celebrate your beautiful new waterfront house. You will enjoy a beautiful evening and possibly make new friends in your area.

waterfront home decoration

Make Your New Waterfront Home Sparkle

The news is out: waterfront property isn’t as expensive as it used to be, according to a market analysis by Forbes. That means now may be the time to start looking and thinking about making that big purchase. And once you’ve completed the exciting task of finding and purchasing a waterfront home, there’s another difficult process: decorating. The commanding views and dynamic lighting of a waterfront property can make interior design even more intimidating and demanding than with a landlocked home. There are, however, many well used methods for setting up your new dwelling in a way that harmonizes the beauty of both the interior and exterior – a good idea for anyone interested in living well.

Living/Dining Room

The centerpiece of a beach house will of course always be the water itself, so care should be taken so that each room complements and responds to the view. Nowhere is this more important than in the living/dining room; the rooms that you and your guests will undoubtedly spend the most time. One of the most important design concerns is how light will play out in the room. Think about where and when the light will be best in the house, and how it will move over time. Can you place the dining room table in a space where you won’t be blinded every dinner? Can you set up a nice space for cocktails where the view can be appreciated in the early evening? Use the windows as centerpieces and design out from there. Mirrors can help make spaces feel bigger, brighter, and more open, without distracting from windows. Try to space furniture so that eyes of guests are drawn naturally to the view.

Bedrooms

Both personal and guest bedrooms provide a space to be a little bit more playful with decor, and to develop a theme for the home (just don’t go overboard). Bedrooms can be arranged around windows, but since they are smaller less care needs to be taken when placing furniture. It’s better to focus on picking colors and small objects that complement and highlight the exterior view than to distract with large decorative pieces. Try to treat each bedroom as a subtle response to it’s exterior. A guest bedroom (or street facing living room away from the water) can be a great place for a nice entertainment center incorporating a large screen and state-of-the-art speaker system. Or if you want to have a few spaces that are quirky, guest bedrooms are a natural place for this too.

Kitchen

The kitchen is perfect for working on thematic decor, as well as developing more interior focused design. Because there aren’t usually large furniture pieces in a kitchen, small decorative decisions can have an outsize impact here. The kitchen is also a good space to make unique; a room that says a little about the homeowners. It’s important to keep in mind both functional and aesthetic goals here, as this will be one of the rooms that gets the most use.

Tying it all together

Once you’ve got a theme picked and the furniture arranged just so comes the most exciting part: enjoying the view and fine tuning the details. After the big decisions have been made, setting up a home can be a much less involved, and more fun process of small tweaks and trial periods. All it takes is a bit of work, trial and error, and conscious decision making to find yourself comfortable and relaxed in a new waterfront home.

by Lucy Hudson

Public or Private? Current Battles over Beachfront Access of Waterfront Homes

 

A number of legal battles concerning the relationship between public access laws and private property rights for waterfront homes are unfolding across the country, four of which are being closely followed due to the broader implications of their rulings and the precedents they will set — particularly as they affect waterfront homes for sale.

Each dispute pertains to waterfront land that is privately owned yet falls under the protection of public trust doctrine – the legal principle that permits governments to designate certain natural resources for public use. Belonging to the public and private realm simultaneously, this type of land is frequently the subject of lengthy legal proceedings in which the right of landowners to exclusive use of their property is weighed against the right of the government to retain shoreline, bodies of water, and other natural resources for public use. Litigation is often necessary to provide case-specific interpretation of the rights and limits of each involved party.

Two of these legal battles continue to be waged in court, but rulings have recently been reached in the other two. In both cases, the panel upheld the public’s right to use land that is privately owned yet also designated, under public trust doctrine, for public use.

WISCONSIN WATER RIGHTS BATTLE

The first of these cases concerns the right of a waterfront property owner in Wisconsin to construct a dock on flowage waters that border her property, but which also flow over submerged land – the riverbed – that belongs to her neighbor.

Claiming that his ownership of the waterbed beneath the flowage gave him the right to exclusive use of the water flowing above it, David Lobermeier sued his neighbor Gail Movrich – who also happens to be his sister – for installing a dock over the flowage.

Citing the Wisconsin Constitution, which holds navigable waters in trust for public navigation and recreation, the panel ruled against Lobermeier on the grounds that the state’s public trust doctrine grants Movrich, as a member of the public, unrestricted access to the flowage waters, and consequently, the freedom to build a pier as “a natural extension of the navigational and recreational activities” that she is guaranteed.

The case is significant because it set the precedent for disputes involving the right to access a water body that abuts one’s property, yet also happens to flow atop a riverbed owned by someone else. The unique designation of the water body as a “flowage” – a body of water formed by overflowing – also factored into the panel’s decision, as did the fact that Lobermeier owned only a fraction of the flowage waterbed. Had it been a lake, for instance, and the entire waterbed owned by Lobermeier, the panel reasoned, the Wisconsin Constitution would have allowed Movrich to access the water, but not to build a dock atop it.

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WHO OWNS THE DRY SAND IN NORTH CAROLINA?

In the second case, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled against a retired couple’s claim that an ordinance prohibiting them from building within a 20-foot wide stretch of beach behind their North Carolina home was a violation of their right to exclusive use of their property.

But reasoning that the North Carolina public trust doctrine guarantees public access to all of the state’s beaches – not, as in the couple’s home state of New Jersey, just the wet-sand sections – the Court preserved a long-standing North Carolina common law which holds the entirety of the state’s beach land in trust for the use and enjoyment of the public.

 

Had the Court decided differently, the repercussions would have been so dire, and so far-reaching, that a host of other coastal towns throughout North Carolina contributed money and support to Emerald Isle’s defense efforts.

For instance, important public services including emergency response, beach patrol, trash collection, and environmental conservation groups are all reliant on full public access to the state’s beach and would have had to drastically modify or even suspend their services had the Court defended the right of private owners to exclusive use of public beach within their property lines.

Another consequence of such a ruling would have been the fencing off of privately owned beach properties from the public portions of the beach, which would have proven disastrous as far as the appeal of these beachfront communities for visitors, and dealt a blow to coastal businesses that rely on revenue generated by tourism.

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HALF MOON BAY FIGHTS BACK

In Northern California’s Half Moon Bay, desire for public access to a beach that has been closed to the public since 2010 is so widespread and fervent that the community has mobilized the California State Lands Commission in hopes of seizing the beach from its owner through eminent domain.

Though the cost of doing so could reach up to tens of millions of dollars – a sum that is highly unlikely to be raised, even in the affluent town of Half Moon Bay – state Senator Jerry Hill introduced a bill which would appropriate money from the general fund and allocate it toward the cause.

The California State Lands Commission is unlikely to act until the three pending cases involving the property are settled, the most recent of which is a lawsuit filed by the owner against the Commission and two other government agencies he alleges to have violated his 14th Amendment rights by denying him exclusive use of his own property.

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ZUCKERBERG vs. KAUAI

In Kauai, a public uproar has been caused by the island’s newest inhabitant – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – whose disregard for the state’s public access laws and indifference to the rights and desires of native residents is rubbing many the wrong way.

Zuckerberg’s new home – a 700-acre estate he purchased for $100 million – contains within its boundaries a number of public beach access points, a popular coastal pathway, and a trail believed by many to be the Ala Loa – a legendary ancient footpath protected for public use under the Highways Act of 1892.

 

Historians, activists, advisors to the Department of Land and Natural Resources on Native Hawaiian Cultural Matters, and many others have been pleading with Zuckerberg to allow public access to the trail – which is in fact guaranteed to the public under the state’s public access laws – but Zuckerberg refuses to respond. Additionally, several community members have reported being accosted and threatened by Zuckerberg’s security guards for using the coastal pathway that runs through his estate. In June, a 6-foot tall rock wall constructed around the property was interpreted by many as an expression of the Facebook mogul’s indifference to their rights and wishes, as well as his blatant disregard for public access law.

 

Zuckerberg has been urged to at least create easements that make it easier for the public to utilize the beach access points on his property, which lead to two of Kauai’s most legendary and beloved beaches – Ka’aka’anui and Pilaa – but he shows no intention of doing so. According to public access law in Hawaii, the public is afforded unrestricted access to all of the state’s beaches, as well as the right to safe passage along the entire coast, even if safe passage requires people to traverse private property.

Despite the ongoing tension between Zuckerberg and so many of his new neighbors, lawsuits have thus far been avoided. If the Facebook CEO continues to deny them access to these public resources, however, expect the dispute to be settled in the courthouse. Public trust doctrine, the Highways Act of 1892, and common decency each hold that the residents of Kauai are entitled to enjoy any public resources that fall within Zuckerberg’s 700 acres.

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CONCLUSION

For hundreds of years, open access to oceans, shores, and other natural resources has been maintained and enforced as an inalienable human right. A host of factors – overdevelopment of waterfront houses for sale chief among them – have led to a colossal decline in universal enjoyment of this liberty over the past century, however, as the privatization of land continues to sequester more and more of our planet’s offerings for the sole enjoyment of a privileged few.

As beaches and shores continue to vanish underneath steadily rising seas, causing rapidly receding coasts to encroach ever more on the privately-owned waterfront, the problematic relationship between private property rights and public access laws will not only persist but intensify. One can only hope that waterfront landowners, their governing bodies, and the general public can learn to find a compromise; one that acknowledges proprietary entitlements and allows for waterfront homes, yet adheres to the idea that our planet’s natural resources are the rightful domain of all living beings and not merely the few who purchase and inherit them. True democracy demands, and perhaps begins with, the democratization of land.