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Avoid These Common Mistakes When Buying Waterfront Property

Looking for waterfront homes for sale in Charleston, SC? Protect your investment – avoid these common mistakes when choosing the right property.

Not getting proper insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is tasked with regulating flood insurance costs for properties located within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), which include coastal areas, and not just low-lying areas, throughout the United States.

And while the chances of flooding in Charleston are low, there’s no harm in purchasing an insurance policy to protect your investment.

FEMA’s flood insurance rates and requirements vary based on where the property is located within the Flood Map, which helps FEMA determine flood risk.

The good news is that you may be eligible for lower rates if you find that you have to pay a premium for flood insurance:

  • Reduce your waterfront home’s exposure to flooding by installing flood vents, elevating the entire structure, or raising HVAC systems, for example. Improvements that lower the chances of your home’s foundation from sustaining damaged during a flood may reduce insurance premium rates.
  • Request a flood zone determination by applying for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) if you believe that the property has been inaccurately depicted as being in a high-risk area,.
  • Consider increasing your deductible, or the amount you must pay out of pocket to cover an insurance claim before coverage can be applied, in order to get premium savings.

Neglecting to do research on restrictions and permits

Once you find your dream home, you’re going to want to put your personal stamp on the property through various upgrades and renovations. But before you get carried away, you need to be aware of the necessary permits and restrictions.

All kinds of home improvements, from exterior paint jobs to interior finishes Charleston, require a permit from the local government if the property is located within an SFHA – that includes all properties in the city’s coastal areas.

To find out if a property is located within an SFHA, visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.

Before you can carry out any kind of work on the property, you’ll have to submit a plan to the Permit Center, where it will be subject to review and approval.

The same goes for properties within the Old City as well as Old and Historic Districts – any kind of work that affects your home exterior is subject to the review and approval of the Board of Architectural Review (BAR).

Renovation work that includes any of the following changes must go through the Zoning Division:

  • New construction
  • Construction of accessory structures (i.e. pools, garages, fences)
  • Changes in building height or usage (i.e. conversion to vacation rentals)
  • Changes in building footprint
  • Removal of trees

Click here for more information on permits and renovations in Charleston.

Not talking to the neighbors

Charleston residents are some of friendliest people you’ll ever meet – and they’ll be more than willing to have a chat about day-to-day life in the waterfront community of your choice.

So don’t hesitate to talk your potential neighbors about traffic, noise levels, and community events to get a feel for daily life in the area. Ask them about any issues they might have had with the homeowners association (HOA), which schools their kids attend, and what kind of interest groups you can expect to find in the community.

And lastly, ask them what they love most about waterfront living in Charleston – you’ll hear some heartwarming stories about boating, fishing, and some of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever witness.

Ready to take the plunge in Charleston, SC and the surrounding areas? Get in touch with Robert Taylor Luxury Properties today. You can also reach us at 949.338.8885 and RobertJSTaylor(at)gmail(dotted)com. Our company caters to high net worth individuals who want to win with dignity. We can’t wait to hear from you.