Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

G, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL

what is the pros and cons of buying a waterfront property in the Tampa FL area? I'm new to the Tampa area.

Asked by G, Tampa, FL Tue Dec 11, 2007

I plan to get a boat. The canal or lake should take me to the ocean.

Help the community by answering this question:


You are absolutely right, but you are not my friend. Friends of mine have a little thing called integrity.

I guess that you got to me because a compliment from you is like an insult from someone I respect.

Now that I have had my say with you, you cease to exist to me.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
G. Waterfront living is a lifestyle. In considering waterfront property it is good to determine your type of boating and the time you want to spend commuting from your dock to the Gulf. There are a number of waterfront communities in the Tampa Bay area that will give you unrestricted deep water access to the Gulf in about 10 minutes from your dock and still give you about 20 minute commute to the Tampa Airport from your garage.

It is important to define your parameters with your realtor so he/she can show you all the waterfront communities that fulfill your needs and wants

Best of Luck
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
There are pluses and minuses to owning waterfront property in Tampa and how you view them will depend largely on your own personal situation and interests. The three primary reasons for owning waterfront here (or anywhere else) are aesthetics, a boat, and/or investment. Aesthetics are hard to account for as it is innately a personal perception. How much is the view worth to you? Having your own dock behind your house for a large boat (sail or power) saves money and serves to help offset the increased cost of waterfront property insurance. It also gives you personal and immediate access to your toy, at any time, with the fewest hassles. Investment in waterfront has traditionally paid off and Tampa remains one of the last places in Florida where canal access to the bay, thence Gulf, is still affordable. The idea that hurricanes, global warming, inflated prices, etc will change the long term investment outlook is unlikely. Put bluntly, we are not rational actors...otherwise California would be empty, everyone in Kansas would have a storm shelter, and no warm blooded mammal in his or her right mind would live in North Dakota. It is also worth remembering that if the hurricane really hits here or the temperature really rises "6 Degree's", we're all toast --not just the waterfront homeowner but also anyone in downtown Tampa, St Pete, etc (check the FEMA maps). If this makes you feel warm and fuzzy about your cottage at 70 feet of elevation in nearby Brandon, just think about where you will work to pay that mortgage after the big one hits. In essence, we will all be toast!

Bottom line: If you love the water, have a boat that requires a dock, are determined to live in Florida, and agree that most of us are not completely rational in our decisions, then going for waterfront is probably a good choice.

If you decide to take the leap, pay careful attention to where you buy. For sailors, I would recommend Apollo Beach on the South side and anything South of the Gandy on the North side. Close access to deep water is key. Also check canal depth behind the home, both at the dock and in the center of the canal, at both high and low tide. Have a pro check the seawall. Verify the existence and height of any bridges between the home and the bay. Lastly, look for a home where the back faces generally North. A southern exposure for your main windows/sliding doors can get oppressive when the sun is reflecting off the water.

For the record, I am not a real estate agent. I live on a deep water canal in Apollo Beach with my old sailboat out back. And yes, I bleed from the eyes every time a hurricane comes this way and think about moving to the mountains every time I see the predicted new coast line of America after the full effects of global warming hit. Add to that the dire consequences of alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, and being a democrat and I'm pretty sure I'm already dead. I think I'll go for a sail and get my blood pressure down. Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 14, 2008
The biggest drawback to waterfront property is the homeowner and flood insurance. Of course they are not making anymore waterfront and with the recent pull back on pricing some out of reach properties have become available at great prices. Are you getting a sailboat or motor? It is important to check access to the bay with respect to bridges if you are planning on sailing. Do you need to be close to Tampa for work? I love Mirabay... A newland community where there are wonderful deals right now. I have posted the link below for your review. Welcome to Tampa!
Web Reference: http://mirabay.com/
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
In Depth: America's Free-Falling Housing Markets
Read the full story Matt Woolsey
E-mail Create Alerts Speed

© IstockPhotoNo. 4: Tampa, Fla.
Prices Down 11.7%

Like much of South Florida, Tampa's current situation is the result of unsustainable price growth that was motivated more by speculation than by economic growth. Prices are down 11.7% from last year, and there are 56,386 homes up for sale.

How is my old friend Gary going to dispute these facts, with integrity or lies LOL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
Gary my old friend I've known you long enough to know that you do not no the meaning of the word "integrity".

If you had integrity you'd join me in telling the potential buyers that "now is the worst time to buy"

Enough said.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
My dear friend Gary De Pury will also sell you the London Bridge as well as tell you that "now is the best time to buy"

If you are an expert at catching falling knives be my geust, I'll even sell you what ever water front property you desire regardless of the cost but you'll first have to sign a waiver stating that I did informed you that you stand the potential of a 60% loss of your investment within the next three years.

Would Gary do that, no he'll parrot the NAR "now is the best time to buy"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
Well, the pros and cons huh.

Well, One Pro is that imposters like Theace will never be allowed into your neighborhood unless they are pushing a lawn mower. Another is that if you feel the need to own a boat you have it at your disposal. The view and the relaxation aspect are without parallel. The cost is higher than inland, of course, but since you are now an upstanding member of the community with waterfront property, the local taxing authority will reward you with higher than average tax bill. (It's so nice that they think of us in this manner)

Now, there are some pretty affordable ways to live on the water. Apollo Beach, and Mira Bay are great places. I have a listing in Clearwater that is a great place and there are just a ton of really wonderful views.

With all of that said, the CONS are all financial. Insurance, Taxes, and price. If money is not an issue and your enjoyment of living is, then get yourself wet.

As for me, I did it, I loved it, and now I am looking for my first 50+ acre parcel. I wonder if I will have to change my company name. I Wonder if http://www.HorseVistaRealty.com is taken.

Gary De Pury
Bay Vista Realty & Investments, Inc.
Chairman, Communications Committee
Director, Florida Association of Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
First I'll answer the pros because there aren't any, unless you consider looking at water a pro. You can do that by filling up your bath tub for a fraction of the cost.


Highly inflated prices.
30% to 50% depreciation over the next year to two years.
Astronomical insurance cost
Out of this world property taxes

An honest realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 10, 2008
The pros and cons that Phil Fowler stated are good. Other things to consider: Depending on your lifestyle and/or work requirements (if applicable), will you be locating on the Tampa side of tthe bay or in the St. Petersburg metro area? Where are you coming from? Intercoastal and gulf boating are very different from freshwater lake boating. Having a waterfront view is quite pleasant, but also consider the type of boat that will be placed at your dock....the depth of the water at a normal low tide....will the boat be placed on a lift or left in the water.....what type of boating will you be doing and where will you do most of your boat travel? For quick access to the gulf and deeper water, locating further south and west may be best.

Are you looking for a single family home or a condo/townhome complex with boatslips available?

When you are considering waterfront and boating, it would be a good idea to work with a Realtor who has a good background & knowledge of both.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 28, 2007
Hi "G",

The Tampa Bay is unique and prices vary. The Pros: Great views, direct Bay access, whether choosing gulf frontage, canal frontage. Tampa has many coastways that meander through neighborhoos and then feed into the Gulf of Mexico or Tampa Bay e.g. You can purchase properties in communities which have their own marinas, dry docks etc, or just tie up in front of your home if you ar a boating enthusiast.

Apollo Beach has some great gated communities, e.g. Andalucia, Symphony Isles, Mira Bay. If you are looking for a little more land Ruskin is a great area to buy into also. Buying aong the Alafia, or Manatee Rivers, also gives you Bay access..

The cons are of course as the other have mentioned and also there is the maintaining of the sea wall.
You can go to http://www.PhilFowler.com
and do an MLS Search to give you an idea of current properties available. Let me know if you would like to take a tour of these areas.

I hope this helps.
Web Reference: http://www.PhilFowler.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2007
I specialize in waterfront properties in the Tampa area. There are various areas such as Apollo Beach and Tampa which is on Tampa Bay and also has many properties with canals that go direct to Tampa Bay then the Gulf of Mexico. There are also areas such as St. Pete, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, etc that are directly on the Gulf of Mexico.

The cons of buying a waterfront property of course is the flood insurance rates, evacuation in case of a hurricane, etc. However, it has been about 80 years since the last hurricane directly hit Tampa. And it sure is great to walk out your back door and jump in your boat and be in Tampa Bay or the Gulf.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
Trulia`s s achillies heal strikes again.

The ace?. Barbara? ....... Barbara?. The ace?

I am sorry, this is a family show.

Self @ss kissing, is not permitted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
Wow, barbara, I am sorry to hear that. Tell me...why is your IP address the same as the poor fellow right below you there...you know..."your hero" ? Please explain that to the crowd....

Could it be that you are one in the same???? It certainly would seem so.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 16, 2008
I've read a lot of answers on Trulia to various questions and in all the questions that The Ace has answered he has answered with honesty and integrity. The same cannot be said of many others on here who have chosen to bad mouth the Ace but not his facts.
I was going to buy a home in Clearwater that my Realtor had told me that I should hurry as at this price it would not last long. Two days after my offer fell through because of a contingency the sellers had lowered the price by $57,000.00.
After having heard your insults to the Ace and my own experience with a self serving Realtor I shall take The Ace's advice and wait a year or so for prices to fall further. Then when I feel the time is right I shall purchase a home from a FSBO or engage a Real Estate Attorney to complete the transaction as I'm done with you 6% er's.
To the Ace, your are my hero XXXX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
Not a bad deal Gary, I guess there is some good left in you yet. Just less of the "now is a good time to buy" rhetoric my old friend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
There are plenty of Canal properties in the Tampa Bay Area. I recently sold one to a good friend of mine who is a writer. His window overlooks the canal and the manatee as they travel up and down the waterway.

The price is amazing for this property, under 200K for a great condo with a view.

Gary De Pury
Bay Vista Realty & Investments, Inc.
Chairman, Communications Committee
Director, Florida Association of Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2008
Great question, I not only sell waterfront homes, I live in on a canal in South Tampa. As you mentioned, living on a canal saves you storage and dockage fees but these homes sell for a premium. Some additional things to consider:
1) Insurance, you will pay more in home owners insurance and flood
2) Sea wall--insurance generally doesn't cover anything that happens to your sea wall
3) canal depth--dredging can be expensive, is difficult to get neighborhood consensus and regulatory approval
On the flip side, waterfront properties are desireable, limited and generally hold their value, Also check with your neighborhood association on trailer storage and boat parking rules.

Good luck
Steve Armstrong
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2007
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