what should i look for when buying a waterfront property on a lagoon?

Asked by Terri, Brick, NJ Mon Aug 25, 2008

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Kimberly "KI…, Agent, Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008
Good morning Terri,

Good luck with your purchase on the waterfront home. I have been selling waterfront homes for over 21 years, Brick is not my area, butr if you need an agent I can get you an experienced agent for that area.. So let me see if I can give you what I have learned. Major is the depth of the lagoon at low tide to make sure you can navigate in and out of the lagoon at low tide. How long does it take to get out to the bay from the home? Flooding? How high is the normal high tide in comparison to the first floor of living space, the closer the tide is to the first floor on a normal high tide the quicker the property will flood, elevation certificates will provide you wth the elevation and also assist with the flood insurance. Visit the home at both high and low tide to see the depth of the lagoon and how high it rises. Ask the neighbors about flooding. Also the condition of the bulkhead, a bulkhead on 50 feet of waterfront can run anywhere between $15K to 20K, so that should also be a concern. If the home is great, in a good location and the only draw back is the bulkhead, negotiate the price of the bulkhead, get estimates. Hope this info helps! Good Luck and Enjoy your waterfront home!
1 vote
Bill Gassett, Agent, Hopkinton, MA
Mon Nov 30, 2015
Buying a waterfront property is significantly different than purchasing a non waterfront property. There are a number of questions you should get answered before pursuing this type of home. You are not only buying a house but a lifestyle. In the comprehensive reference you will see a number of great tips for buying a waterfront home.
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James Schnei…, , Wall, NJ
Wed Jun 3, 2009

As everyone before me advised.... align yourself with an agent who knows the area, better yet the water behind the house. As a Brick water rat since childhood and an agent with a lot of references, I'd be pleased to help any way I can. From Point to Forked River, the Manasquan through Barnegat Bay has been my playground.
Good luck, you've picked a great area.
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., , Brick, NJ
Sun Mar 1, 2009
Kriss in response to your comment about bulk heading. My original quote was this "Typically older bulkheads were constructed of wood with steel traps but the new material is vinyl which has a much longer lifespan".

There are bulkhead systems on the market like "Truline" which is a concrete filled vinyl bulkhead which will always with proper installation have a longer life span than wood.
Best Regards,
Dawn Marie White 732-581-9414 Cell
Web Reference:  http://www.njwaterfront.com
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voices member, , Long Beach Township, NJ
Sat Feb 28, 2009
I grew up on a waterfront property (lagoon) and the best advice I can give you is try to buy as close to the bay or river as possible. When property prices start to take off again, your property will appreciate dramatically.The value of a home on a lagoon is based on how long it takes to get to open water. Another factor to consider is if you can build a dock , if the property does not currently have one. You would need to check with the township or the DEP . I believe the DEP took photos from the air and if a dock is not documented you can not build one. Also ask when or if the bulkhead has been replaced or resheathed. Does the area flood? (I lived two lagoons from the open bay and the only time my parents property had water on it was the 92 storm. It did not enter the home.) As someone else had mentioned, make sure the lagoon is deep, and if you buy a home at the end of a lagoon, it could accumulate sea grass. Good Luck
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Kris Krenz, Both Buyer And Seller, Brick, NJ
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Also consider an open waterfront house, well maintained move in condition for the same price as a lagoon property with a much better view, located on a higher elevation with no flooding, full basement, deeded riparian of 200 plus feet, dock, beach and more privacy. Dawn and the other waterfront specialist why have you not shown our gem of a house at 49 Edwards Road, Brick?

Dawn, I will disagree with you about vinyl bulkheading for life as they call it. No one really knows how long this material will last. It is important to know the quality of the vinyl the bulkheader used. Our wooden bulkhead with double whales is holding up very well versus my neighbor's newer bulkhead which is buckling. We are waiting for the day it will burst. There is no way a thin plastic polymer can take the sun and freezing cold. I think we are being sold a bill of goods. I am guessing vinyl bulkheads would have to be replaced every 20 years or less. -- Please correct me if you think I am wrong.
Web Reference:  http://www.49edwardsroad.com
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NonRealtor, , 23456
Wed Sep 3, 2008
They usually smell when the weather is hot an humid. Also check for flooding and mold. Sometimes waterfront is not that great. Good Luck
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., , Brick, NJ
Wed Sep 3, 2008
Typically a buyer hires a realtor who has no experience in guiding the prospective buyer to ask the right questions when purchasing a waterfront home. The top questions to ask yourself and your agent should be.
1)Do you plan to renovate or keep the home as it is? 2) Riparian lease or grant one you pay for the other you do not. 3) Is the home built on Pilings or spread footings this will be one of the most important questions if your planning to renovate or add a second story. 4)Condition of bulkhead and type of material it is constructed of. Typically older bulkheads were constructed of wood with steel traps but the new material is vinyl which has a much longer lifespan. 5)Does the seller have any warranty left on the bulkhead 6)What is the the actual age if known. 7) Boatlifts check pound ratings and age. 8) Does the seller have a recent Flood certificate which will enable you to get an acurate estimate on the actual cost of flood insurance.9) If you are a boater you will need to know the depth of the waterway this will dictate the size of boat you can dock safely. 10) Access to open waters. These are just my top 10 suggested questions that need to be answered however there are many other points that you should consider when purchasing waterfront. If your looking for a professional who has above average knowledge of waterfront and can guide you in the right direction please contact me Dawn Marie White at 732-581-9414
Web Reference:  http://www.njwaterfront.com
0 votes
Tom, Home Buyer, Dayton, NJ
Tue Aug 26, 2008
On the average, how much is flood insurance? Also, how long do bulkheads last? Thanks, Tom
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Ray Garry, , Ocean County, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008
I work for, and agree with, Marc Williams. I grew up in Brick, family still there. Ex-classmates are currently Brick HS principal and Deputy Chief of Police. So, That's my two cents. As an ABR, I specialize in buyers. Marc and I cover ALL of Ocean County. If,.............you may be looking for a realtor to assist you.
Ray Garry, ABR
Crossroads Realty
0 votes
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008
Knowing the difference between Riparian Grants and licenses is important as well as seeing a copy of the survey so that you know that any dock is on your property line and not beyond. That's considered trespassing and either the state or the owner of the lagoon can come after you financially. I have an excellent real estate attorney who handles waterfront property who can help you through this. Contact me through Trulia or my website, below.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
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Thomas Zdano…, , Toms River, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008

All the other agents were right on the money; depth of lagoon and condition of bulkhead, most important. I would also add a long shot, just make sure if there is a pool that the homeowners got the proper permits. In Brick, the pool must be 15' from the bulkhead and if it is not you are in a heap of trouble.

I have lived in Brick for close to 30 years so if you would like to chat about all the various waterfront communities just give me a ring. Don't quote me on this but I am pretty sure that Brick has the most waterfront homes in all of New Jersey so there is plenty to choose from. You can call me at 732-644-9084.


Tom Z
0 votes
Joan Prout, , Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008
Make sure you can get homeowner's insurance.

Joan Prout, MBA
Broker Associate
Jersey City, NJ
Web Reference:  http://www.JoanProut.com
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Marc J Willi…, Agent, Whiting, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008
Good question, multi answers as usually with real estate. Depth and width is most important. Depth of entire lagoon to open water. Whats the draft of your boat? Is it a sail boat? Width, the wider the nicer. How close to the 'open' water do you need to be?
My wife and i lived on a lagoon (creek) and really did a canoe experience vs the owner before us who had a 38' power boat or my brother who had a 32' sail boat. So it depends on your boating desire. Also the ends of the lagoons tend to get all the junk, but not always.
In Real estate it's still "location - location - location. the closer to open water with no bridges to go under the more valuable the land. Hope this helps. my office is in barnegat, i lived in Bayville. I have a rubber dingy with a 15 horse motor to get around. If you would like i'll be happy to take you aound into the lagoons. You really can't see them from the road. I have been selling real estate for 40+ years and I really can help you make the correct choice. Call or email me, marc J Williams 732-778-9933 or marc@marcjwilliams.com My office is Crossroads Realty in barnegat.
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Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Mon Aug 25, 2008
You'll want the bulkhead and dock inspected, you'll want to check on the availability and cost of flood insurance and check to see if there are any disputes on and then status ripairian rights for the property. If your agent can't answer these questions, you can have him or her contact me for a real estate attorney in Northern Ocean County that specializes in waterfront sales and purchases.
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