Waterfront and Water View Real Estate Considerations

When it comes to buying waterfront or water view land or real estate, your top three things to consider are "Location, Location, Location". This old adage is particularly true when it comes to waterfront or water view parcels. Buyers should be wary of the many pitfalls of waterfront land that can make the parcel unsuitable or hazardous.

Geohazards - A very important, but often overlooked, aspect of a waterfront parcel's location is the geologic stability of the property. Very often, waterfront parcels are built on sandy bluffs that can be geologically unstable. Unstable ground conditions can result in landslides, settling, and cracked foundations. A geohazard assessment conducted by a professional geologist is your best insurance against purchasing a waterfront parcel that  would be unsuitable for building upon.

Earthquakes - A waterfront parcel is particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage. It is well known that sandy soils are prone to liquifaction during an earthquake. This causes a rapid reduction in the strength and stiffness of the underlying soil. This effect greatly increases the likelihood of serious structural damage during an earthquake.

For the reasons noted above, when choosing a waterfront or water-view parcel, a parcel built upon bedrock should always be your first choice.

Natural Hazards - Waterfront property, particularly low-bank waterfront property, is also very vulnerable to damage caused by storm surge, erosion and tsunami events. Of course, all three of these hazards are minimized by choosing a land parcel located at higher elevation.

Privacy - Did you know that all Washington state waterfront property is legally accessible by the public up to the high water line? You have no recourse to stop anyone from going onto your property below the high water line. Your unwanted "guests" can legally access your beachfront via boat, kayak, hiking, ATV's, etc. Most waterfront homes have large expanses of windows - your only recourse to regain your privacy from unwanted trespassers, is to close your curtains or build a fence and shutout your own view.

View -  Another overlooked consideration is the impact of the marine fog layer. There are many days where low bank waterfront is covered in a layer of fog in the mornings (and sometimes most of the day), while higher elevation parcels are above the fog layer enjoying the sunny weather!

 Our parcels come out on top when considering all these criteria.  
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