Northern Neck Real Estate: Southern Style and Charm

Buying Waterfront in the Northern Neck? Here are 7 Things to Look For

Posted on Sat, Feb 26, 2011 @ 01:21 PM

northern Neck waterfront propertySo you’re thinking about buying a waterfront piece of property in the Northern Neck of Va are you? If so, I can certainly understand, my grandfather built our cottage on the Potomac River in 1948 and it without question has blessed out family of over 60 years now.

Believe it or not, many people, because they’ve never lived on the water, aren’t quite sure as to what to look for when buying property in the Neck. So the following list is meant to help even the most novice of waterfront property shoppers know what to look for when considering such an important investment that will likely bless your family for many, many years to come.

7 Things to Look for When Buying Property in the Northern Neck of Virginia

1. Water Depth: It’s one thing to have waterfront. It’s another to actually be able to bring a boat in and out of  your dock area. Many rivers in the NN are plenty deep enough to accommodate most boats. Notwithstanding, there are quite a few properties that will only allow for very small boats and skiffs because of the shallow nature of the water.

2. Dock/Pier: Does the location have an existing dock? You can imagine, this is very, very important. Getting a dock permit for your property is no guarantee, especially with the all the new Bay Act regulations, so this is certainly something to check on. Also, is the dock built so as to always be above flood heights or is it so low that it must be replaced often? Note***A floating dock will take care of this issue.

3. Is the Property Vulnerable to Flooding: As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, my family has had a place on the Potomac for over 60 years. And for all the wonders of this lovely cottage, it has been flooded in recent years due to a few hurricanes. This is why you should always make sure the land of the property is elevated enough so as to not have to worry about super-high tides, like ones seen in a hurricane.

4. Beach Front: Beaches are wonderful, but many waterfront properties in the Northern Neck do not have them. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that properties on the Potomac River have sandy beaches and land on the Rappahannock does not. Obviously, this does vary case by case though.

5. Are There Set Back Issues?:  Currently, the Chesapeake Bay Act prevents construction of almost any new structure within 100’ of the Bay, it’s rivers, and just about all other bodies of water. This being said, take this law into consideration if you’re planning on adding on to the home, adding a swimming pool, or anything of that nature.

6. Is There a Boat Ramp Near By? Having waterfront and owning a boat go hand-in-hand in the Northern Neck, but don’t forget about how you plan on getting that boat into the water. Although many docks have boat lifts, it’s also very important to have a boat ramp nearby so as to easily facilitate putting your boat into the water.

7. Home Construction: Many homes on the water in the NN are of an older construction. This can be good or bad, but just make sure the home you buy is in great shape and will be good to go for many years to come.

So there you have it, 7 tips that should get you started in your efforts to find the right waterfront property in the Northern Neck area of Virginia. Good luck!

Topics: About the Northern Neck, Northern Neck Waterfront Properties, Waterfront Types