How Much Is Your Lakefront Home Worth?
The short answer to this question is, "Whatever someone will pay you for it." Now, this may sound snide at first, but ther is more truth to this statement than what many sellers originally want to accept.
Take this quick test to find out if you are correctly pricing your home. If you have found yourself saying one or more statement similar to the following, you may be incorrectly valuing your waterfront property:
- "Well, I paid $xxxxxx for my water front home back in 2005..."
- "I owe $xxxxxx on my lake house..."
- "I have over $xxxxxx in improvements invested in my waterfront home..."
Similar to all types of property values, Florida waterfront home values have dropped in recent years. Contrary to many of my colleagues, I have tried to be very disciplined in making sure that I am only listing properties that I think are priced properly. It doesn't matter how beautiful a particular waterfront view might be -- If a lakefront house is not priced properly, it simply will not sell.
So, what now?
The fact that Florida's waterfront homes are often so unique from one another can make correct pricing very difficult. It is almost never correct to try to determine the price of a lakefront home by looking at dollar-per-square-foot values of other lakefront homes. Waterfront homes are valued based on features and location similar to other properties. But then, one must also consider where and how a home is positioned with respect to the view of the water, the qualities of the lake or body of water itstelf, how flood-prone the area is, and the list goes on.
Online resources like Zillow.com, Realtor.com and your local property appraiser's site can all be a good place to start, but at the end of the day, a full-time professional who specializes in waterfront properties in your area is going to be your best bet when it comes to valuing your waterfront property.