How Cheap Can Land Be Near the Shoreline? Top Tips for Buying an Affordable Waterfront Property

blue wooden chairs at the waterfront

Buying a waterfront property is an exciting and rewarding experience. Whether you’re looking for a permanent residence, just a summer getaway spot, or an investment opportunity – owning land near the shoreline can be incredibly valuable.

But if you’re on a tight budget, you might assume you’ll have to settle for subpar land. For example, you could think that the only way to make an affordable deal is to acquire land at the waterfront property adjacent to landfills or without deeded access. Luckily, that’s not true. Read on to learn how cheap can land be and what to look for in order to make sure you make a good investment.

We’ve compiled some top tips to help you make an informed decision when buying waterfront land.

What is Waterfront Property?

Waterfront property refers to land located on the shoreline, such as along a sea, lake or river. Because of its location and potential for stunning views, waterfront properties can be incredibly desirable – but they come at a price.

How cheap you want your land to be will depend largely on your budget and what features you’re looking for. It’s important to be aware of all the aspects that can affect the cost.

Top Tips for Buying Waterfront Property

By following these tips, you can ensure that your waterfront property purchase is a smart one. With the right knowledge and approach, you may just find yourself with an incredibly valuable asset.

Know What Type of Waterfront Property You Want

Any land that is adjacent to a body of water is considered to be waterfront property. This ultimately gives you a lot of possibilities, but you’ll need to decide what you’re searching for on your own.

Do you wish to have a lake house? Is important that your property has a soft sand beachside? Is crystal-clear water a must or are you fine with muddy water? By defining the type of waterfront property you want, you can focus your search.

Understand the Investment You’re Making

Waterfront properties make solid investments because they tend to appreciate more than inland properties. So if you can buy this type of property for a reasonable price, you can set yourself up for a great return on investment down the road. But these properties are often desirable and so can be high priced. So, keep an eye out for waterfront land at discounted rates or with special offers.

Inspect the Waterfront Land for Sale

The most important thing to remember before buying a beachfront property is to avoid becoming sidetracked by the water.

Although the water may be beautiful, you must make sure your waterfront property is in good shape by conducting surveys, elevation certifications, water quality testing, wetlands delineations, bulkhead inspections, and other land and water-based inspections.

The best place to start is to check the County Ownership Plat Book. Counties make real estate ownership data readily available to private mapping companies. You can easily confirm a number of characteristics and information regarding the lands up for sale. Some would be if the property is in a flood plain, which way each side of the plot faces, whether there are any restricted areas on the property, and more. You can also find valuable information on the Public Land Survey System.

Remember that many coastal properties will be situated in marshes or floodplains, which can make construction more challenging. If you wish to construct the property, be sure you are aware of the risks.

Waterfront properties can be vulnerable to erosion, which could lead to major problems down the line. Be sure to get an up-to-date report on any potential erosion levels in your desired location before committing to a purchase.

Ensure There’s Legal Access

When buying any given property, it’s essential to make sure that you have legal access and all the necessary permits in order.

You should also check for any rules or restrictions around waterfront properties (such as swimming or fishing) as well as what taxes are applicable.

Check for Potential Flooding

Flooding is another issue to consider when buying waterfront property. Make sure to research the area’s history of flooding or the potential for a future flood, as this could reduce its value significantly.

Check the Insurance Requirements

Due to the frequent risk of flooding, insurance can be very expensive for coastal residences. To acquire an estimate for your property and the required supplementary coverage, speak with an experienced insurance provider. 

Look Into Utilities

Depending on where it’s located, the waterfront parcel of land may not have utilities in place.

So, before making the investment, make sure that there are electrical utilities, water, and sewage hookups.

This is an important step in your due diligence process and failing to complete it properly throughout the purchasing stage could make your task much harder than it has to be.

Check the History of the Shoreline

Simply being on the water makes your beachfront home look cool. But can you be certain that that would be the case forever? These days, the environment is constantly changing, especially with the influence of climate change on rising sea levels.

It is worthwhile to learn about the history of your seashore just for this reason. Down the road, your house might get submerged, or you might find yourself a quarter of a mile from the water. If that’s the case, you should probably use an alternative attribute.

Talk to the Neighbors

Asking about their satisfaction with the neighborhood, any problems they have with the home you’re considering buying, or any waterfront-related issues will provide you with insider knowledge.

Be Aware of What Your Responsibilities as a Waterfront Property Owner Are

Not everything about owning waterfront property is enjoyable. A homeowner’s association (HOA) or property owner’s association (POA) may be a part of your property.

If so, you must keep your property in a specific manner and in accordance with specific rules. If you’ve never had an HOA or POA, you can be subject to limitations on things like what color you can paint your house, what kind of fence you can put up, and how you should plant your yard.

Before you buy a piece of real estate, carefully review the laws and regulations of the community you intend to join. Additionally, you might discover that the organization has an access easement on your land that enables other property owners to use the water via your land.

Verify That You Can Improve the Plot of Land

Start the process early to make sure that any adjustments you wish to make to your waterfront property, like building a dock or a seawall, will be feasible.

Government authorities are notoriously tight, so you shouldn’t commit to buying a million-dollar residential land before being certain that you can actually do whatever you want to make it your own.

As some regions have limits on jet skis, speedboats, and other watercraft, find out what activities are permitted on the body of water. It may be daunting to check everything related to waterfront land ownership ahead of time, but it will be worthwhile if you find that you can’t use the property as you like in the long run.

Look Out for Hidden Costs

If you’ve never bought waterfront real estate before, you might not be aware of all the hidden expenses that could end up costing you later.

Here are a few that you need to be informed about.


If you’ve never bought beachfront property before, you might be surprised to learn that you frequently have to take care of the bulkhead’s maintenance and upkeep (or the barrier between the water and the land). Before buying your beachfront property, make sure you conduct the proper bulkhead inspections.

Property Taxes

Waterfront properties are often charged an extra tax on their property due to the higher values of these areas. To assess property taxes, make a trip to the county assessor’s office. The County Assessor’s Office keeps track of who owns what land in the county and can assist you in obtaining the names and addresses of any landowners in your area of interest that reside outside the local area.

How Cheap Can Land Be Near the Shoreline?

When it comes to buying land near the shoreline, there are a few factors that will determine its cost. The size of the piece of land you’re looking at, as well as its accessibility and location, can all have an effect on the land prices.

How much access you have to utilities like electricity and water can also factor in. Additionally, you have better chances to find cheap land at the beginning of the shoreline than land located farther down.

If you’re looking for cheap lands near the shoreline, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, consider searching for properties that have been on the market for a while. These might offer better deals than newly listed properties. It’s also important to research zoning rules in the area before committing to anything. Lastly, look for places that haven’t been built up too much yet, as these are usually cheaper.

How Can I Buy Cheap Land Near the Shoreline: The Top 9 Cities to Buy a Waterfront Property

When it comes to buying the cheapest land near the shoreline, there are many places that offer great opportunities. Here are the top cities to check when looking to buy a plot of land near the shoreline.

Daytona Beach, Florida

With its beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and intriguing culture, Daytona Beach is a great choice to buy land at the waterfront. The city offers plenty of entertainment options and nearby amenities, making it ideal for those seeking an affordable beachfront home or vacation spot. 

Newport News, Virginia

Home to the world-famous Naval Station Norfolk, Newport News is a great place to buy waterfront property. The city offers plenty of affordable housing options, making it especially attractive for those on a budget.

Given that the median property price in this area has nearly tripled over the previous few years, a beachfront home in Port Arthur is a considerably wiser investment than, say, cryptocurrency. In other words, this friendly community on Sabine Lake is no longer a secret. With five protected areas nearby and easy access to Houston, buying a waterfront property here can be a great way to get your dream beach house without breaking the bank. 

Coos Bay, Oregon

This quaint, coastal city is the perfect place to find an affordable beachfront property. With its thriving restaurant scene and beautiful views of the ocean, it’s no wonder Coos Bay has become a popular destination for those looking to buy a waterfront home without overspending.

San Diego, California

San Diego is one of the best places to buy a cheap property on the waterfront, as the city is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning ocean views. Plus, San Diego’s warm climate and nearby attractions make it an ideal spot for vacationers or new residents.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a great place to buy an affordable waterfront property if you’re looking for a classic Southern charm. The city’s historic sites, charming cobblestone streets, and stunning waterfront views make it a popular destination for tourists and full-time residents alike.

Portland, Maine

Portland has recently become one of the most sought-after cities in the US, thanks to its vibrant cultural scene and access to the Atlantic Ocean. The city is also known for its affordable housing options, making it a great choice for those looking to buy a cheap waterfront property.

Freeport, Texas

Freeport is a great choice for those looking to buy a waterfront property that is on the cheaper side. The city has plenty of affordable housing options, as well as easy access to nearby beaches and recreational activities like fishing and boating.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is an excellent choice for those looking to buy a cheap waterfront property. The city’s stunning beaches and nearby attractions make it a popular destination for both tourists and full-time residents. Plus, Myrtle Beach offers plenty of affordable housing options, making it an attractive option for buyers on a budget.

Swansboro is a great choice for those looking to buy a cheap land for sale near the shoreline. The city offers plenty of recreational activities, such as kayaking and fishing, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, Swansboro’s affordable housing options make it attractive to buyers on a budget.

Final Thoughts

Buying waterfront property can be a great investment but it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Research the area carefully before committing to anything and make sure you have a solid budget in place. With these top tips for buying waterfront land, you can trust that your purchase will be a sound one.  

At Discount Lots, we understand the importance of finding the right piece of vacant land for your needs. That’s why we specialize in helping you find waterfront property that is perfect for you, while saving you from paying hefty real estate agent fees.

We have years of experience and expertise in locating vacant land with excellent price points, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance finding the perfect piece of land at affordable prices. Plus, we offer flexible owner financing with only a $1 down payment. ​

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure a great deal on the perfect and affordable land.

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