Is your dream to wake up each morning and gaze out across the water, watching it gracefully lap the edge of your property? If it is then there are some great deals to be had in today’s housing market but there is more to consider than just the price and the view. Buying waterfront property is a big investment that can make your dream come true or turn into a nightmare.

Your first step is thinking about what you actually want to do on the water near your home. Are you a boater, a skier, a fan of fishing or are you content to simply sit and watch the water. Once you determine what the waterfront property will do for you then you need to examine the properties you see with that in mind and visit them at different times of the day and week. What seems like a completely peaceful lake on a Wednesday evening might be a loud and raucous party place on the weekends. And remember that sound carries.

You’ll also need to check out the local laws concerning the shore of your property and the water itself. Some states declare all of the state’s water as public property and they have strict guidelines on what you can do to the land butting up against the water. Learn everything you can before you dive into buying waterfront property.