Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Property - Things to Consider When Buying

Posted by Eric Miller on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 at 12:53pm.

Fort Lauderdale is commonly referred to as the Venice of America for its many intricate waterways. Most waterfront homes in East Fort Lauderdale are located on canals with ocean access. Fort Lauderdale waterways are arranged so that canals with ocean access lead to the Intracoastal Waterway, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean. The New River, which runs through Fort Lauderdale, leads to the Intracoastal Waterway. If you’re planning on heading into the Atlantic Ocean on a regular basis, know the home’s distance to the open ocean and how long it will take to reach the nearest inlet.

Waterfront homes in the central and western sections of Greater Fort Lauderdale are located mostly on lakes and canals with no ocean access. 

When thinking of Fort Lauderdale waterfront real estate, there are a few things to consider before making the leap as different neighborhoods have different restrictions:

  • Fixed Bridges – Some homes are located on canals with fixed bridge restricted access to the Intracoastal. Consider the clearance height of the fixed bridge(s) and the height of your vessel.
  • Depth – Consider canal depths leading to and from the home you are thinking of purchasing. Canal depths vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood.
  • Wake Zones – Some homes on the Intracoastal Waterway are in Wake Zones, which can be inappropriate for docking larger vessels. 
  • Beam (Width) – The beam of a vesselis its width at the widest point as measured at the ships’ nominal waterline. The width of waterfront areas like canals and the Intracoastal vary. If you’re interested in docking a vessel, make sure the home’s waterfront is wide enough. In addition, required set-back widths are important as well. Typically, the width of your boat plus your dock cannot exceed ⅓ the total width of the canal. Different neighborhoods have different restrictions on how close to the edge of your property line your boat can be docked, which may impact the size of boat you are able to keep at your property. 
  • Existing Seawall and/or Dock – Verify that the existing seawall and/or dock are sufficient to meet your needs. Sometimes finding a home with a seawall and/or dock that meets your needs is a better option than investing in upgrades.

Reach out to your local Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Property Expert

Want to hear or understand more about Fort Lauderdale Waterfront property or other Fort Lauderdale communities? Contact Christina Famy at Eric Miller & Associates. She can be reached at or 617-894-2997.

Eric Miller is an award winning Florida Realtor, salesperson and broker. His website, provides an up-to-date guide to Fort Lauderdale Condos for sale, and the most complete buyer, seller and investor information for the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market.

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