When considering to purchase a waterfront property in Cape Coral Florida a detailed understanding of the various types of waterfront/canals, and the pros and cons of each, is essential for making a good real estate decision. How do these many different waterfront options effect the value of the property?
Cape Coral has approximately 400 miles of canals in total, although they are not all created equal. Understanding these differences will help you choose what will work best for you and your individual needs.
About a third of all the canals in Cape Coral are considered "fresh water" and do not have access to salt/open water (the Gulf of Mexico, river or inter-coastal water way). Many of these canals do interconnect with each other and with some of the several freshwater lakes within the interior of Cape Coral. They are great for boating around throughout the freshwater canal system where there is great fishing just like the rest of SW Florida. The one thing you can't do though is boat to "open water". Of all the types of waterfront properties available here in Cape Coral, properties that are located on freshwater canals are the least expensive of all the waterfront options. This being said, many people purchase a home on a freshwater canal not for boating purposes, but for the view alone.
Gulf Access Canals
Many canals in Cape Coral give the boater the ability to travel out to open water, whether it is the river, inter-coastal or the Gulf of Mexico itself. These are considered "gulf access" or "salt water" canals. Properties located on canals considered "gulf access" will typically command a higher price than a property on any freshwater canal, but there are a lot of variables that need to be understood and considered when comparing canal properties with gulf access. Many times, a combination of these variables must be considered.
Things to consider:
Length of Boat ride - All thing being equal, and simply put, the shorter the boat ride to get out to "open water" the greater value of the location and greater selling price of the property. This is probably the largest factor in value for gulf access canal properties, because it affects everyone whose desire was to have access to the Gulf of Mexico via their boat. When looking at gulf access property listings, one must consider the location and distance to open water. Otherwise, it can be very confusing as to why similar homes in appearance might be priced so differently. The distance can vary from a couple of minutes or less to open water, up to a 40 or 50 minute boat ride. Our recommendation is to view the property using the map icon on the listing or using Google maps to see exactly where the property is located.
Bridges/no bridges - Along with boat ride, having to travel under bridges can effect the value of the property in question. Most of the bridges in Cape Coral allow for nice-sized boats to easily travel under. They do, however, limit the use of very large boats as well as sailboats. Most boats up to 30 ft will be able to travel under most Cape Coral bridges.
Sailboat access - This is more than just having no bridges to travel under. When considering if a property has sailboat access you must consider the depth of the canal, existence of power lines along the route, and bridges (of course). Not all sailboat access is created equal. With this, I recommend contacting us. We have access to depth charts for the canals and can see what would work for the draft of your boat.
Other Considerations - There are a few other factors to consider when looking at canal homes in SW Florida. Some canals are wider than others. Beside the purely aesthetic reasons of having a "big" water view, the ability of being able to easily turn and maneuver a large boat is appealing on a wider canal. A property with a view of intersecting canals, or having a lake view is purely aesthetic, but does add to the overall appeal and value of a property.
Have additional questions? Feel free to contact us, we are happy to answer any questions you have about the canal systems and waterfront options here in SW Florida.