Cape Coral Waterfront Property – What Influences Value?

from Southwest Florida Real Estate Newsletter 2009

Happy New Year! There’s a heck of a storm raging through the northeast today, and our phone is a ringing with people saying they’ve had enough of the tundra and want a winter getaway now. It’s still a buyer’s market and we’re having a blast helping people find their dream homes and making new friends along the way.

Drive Bys Can Be Confusing

A gentleman from Ohio was in Cape Coral recently and was getting familiar with waterfront properties by driving around and picking up flyers. He asked us why the prices are all over the map, literally. He viewed properties from the street and did not tour any of them, and that is partly why he was so confounded.

In Cape Coral real estate valuation, most of the value in the property can only be seen from inside the house or from back—the backyard is the highlight: the pool, the view, the waterfront.

Waterfront Properties – Location, Lot Size, and View

From the street, it’s difficult to discern what type of waterfront the home has, if any. Here is an example that illustrates the differences by looking at 3 homes all right next to each other.

A) This home is on a standard double lot (80x120) and has 80 feet of seawall, a dock and lift. It’s newer with high ceilings, tile floors, tile roof, and an upgraded kitchen. Value = about $600,000.

B) This house is on a triple lot and has 80 feet of seawall on a 120′ lot (a triple lot). It has long views down the canal, has dock and lift, and is upgraded throughout. Value is approximately $1,000,000.

C) This home, while it appears to be waterfront from the street, does not have waterfront access and has only partial views of the canal. Because it’s in a great neighborhood surrounded my mostly waterfront homes, its value is about $300,000.

So here we have 3 houses, side by side, with justifiably dramatic differences in value. Yet these differences can really only be seen from the canal or the back of the homes. Casually driving by, it’s not obvious the differences are so extreme. This is one reason the first thing we do with waterfront buyers is hop on the boat and show them Cape Coral from the water – the only way to fully appreciate Cape Coral’s beauty.

Here are the key attributes to ask about or look for when considering waterfront properties:

  • Feet of seawall
  • Canal width and view – standard, intersecting, wide canal, lake view, etc.
  • Distance to the Gulf of Mexico
  • Bridges, lock, or power lines

What Features Influence Value in a Cape Coral Waterfront Home?

Along with the usual suspects (square feet, kitchen upgrades, garage, landscaping, lot size, and location, location, location) make note of these features when browsing the Internet or touring properties in Southwest Florida:

  • Roof: tile or shingle (tile is prized) and age of roof
  • Flooring: Tile is most popular, wood gaining ground, carpet least popular
  • Ceiling height: most homes built after 1997 have 11’ or better ceilings throughout
  • Pool decking: concrete okay, paved = wow
  • Landscaping
  • Size of lanai/pool area: is there room for outdoor entertaining around the pool? Is there an under-truss lanai?
  • Size of dock; type and weight of lift
  • Sliders to lanai (pool area) and height: pocketing sliders are prized
  • Pool bath: bathroom accessible from the pool so people don’t have to tromp through the house when wet
  • Great room, split bedroom floor plan
  • Pool heat type (solar or electric)
  • City sewer and water in and paid
  • Irrigation reclaimed, automatic sprinklers


Cape Coral is World’s Largest Canal City

Floor Plan Considerations

Learn More About Cape Coral Real Estate