There is nothing like living at the waters’ edge. Whether it’s an ocean, river, lake , canal, or bay, living by the water with a water view is hard to beat! SW Florida offers so many options, it can be hard to choose. Some people think that living ocean front is a dream come true, and it is in many ways…However, here in SW Florida, there are many waterfront strategies that can give you beauty, and access to the beaches while saving you money! Whatever waterfront you choose for your dream home to view, there is no doubt that you will enjoy it.

Here in Florida, Dolphins swim next to your boat as well as your backyard dock! Manatee, sting rays, turtles, pelicans, herons, sea gulls and eagles all come into view at some point in your day.
Many people come to Cape Coral to live on one of the many canals. Over 400 miles of waterfront property is available, including riverfront, saltwater canal, lakes, freshwater canals, preserves, intersecting canals, basins – you name it, it’s here! Not everyone can (or wants to) live right on the beach or the river. A terrific and protected way to enjoy waterfront living is to own property on a canal.

Want to know about building a dock on your canal?  If so, click here for the Cape Coral Web Site.

Gulf Access?

Some properties offer Gulf Access, some do not. Before you choose your property on water, give thought to what you want. It is better to buy a property that fulfills your desires and your needs the first time if you can. A poor choice in real estate can be costly. Here are some things to think about BEFORE you decide to look at waterfront property.

When considering Gulf Access property you need to take into account the type of boat you will want. This bridge, for example, will only allow boats 9′ high above the waterline to pass beneath it. Bridges are NOT a problem unless you own a tall boat. Learn about obstructions that will affect your choice. Some gulf access properties have a lock which will limit the length of your boat. Understanding the boat you would like to have or own, will dictate the type of canal access that you will be wanting to purchase.

Direct Access Required

Sailboats in this area require DIRECT GULF ACCESS. Any other type of access to the Gulf will have bridges to go under. The canal bridges have a maximum clearance between 7.25 ft. and 11.25 ft. A 30 foot boat with a radar tower may not fit under some bridges. A sailboat definitely won’t clear the canal bridge. Some canals are shallower than others. Sailboats draft typically more water than a cruiser. Choose property on a DEEP DIRECT GULF ACCESS or you will be limited. If you have any questions about Cape Coral bridge clearance please give us a call!


How Close is Close?

If boating is your dream and reason for being here then also consider your time out to the Gulf. Gulf canals take you to the river. The river takes you to the Gulf. The farther “UP” the river you are when your canal meets the river, the longer your time out. The farther you are from the river by canal, the longer your trip out to the Gulf. ( See our inter active map of the canal systems)

Traveling the canals is at “NO WAKE” speeds, which is about 5 MPH. This is slow by anyone’s measure! Some people buy property up river, with 3 bridge access and find that they are spending 2 hours getting to the river! While other people buy down river on a DIRECT ACCESS canal and are out in 20 minutes.

Think about what kind of boat you will want, how often you think you will use it, when you will use it (weekend trips or after work 2 hour fishing trips, or day trips) and how important it is to you to get to the Gulf in a timely manner. While you can drive to local beaches in under 1/2 hour….the right gulf access property can put you there by boat in in 20 minutes!

Consider Resale Value

The fact is, the better the access, the more the property is sought after. If you want quick appreciation and resale value for your investment, choose direct access as close to the mouth of the river as you can get. Too often “good deals” here, mean you can get to the Gulf by boat, BUT, you will spend the whole day doing it, or there is a limiting factor that is not desired, such as a boat lock or low bridge clearance! Acceptable access depends on what your needs are. Not all locks or bridges are bad. You will benefit by knowing what is important to you and what “access” is acceptable to you. Up front, you may not care, but it will be a factor that will impact you as a boater and it does impact the “resale” value later. That’s why a property seems to sell for less and sounds like a “good deal.”

Canal Width

Canals come in many widths. Canals range from 50 feet to over 200 feet wide! They are from 2ft to 25 ft deep. Some canals offer an intersecting view (where two or more canals intersect). The wider the canal, the better the “water” view. Intersecting canal views are usually expensive as are the wide canals. Excellent Gulf access can be found on many size canals. Canal end property is desirable because you have a straight view down the canal. Basically, the more water you can see, the better the view, the better the access to the gulf, the more desirable the property.

These are examples of 80 foot wide canals. These properties will generally be less expensive than those on wider canals, but as you can see, they are beautiful. They offer everything a wide canal offers.

This 200+ foot canal brings higher property values. Salt water lakes are extremely desirable and like the 200 ft wide canals, are a higher premium. Life on a canal, is safe, beautiful, and wonderfully enjoyable.

Ocean Front

Strolling the beaches for shells, wading in the warm ocean water, or just soaking up the sun…. the aqua colored waters of the gulf are unbeatable! Sanibel Island, and Fort Myers Beach are a shear pleasure for the eyes and senses. If you want to be on the beach, don’t hesitate, just find your piece of perfection and enjoy.

Fresh Water or Salt Water

Some of the canals and lakes here are fresh water. These canals are equally as beautiful, however, they limit you to fresh water only. A canal may lead you to a man made lake or just wind you around through other canals. If you like to bass fish, go canoeing, putt around, or just look at the water, this may be an excellent option for you. Fresh water property is less expensive than salt water property but a better value for resale than “property without waterfront”. Fresh waterfront property offers wonderful views of nature and incredible fishing. Don’t sell it short, it might be perfect for your needs.

Download Cape Coral Canal Owner’s Manual

Just want to fish without a boat? No problem, gulf access canals, lakefront and fresh water canals and lakefront will supply endless hours of entertainment right from the dock in your back yard.

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