First, Let’s Talk Waterfront Property Values
Whether you are a Landlubber who enjoys waterfront views but don’t want to get your feet wet, or a Skipper who is always at sea, there are many waterfront choices in Cape Coral.
Regardless, properties with closest proximity to the Caloosahatchee River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico are the most costly. Land values decrease as you go inland.
Keeping it simple:
- Highest value is riverfront,
- Next is saltwater with no bridges or locks,
- Then, restricted saltwater (bridges to go under before accessing the river),
- Fresh water sites,
- and finally, dry (no water access) lot site being the least expensive.
Simple Choice: Freshwater or Saltwater?
Cape Coral has over 400 waterfront canals and lakes; some of which are saltwater and others freshwater.
(NOTE: There is no Gulf access from the freshwater system and this directly affects property value.)
Fresh Water Property
Fresh Water property owners enjoy calm waters, wildlife, bass fishing, turtle hunting, and bird watching. Watercrafts usually include pontoons, canoes, flat bottom skiffs w/electric motors, or kayaks. There is little boat maintenance or wear and tear in fresh water and you can leave your boat in the water full-time.
The Chain-of-Lakes freshwater system offers 30 miles of cruising opportunities. Not all freshwater canals are part of this chain. It’s important to know before you buy! A good realtor can help you research which freshwater canal homes are connected to the Chain-of-Lakes and which ones are not.
If you’re looking for the most affordable waterfront property – freshwater is it! But, if you really want to have access to the Gulf of Mexico, not to worry – you don’t have to miss out. Freshwater and Saltwater boat launches are easy accessible. It’s not hard to just trailer your boat from freshwater to saltwater for fun day trips. As a side note: swimming is not encouraged in any of our canals or lakes – um, it has sea/wildlife in it.
Saltwater / Gulf Access
While Saltwater property values are the highest, it’s important to note that Saltwater boaters have higher boat maintenance. So, if you’re just getting into saltwater boating, you’ll learn quickly that engines must be flushed with fresh water and boats hosed down after each day cruise. Most boaters have electric lifts (like the one below) and/or bottom painted boats to prevent barnacle overgrowth.
Saltwater canals are affected by the tides (varying 12-20”). Winter tides can be even lower due to NE winds. Larger vessels with more than 4’ drafts need to be especially aware of low tides. The City of Cape Coral does a good job of the dredging canal system to maintain depths of 6.5’ to 7’ in center but canals are variable.
All saltwater canals lead to the Gulf, but the distance getting to the river is key. Some locations are 45-60 minutes cruise time (no wake). All canals are “no wake” – no speeding. This keeps the seawalls and docks from incurring more damage from waves than absolutely necessary. Once you reach the Caloosahatchee River, you can go north through the Franklin Locks into Lake Okeechobee to Stuart Florida on the Atlantic coast.
One of our favorite things to do is to take a day cruise to Fort Myers Beach, Naples or the barrier islands (Sanibel, Captiva, Useppa, Cabbage Key, etc.) via the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Sometimes we tie up and have lunch at Bert’s Bar in Matlacha or at other casual dining places in St. James City, Pine Island.
We think it’s exciting to get out on the open water and discover restaurants and shelling beaches that can only be accessed by boat.
Key West is 3 hours on charter jet boat; 5 hours by smaller watercraft. The world is at your boat dock!
Not a Boater? Just like looking at the water?
No problem. Many of our people never own a boat. They just enjoy the waterfront views and rest assured that they made a great investment in waterfront property. Even if you’re not a boater, saltwater home ownership has the very best re-sale value. Size of canal is naturally a factor. Canals range from 80’, 100-150’, to 200’ with intersecting views considered the most desirable.
Whether you’re a freshwater or saltwater enthusiast, find yourself a good realtor to help you determine what properties best suit your desires.
If you’d like to work with us, great – give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to help you find the perfect waterfront property for you.