Check the Dock Permit before you Buy
The ability to have a dock permit greatly affects property value. The size of the dock envelope and distance from other structures also is a big factor. Be sure you are making an informed decision before you commit to a purchase.
When searching for a lakefront property, understand the permitting process for docks, seawalls, and other lakefront improvements. When considering a property for purchase, always ask to see approved permits.
When I list a property, I discuss the dock and various permits with the seller and request a copy of those permits from Ameren. This shows all permitted items currently on the property along with a drawing of where the items should be situated according to the permit. It can also indicate potential for a larger dock system or other items. If it appears that any items are not permitted or appear to be out of the correct position, I help the owner arrange further investigation and correction, if necessary.
I post the permit information with the listing data so buyers can see if a property’s lakefrontage suits their needs. This verifies that the existing dock, seawall, etc. match the current permit and makes for a smoother real estate transaction. I recommend that you do a visual inspection and get additional help if you aren’t sure about any permit items.
For most lakefront buyers, the availability to have or install a dock that suits their needs is crucial. Not all lakefront property is able to have a dock, and some have significant limitations. This may be caused by a subdivision restriction; other times it is due to the way the lot lines run to the lake, position of the lot in a cove, size of cove, etc. Some subdivisions designated certain lots as able to have a small dock, day dock, etc. BUT in the time since those subdivisions were created Ameren permitting rules changed and many of those lots are no longer able to obtain a permit.
Docks are required to be installed within the boundaries set out by Ameren. Because lot lines vary from lot to lot, the dock envelope can change greatly between properties. Ameren can require a property owner to obtain a survey if there is any question about the location of permit items. There may be dock location agreements or easements granted to or by another property owner that you need to research before purchasing.
When ownership of a lakefront property with Ameren permits changes; Ameren must be notified, and the existing permit(s) should be transferred to the new owner. An electrical inspection completed and approved by the appropriate authority within the previous 12 months must be submitted with the permit transfer. If this inspection shows items not in compliance; those items must be corrected with an approval issued before Ameren will process the transfer. Existing permit numbers stay with the property, they are NOT transferred with the dock. Any new construction, replacement or modification of existing docks must be permitted.
These are the type of issues that a good Broker will keep you informed about and walk you through any vital procedures to help you maintain your property’s value. There are many unseen items beyond the house size, condition and location that you need to be aware of when making a purchase.
Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981. He is one of the most respected brokers in the area. If you have interest in a career in real estate or would like Michael’s assistance in the sale or purchase of property, you can reach him at 573.365.SOLD or firstname.lastname@example.org View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com