Waterfront Property in the Southeast U.S. – Where Your Dream Lifestyle Comes to Life

Jul 13, 2022 - By Hayden Outdoors

Where to Find Your Dream Waterfront Property in The Southeast U.S.


As Hayden Outdoors expands its high-end real estate services to include the enriched states of the Southeast U.S., one question tops the list for many buyers, “How far do I have to run before I’m in open water?” Which is to say, according to Hayden Outdoors Partner Greg Liddle, “The Southeast offers a certain type of freedom – thousands and thousands of untouched acres and endless miles of wide-open ocean blue. Florida alone is one of the most moved-to states in the country right now, and for good reason. The seafood is a helluva lot better on the coast!”

To listen to Greg talk about life and real estate in the Southeast is to fall in love with it almost immediately. There’s the affordability of it— if the most desirable areas of the coastal Carolinas or Florida aren’t an option, consider the quiet and sanctity of the Florida panhandle, Alabama or inland Georgia – as well as the opportunity to tap into a way of life in a place you might not have considered until now. Of course, the Southeast is as geologically diverse a part of the country as any, and Greg notes the important things to consider when looking for waterfront land, investment property, or homeownership in this region.

Buying Land or Waterfront Property in Florida

As a child of Florida, Greg has an intimate knowledge and understanding of the state and its many nuances. “For me, Florida’s beauty and its draw lie in the vast wilderness of ocean people can access from the nearly 2,500 miles of coastal Florida we represent at Hayden Outdoors. Hop in the boat, get beyond the No Wake Zone and open up the throttle before parking yourself in the midst of some of the bluest, clearest salt water that surrounds this country. It’s a lot harder to get stuck in traffic when you’re out on the ocean.”



Greg outlines some additional important things to consider when buying real estate in Florida, including:

  • Easy access by boat to restaurants, special events, neighbors, access to water sports and more!
  • There is no state income tax in Florida and in many places, the cost of living is below the national average.
  • When looking at beach and waterfront properties, make sure to work with your real estate professional to identify those that are above the flood zone.
  • Consider your desired property’s proximity to medical services and shopping.
  • Florida is a popular place for people to spend the winter months. Be mindful that some areas will see the population double during this time.
  • You’re going to be in a hurricane corridor every few years somewhere in Florida. Work with your real estate agent to better understand how this might affect your purchase and securing the proper homeowner’s insurance for it.
  • Florida is particularly friendly for short-term rentals and investment properties.
  • For aviation enthusiasts, Greg adds a particularly enticing bonus, “The Blue Angels train in the Panhandle. There’s nothing quite like going out in your boat and fishing while the planes acrobat in the sky. Blue up above, blue down below.”
  • The coveted red snapper fishing season. This is a biggie for everyone from those tossing their line into the water for the first time to the fishing-is-life crowd. Florida boasts a relatively extensive season for red snapper, which typically runs mid-June through the end of July and then again for a handful of weekends throughout October and November.


Buying Land or Waterfront in Georgia

While Georgia echoes many of the coastal benefits of Florida, it also boasts expansive farm land, unique hunting properties, and expansive equine properties.


Keep these things in mind when buying real estate in Georgia:

  • To coast or not to coast? It’s a big question, but a good place to start if Georgia is on your real estate search list. There are the vast beaches of Savannah, the bluffs above the Savannah River, and waterfront along Lake Sinclair. And then there’s the Low Country of Burke County and hidden historic cottage gems that pepper the state’s spectacular countryside. Chat with your real estate agent about your lifestyle goals and where you might best meet them in Georgia.
  • If you do buy a waterfront property, understand your property rights, high water marks, and other important waterfront property considerations.
  • Georgia offers a variety of ways to get outside and play. These include some of the country’s most renowned golf courses to fishing, sailing, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, and more.


Buying Land or Waterfront in Alabama

If you haven’t put Alabama on your “Top 10 Places to Move” list, then you probably haven’t been there. The inlet of Mobile Bay combines ocean living with calm waters and lively nightlife. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is a vast river delta and wetland – one of the largest in the country in fact. Waterfront living comes in all ways here, from bays and beaches to storied bayous.


Here are a few things Greg recommends considering when buying real estate in Alabama. Roll Tide!

For those with new-found work-remote freedom who want to tap into one of the best kept secrets in the country, make sure to talk with your Hayden Outdoors real estate representative about Alabama. Neither your pocketbook nor your way of life will be disappointed.

  • Climate – and really, this is a big consideration anywhere in the Southeast because it can vary more than one might think. The trade winds blowing off the coast can cool things down quickly, while inland climes tend to be more humid and consistent year-round.
  • Chat with your real estate agent about how living near a flood zone might affect your property purchase and long-term viability.
  • Like many other states in the region, look for higher indications of hurricane incidents where you’re considering buying, and note the costs of insurance when buying property.
  • If you’re looking to rebuild or remodel, you might need to build your home up above the floodplain.
  • If you don’t want to make an investment in a waterfront property, Hayden Outdoors can help you find a boat slip or more affordable property that includes waterfront access.


Buying Land or Waterfront in South Carolina

“Carolina beach music,” Dupree said, coming up the porch. “The holiest sound on earth.” It’s a line from Beach Music by Pat Conroy, one of South Carolina’s most notable writers. He wrote about South Carolina the way so many of its residents live in the state – with love, celebration, exploration, and an undeniable island vibe. The inlets of Hilton Head, the cobblestone history of Charleston, the 60 miles of serene coastline of Myrtle Beach – South Carolina doesn’t shy away from everything it has to offer.



Keep these things in mind when looking for real estate in South Carolina:

  • Assuming you’re moving to South Carolina for its beach life, think about which beach might be the best fit. Surfers often love Folly Beach best. Those looking for a little luxury should consider Hilton Head and its many amenities. Investors might want to consider Sullivan’s Island, while first-time home buyers can often find friendlier costs in Surfside Beach.
  • Scuba diving is fantastic here (and this includes rivers and lakes as well as oceans), so for those who want to infuse their lifestyle with as much underwater exploration as possible, South Carolina is a must on the consideration list. Natural wonders and artificial reefs such as shipwrecks beckon all day long.
  • To this end, chat with your real estate professional about water clarity in your area.
    Consider erosion, hurricanes, and flooding as it relates to your potential real estate purchase.


Buying Land or Waterfront in North Carolina

North Carolina says it all in its name. It combines the waterways and coastal amenities of South Carolina with an abundance of forests, meadows, coves, and ancient mountain ranges including the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Great Smoky Mountains. While North Carolina’s real estate might be lesser known and lesser sought by those looking to relocate, people who live there understand its endless beauty.


north carolina waterfront property


Is North Carolina real estate on your list? Consider this:

  • Small town living. North Carolina has plenty of it, and it’s the kind of small town living so many of us crave right now.
  • Big land living. On the flip side, North Carolina’s rolling hills and mountains offer a variety of property types, from vast farmland to hidden coves surrounded by endless green trees. If you’re looking to relocate to a place where you can afford some serious recreational land just far enough away from it all, North Carolina might be your best bet.
  • There’s water here, too. From the nightlife of Wilmington to the storied Outer Banks (literally storied, as in the current Netflix hit Outer Banks), and famous off-shore fishing of Nag’s Head, North Carolina’s shoreline is the choose-your-own-adventure-kind.
  • Hurricane season does descend upon the state, so make sure you understand the implications of this when buying real estate here.
  • Winters here are short and mild. Summers are subtropical and the mountains can experience heavy rainfall.

If you’re buying waterfront property in North Carolina, understand the difference between public and private beach access. Greg points out, “In some areas, you’ll own a portion of the beach, but you can only build up to a certain point. Sand dune fencing can go to a certain point and the public can still access through your property. It’s important to understand which part of the beach you do, or do not, own.”


The Southeast is an extraordinary place, and for many, a very accessible and appealing one. If you crave the kind of lifestyle you can make all your own, with instant access to waterways, forests, bayous and back roads that are getting harder and harder to find, reach out to a Hayden Outdoors professional. They have the important lifelong understanding of how to achieve the kind of life this region of the country holds so dear.