I bought my waterfront house on the Bay (Cool Spring Cove on Magothy river) in Septermber of 2008.
I had to rebuild a bulkhead and a pier. I can not tell you the nightmares that I had with fines, permits, more fines, nosey neighbors that call inspectors, court appearences, ... did I mention the fines? For cutting wisteria? Yep. $1000 dollars for trimming wisteria off a tree. Yep. I needed a grading permit.. which wasn't too expensive, it just took weeks and weeks to get. I had to wait for a Federal forester to say "yep, you can cut that...Where do I sign?" Heck, they let me cut anything! I just needed Federal, State and Local agreement. In writing.
I started building a pier, had a dishonest contractor (he forged his license numbers). The state sued him, as did the county. Then I had to go to court as a witness for the county. (Which was great, because I knew right where it was from dealing with my own fines...at one point the prosecutor forgot that I was a witness for the prosecution this week and not a defendant...)
Ok. Where was I. Oh yeah. There is nothing better than walking out your livingroom down a flight of steps (Good luck getting those permits) and on to your boat.
There are great deals out there. I've had my boat at a Marina, that was great, but I prefer to have it at my house. If you're looking for waterfront property, visit it several times from the water. Check depths and remember that in the Winter when the wind comes from the North, the bay is empty and the low tides will be several feet lower than they are in the summer at low tide.
Here's a shot from a distance. It's the small house with the "brown" front yard. You'll notice how the vegetation completely took over the neighbors house? That's exactly what my house looked like. It's killing all the trees. That's what I was trimming.
Here's a closer shot showing the dock, bulkhead, and my stairs. I started this project in January 2009. The stairs were just finished three weeks ago. Construction is the EASY part. Paperwork is the nightmare.
My boat is a 34 with a shoal draft four feet. There are plenty of people with deeper keels on the bay. Once you get above 6 feet though, waterfront gets really pricey and is probably already really developed. That's my impression.