What exactly is a waterfront home?
I get many requests from people looking for waterfront homes. “Waterfront” is used to refer to homes that sit near bodies of water, ie, lakes, rivers, bays or oceans! Depending on the type, these homes are described as oceanfront, bayfront, lagoonfront, canalfront and etc…crazy eh?
They are one of the most sought-after types of homes. Water is beautiful; its calming and you can do stuff in or around it. It’s also a staple in social activities and sports. AND, yes there’s more…these homes also have economic benefits to them. Houses tend to be worth more when they are waterfront properties. I don’t know about you, but all of that sounds glorious to me. So, let’s explore if waterfront homes are for you. Shall we?
Do your passions align with a waterfront property?
Are you an avid swimmer? Do you enjoy fishing? What about jet skiing, boating, kayaking or wading and hanging out? If you don’t like the actual water, do your children or other family members and friends? If you answered no to all of those questions, don’t worry, we still have more to explore.
Does water soothe you? Do you enjoy looking at it and/or hearing it? Does it make you feel happy and close to nature? Do you love fresh air…like, ALL of the time? I’m almost certain you said yes to all of those questions so let’s keep going!
If you aren’t into actually being in water, do you like hanging beside it? Whether it’s laying out in the sun, having a nice cocktail or grilling a yummy burger, does it add to the essence of your activity? Do you enjoy reading a good book, hearing music or drinking coffee near water?
All of those activities I mentioned above are treasured by a lot of people and if you said no to most of them, I’m kind of thinking a waterfront home isn’t for you.
You’re still here, though, so I’m assuming we should nip this thing in the bud. Let’s explore types next.
Are pros and cons the same for all waterfront type homes ?
Surprisingly enough, NO! Just like everything in life, there are always pros and cons. There are many things to consider when looking for a home near the water and I would love to explore them with you!
I love the way HGTV describes each community:
“The Lakefront Experience: Privacy and Atmosphere.
The Oceanfront Experience: Beauty and Convenience.
The Riverfront Experience: Tranquility and Inspiration.”
Alright, let’s break it down!
Let’s look at lakefront homes first
Lakefront homes are known for their privacy and great communities. However, they are also known for bugs, mosquitos mostly! When the rules allow it, the convenience of fishing and other activities trump all waterfront properties. However, some lakes actually prohibit some activites so that is a must-know before choosing.
Among other things to consider are the actual grounds. How is the sand, rocky or smooth? Are their rules that don’t apply to your social life such as, can you and your friends hold a bonfire and have drinks? Do you have to pay extra for a lake association? Maybe we should ask about shoreline and flooding while we’re at it?
One important factor in my decision on a lakefront home is the town or city life. Are their convenience areas and fun places to go or is my lakefront house in the middle of nowhere and that’s all I have to do? Winters should be especially considered in this regard!
There is much much more to consider (like the condition of the house due to being by water) but we must move on.. Definitely do your research!
Next Up: Riverfront Homes and Canalfront Homes
Ah yes, the Riverfront house (pictured is a canalfront home). These lovely homes are usually a bit further from town, however, if you are into nature, these homes usually make up for that. Although they come with their own bugs, there will be more wildlife for you to enjoy if you are into that like I am!
The sounds of the rapids and flowing of the stream would be very soothing with a glass of wine, although you should make sure you have doubled paned windows. I am big fan of nature noise, so it wouldn’t bother me, but you know, gotta consider it!
Make sure you find out about flooding, weather and house condition, but also be excited about your privacy. They usually don’t come with big backyards, but hiking is always a great activity around these homes.
I, myself, would do well in a riverfront home. Would you?
Finally: Oceanfront and Bayfront homes
Beautiful is the first word that comes to mind when I think of beach homes.. Nothing like hearing the waves, breathing the air and watching the dolphins jump out of the water.. Those pesky seagulls though, pooping everywhere squealing for food and showing up at all of your parties! The view at night or the walks on the beach definitely makes up for those fiascos!
Cold weather and windy beaches would be a little bit of a downer as the salt and sand land on your house, but the convenience of the surrounding cities, restaurants and shopping is definitely a plus and can be utilized at any time as these beach communities are always fairly close. Yep, if I had the opportunity to choose one of these ocean front homes, I’d take it in a heartbeat.
Research each waterfront home.
There are always going to be things to consider regarding location so I can’t stress it enough. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Research the problems that actual waterfront homes tend to have due to being near water. I’m not talking about the inconveniences, Im talking about mold, piping, architecture standard for homes on stilts, plumbing and decay.
The location of your waterfront home matters!
Some people like to have 2 or more homes. They usually live between them depending on the season. So, I think this is a huge question to consider when you are looking for a waterfront home because it will determine the actual location of the property.
Will your Waterfront home be your vacation home or fulltime home?
If it’s full time seasons may not matter to you as much. For places like Colorado, being near water would be beautiful in any scenario and you get to enjoy the water in both hot and cold weather.
Or, people will choose a waterfront property in places where it’s warm all year round. I know a few who prefer that…can’t really blame them, but I’m a seasons girl.
However, if you are choosing a waterfront home for seasonal living, you will most likely want something that you look forward to living in for a few months to “get away”. Maybe it’s a vacation areas like Fiji, Maui or Malibu. Or, maybe you are choosing a home that is combined with vacation and family.
Do you have family members that live out of state, or children in college who will want to live with you in the summer months! Regardless, seasonal living usually has much more criteria. It must live up to your standards of convenience, activities, weather and social life. So, definitely take some time to explore that ESPECIALLY if you are still thinking a Waterfront home is right for you!
Economic benefits in real estate or no?
Yeah, these homes are a bit more expensive than homes without water around them, but let me tell you, the return on investment is usually amazing. You can vacation at your home anytime you want instead of having to get a hotel or other beach rental. Or, you can rent it out.
If you don’t want to vacation there, find someone who does and make a little money! Or, have them live there long enough that you essentially get to own this house for free!
Due to these economic benefits, things to consider when purchasing a property for this reason is to evaluate how popular the area is (for you AND for your renter). Do people rent beach homes for walkability, shopping and restaurants or will you focus on secluded places and cater to those who want nature and privacy?
Finally, another important aspect to consider is the costs of actually owning a waterfront home. Maintenance tends to be a little more expensive, insurance costs, loans, bills and if you rent it out, property management.
Waterfront property? Yay or nay?
Ok, so we went through a lot of different factors on waterfront homes and you should know I haven’t mentioned EVERYTHING, but I do feel I’ve given you enough to ponder and know if a waterfront property is for you.
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