The Pros and Cons of Living Near the Water

You can ditch the white noise machine and settle for the real thing by buying a waterfront home. The crashing of waves, the cool night breeze rolling off the water, or the soothing sound of rushing river water will certainly rock you to sleep. But before taking the “plunge,” it’s important to consider all the pros and cons of living near water.

I’ve alluded to one of the best benefits of living near water already: tranquility. The sounds, the smells, the air; it all brings you to a peaceful level of calm. Additionally, the views can be spectacular at almost any time of day in any weather condition.

Speaking of views, another huge benefit of homes near water is that they offer a higher level of privacy. Rather than staring at the back of another home, you can take photos of sunsets. There’s a guarantee that other new properties won’t pop up overnight (or in as close a proximity). Privacy is in short supply these days and you’ll have a tad more while living waterfront.

Naturally, living near water also means that you are just seconds away from many water activities. There’s sailing, boating, fishing, kayaking, wakeboarding, skiing, and much more. On top of all the fun, this can also lead to a healthier lifestyle and saved expenses (parking meters, marina fees, boat ramp expenses, etc.). Instead of paying for ramp access every time you want to trailer your boat to the waterfront, a property on the water with a dock allows you boat time, anytime.

Lastly, houses near the water are in limited supply. That means that the homes are more desirable and will retain their value longer. Also, a family property to be enjoyed by future generations? Investment in the future for your family?

For all the advantages of waterfront property, there are also a few disadvantages. The most pressing concern is the increased exposure to natural risk. Sea levels are rising and can dampen the shorelines or severely impact entire communities. Storm surges can erode property. Often times, waterfront properties are more susceptible to wind damage. For these reasons and more, an increased insurance premium may be charged. Flood insurance may be required as well.

General maintenance on a waterfront property can also be more costly. The humidity, the mist, the perpetual state of dampness, and perhaps the salt can impact the exterior of the homes. Not only can it affect the exterior and impact the grounds of the property, but it can also cause increased wear and tear on interior furnishings and appliances.

Water can be a breeding zone for pesky insects and other animals. Mosquitoes can be a major nuisance. Depending on location, reptiles like alligators and/or snakes may also be natural inhabitants nearby.

Finally, since the properties are often more private and secluded, this also means less neighbors to check in on things. The doors and windows facing the water can be vulnerable targets for burglaries. Your privacy also can be affected by the noise of passing motorboats. If you don’t own land at the edge of your property, the public may have legal access to the shoreline.

Waterfront living is the lifelong dream for many. It’s a lifestyle found attractive by most. Is it the right one for you? Are there any other advantages or disadvantages that you see? I’d welcome your comments below.

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