Making Waves: The Ultimate Guide to Deciding If a Waterfront House Is Right for You

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: December 14, 2023 | ⏳Time to read:7 min

If you’ve ever watched The Love Boat, you know that a waterfront home is the ultimate in luxury. In real life, it’s a lot more complicated than that. A waterfront property can be any house on the water’s edge, each with pros and cons.

According to the current Global Waterfront Index from the WorldProperty Journal, waterfront properties exhibit an approximately 118% premium over other properties. The figure was around 121% in 2022.

But is a waterfront property right for you? The answer differs from person to person. Here’s everything you need to know about deciding if this kind of home is right for your needs and wants:

Table of Contents

What Is a Waterfront Home?

A waterfront home is a residential property located along the edge of a body of water. These homes are characterized by their proximity to the water, offering residents direct access or panoramic views of the water.

Waterfront properties are often considered desirable for their scenic and recreational advantages. Residents of waterfront homes may enjoy activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, or simply taking in the natural beauty of the surroundings. The term “waterfront” is broad and can encompass various properties, ranging from beachfront houses and lakefront cottages to riverfront estates and coastal homes.

The appeal of waterfront living often comes from the tranquility and recreational opportunities provided by the water. Additionally, the waterfront properties and their values may differ based on the location.

For example, Texas has a coastline of 367 miles. It has over 190,000 miles of streams covered by 15 large river basins and 196 major reservoirs. Hence, waterfront properties in Texas and the rivers within are in much demand. Canyon Lake, for instance, has an average property value of over $1,181,000.

According to The Lakefront Group, Canyon Lake features a large shoreline of over 80 miles. It is also a deep lake with an average depth of nearly 43 feet. These features make the properties here a good selling point. This also indicates a potential rise in the property value over time.

Hence, if you find Canyon Lake waterfront homes for sale, you can go for an investment. On the other hand, if you find a waterfront property in a declining housing market, it might be bad to invest in.

Pros of Waterfront Living

There are many pros to living on the waterfront. For instance, they can bring you close to nature. According to Hill Country Luxury Group, waterfront properties are usually associated with nearby water sports activities. Thus, you can enjoy several sports, like fishing, kayaking, diving, etc., when living near a water body.

Consider the same example of Texas. It has one of the largest coastlines with numerous water bodies. Hence, locations within Texas are ideal for making the most of waterfront properties. New Braunfels properties are an excellent example of this. According to TripAdvisor, people can enjoy activities like river rafting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, waterskiing, etc.

Therefore, even New Braunfels waterfront homes for sale are great for real estate investment. Besides giving you space to live and enjoy nature, you can also enjoy various sports here.

Here are some other reasons why you might want to consider it:

  • Relaxation and serenity: The sound of water, whether it’s waves lapping against the shore or a gentle river flow, can have a calming effect. Waterfront living provides a serene environment, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
  • Property value: Waterfront properties often have higher resale values compared to inland properties. The demand for homes with waterfront views tends to be high, contributing to potential appreciation in property values.
  • Health benefits: Living near water has been associated with various health benefits. The proximity to water can promote mental well-being, reduce stress, and provide opportunities for physical activities that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Community atmosphere: Waterfront communities often have a close-knit atmosphere. Residents share a common appreciation for the water, creating a sense of community and camaraderie.
  • Microclimate: Coastal areas often have a milder climate than inland regions. The proximity to a large body of water can moderate temperature extremes, resulting in more temperate conditions.
  • Wildlife and nature: Waterfront living provides opportunities to observe and enjoy wildlife. From birds and marine life to lush vegetation, the natural surroundings contribute to a connection with nature.
  • Unique architecture: Waterfront properties often feature unique and aesthetically pleasing architecture. Homes may be designed to maximize views, and the overall atmosphere tends to be distinctive and charming.
  • Cultural and entertainment opportunities: Many waterfront locations are close to cultural hubs and entertainment venues. Residents can enjoy a vibrant social life with access to waterfront restaurants, cafes, and cultural events.

Cons of Waterfront Living

While living near the waterfront can be attractive and desirable for many, there are also some potential downsides. Here are some cons of waterfront living:

  • Risk of natural disasters: Waterfront properties are often more vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, storm surges, and tsunamis. Living in these areas may increase the risk of property damage and loss.
    Additionally, in an article from News5Cleveland, studies reveal that sea levels could go up in the next 30 years by 1.5 feet. This can cause flooding risk. Take, for example, Monroe County, where the Florida Keys is located. About 22% of the population is at risk of direct flooding for the same reason. Moreover, at least 44% of the population is at risk of isolation.
  • Maintenance costs: The proximity to water can increase the property’s maintenance costs. Saltwater can accelerate the deterioration of structures and materials, leading to more frequent and expensive repairs.
  • Insurance costs: Due to the higher risk of natural disasters and water-related damages, insurance costs for waterfront properties can be significantly higher.
  • Regulatory restrictions: Waterfront properties may be subject to more stringent zoning and building regulations. There may be restrictions on construction, landscaping, and other activities to protect the environment and prevent erosion.

Financial Considerations

If you’re looking to buy a waterfront home, there are some financial considerations to remember. The first is that the cost of the house itself can be higher than other properties. Waterfront properties are more expensive and desirable, often sold at higher prices than non-waterfront homes.

The cost can even go into millions. In fact, the American Home Shield states that Wyoming and California are the two states that have waterfront homes that cost more than $2 million. If your budget doesn’t allow for this expense, it might be better for you if we looked at other options.

The second thing with owning a waterfront property is increased maintenance costs, especially if there’s no access road or dock nearby. You’ll need someone who knows how boats work to maintain them properly.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of waterfront property on the environment and local economy is a critical consideration for anyone considering buying a waterfront home. The impact can be positive or negative, depending on the type of properties being developed.

The first thing to consider is whether your property lies within an environmentally sensitive area, such as wetlands or marshlands. As stated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, more than 50% of endangered and threatened species depend on wetlands and the nearby habitat. If so, you should expect that wildlife will be impacted by development, which can have both positive and negative effects on marine life.

In conclusion, the decision to buy a waterfront property is a big one, so it’s important that you take time to think. Consider all the pros and cons before making your final choice. If you’re ready to plunge into waterfront living, we hope this guide has helped clear some things up for you.

Saad Iqbal is a professional civil engineering and freelance write. He's passionate about structures, construction management, and home improvement topics. He's been working as a Senior Engineer in a consultant firm for over 8 years. Besides he loves writing informative and in-depth content focused on construction and home-related topics. You can catch him at his linkedin page or reach out via our contact us page.

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