Whether it is a house in the Hamptons or a cabin on a
secluded lake, waterfront property is often seen as a step up from other types
of real estate. Though these homes tend to cost more than comps in the city or
suburbs, proximity to the water can mean lifestyle and recreation options that
are not available to residents who live inland. It is a tradeoff.
The Pros of Purchasing a Home by the Waterfront
There are reasons why folks flock to the beach in summer.
The air is fresher, and the temperature is usually cooler than urban centers,
which can become stifling in July and August. In addition, spending time at the
ocean or a lake offers opportunities to tan, take a boat out, and practice
sports that cannot be done in town.
Owning real estate by the water means waking up to the sound
of gentle waves on a year-round basis. Unsurprisingly then, waterfront real
estate tends to jump in value more quickly than other properties. It is also
easy to rent a beach or lakefront house as there are always vacationers,
especially in summer. In other words, living by the sea or a lake is not just a
boon to one’s health. It can be a wise investment, too.
The Cons of Purchasing a Home by the Waterfront
That said, buying a place on or near the water does carry risks. Climate change could soon erase swaths of beachfront real estate. Even if this fate is avoided, owners must still contend with higher maintenance costs than they would face in the city or suburbs. Humidity, mist, and other elements can chip away at a home’s exterior, and weather events like hurricanes or lake-effect snowstorms can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Then, there is the issue of demand. The very force that
drives up the value of beach or lakefront property brings neighbors with kids,
pets, and guests, as well as tourists looking to party.
The Bottom Line
Purchasing waterfront real estate may be a terrific long-term investment, and living on the water offers a range of lifestyle benefits. However, as with any significant financial decision, it is important to weigh the drawbacks, which include climate change, high maintenance costs, and noisy neighbors.