Waterfront homes are those that are situated along a river, lake, stream, ocean, or other body of water. Water View homes, as the name suggests, are not situated alongside the body of water, but are situated such that the home offers a view of the body of water.
Owning a ‘waterfront’, or even a ‘water view’ home, has become one of the most desirable real estate investments a person can make.
The demand for these homes has risen dramatically over the last several years as they offer many personal and financial advantages, such as improved mental and physical health, increased property value, potential to generate income, increased sense of community, and aesthetic advantages. The improvement in infrastructure around these homes and communities has led to improved access and overall living conditions, and opened up more opportunities to take advantage of nearby hiking trails, parks, and more.
The increased demand has also been driven by their unique combination of natural beauty, peaceful and tranquil environment, and access to outdoor recreational opportunities. Studies have found that people who spend more time outdoors experience less stress and anxiety, and improved overall well being.
If you’re considering purchasing a ‘waterfront’ or ‘water view’ home, either as your primary residence, or a weekend or vacation home, you can take advantage of the many benefits as well.
There are pros and cons to any investment, so let’s take a closer look at the benefits ‘waterfront’ and ‘water view’ homes offer, as well as some of the typical cautions and considerations.
Many of the benefits and advantages of owning a waterfront home are obvious, but then there are some that are not so obvious. We’ll take a closer look at some of the most common benefits typical of owning a waterfront home.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Imagine being able to escape that hectic and fast paced lifestyle, even if for only the weekend, and relaxing in a peaceful and tranquil environment.
You can enjoy the beauty of nature up close, including the peacefulness of the water, the serene environment, and the fresh air of the outdoors.
Add to that the stunning scenery and often breathtaking views that can be enjoyed all year round, and it’s been found that the sound of water and the proximity to nature has a calming effect on the mind and body, making it ideal spot for relaxation and stress relief.
Since many waterfront properties are located in more secluded areas, you can also enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Access to Water Activities
Owning a waterfront home gives you easy access to a variety of recreational activities, from sitting on the dock to more robust activities and everything in between.
These can include; swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, and watersports, or just walking along the shore and enjoying the view.
Many waterfront communities offer other amenities like marinas, boat ramps, beaches, and more
In addition, there are many non-water activities typically found near these homes. Typically, you’ll find plenty of hiking trails, parks, and other attractions.
One of the benefits often overlooked are the social benefits associated with owning a ‘waterfront’ or ‘water view’ home. There is an increased sense of community and comradery that typically comes with living in these areas.
The like-mindedness of individuals and families that live near the water and nature provides opportunities to socialize with neighbors and build relationships.
Many of these communities organize summer, and sometimes winter, events that residents can enjoy if they so desire.
Increase in Property Value
‘Waterfront’ and ‘water view’ properties typically appreciate in value since there is often high demand for these homes due to the recreational opportunities and natural beauty they offer.
In many areas, a comparison of waterfront homes vs. non-waterfront homes, shows that the waterfront homes appreciate in value faster, increasing the value of the homeowners investment.
Adding to the demand of these properties is that many are located in desirable areas but still close enough to urban centers or popular vacation destinations making it easy to commute or just get away for the weekend.
For those that don’t use their home as a primary residence, they can benefit financially by renting the home out during the weeks or seasons they don’t plan on being there, and creating another stream of income. They may even be able to qualify for tax breaks on rental income.
Many investors purchase these properties strictly as Airbnb opportunities to create a revenue stream and still have it available for themselves should they choose to use it.
CAUTIONS & CONSIDERATIONS
We’ve taken a look at some of the benefits of owning these homes above. Now let’s take a look at some of the common cautions and considerations.
Potential Flooding & Erosions Risk
One of the main drawbacks of owning a waterfront property is the risk of flooding and erosion, as these properties are often located in flood-prone areas. Heavy rains and storms could cause damage to the property.
The risk would be less so for water view homes as they are typically further away from the water’s edge and often times higher than water level.
As with any home, a buyer should thoroughly research the potential flooding risk before making a purchase.
Higher Property Taxes
Waterfront homes are often subject to higher property taxes than non-waterfront homes since they are considered to be more valuable.
When considering purchasing a waterfront home, make sure you take the potential additional tax expense into account when looking at your budget.
Zoning Laws and Regulations
Some waterfront properties will be subject to zoning laws or regulations that differ from nearby non-waterfront homes.
There may be restrictions on the type of structure that can be built on the property, or limitations on the use of the property.
Some communities don’t allow Airbnb or rentals, so if you were planning on establishing an income stream with your waterfront property, be sure to know what the regulations governing your property would be.
Waterfront and water view properties offer substantial benefits to the owner and can be a valuable investment opportunity that can provide years of enjoyment and appreciation in value. For those looking at these homes as a source of income, the same benefits are what has created the high demand for these properties as rentals.
While there are potential drawbacks to owning waterfront property, with the proper research and planning, the benefits can outweigh the drawbacks.
It’s recommended that you do your due diligence and research the potential benefits and concerns as they relate to your own situation before making a decision to buy.