Before any home purchase there are many things to take into consideration, and waterfront properties can be especially tricky to evaluate for pros and cons. For many people, owning a home on the water can be the ultimate luxury; a scenic getaway for the hot summer days, a leisure dwelling, or even a new permanent residence when starting a new life. In order to be sure you’re making the right decision, factor these 5 considerations into your choice when deciding on a waterfront property.

  1. Maintenance
    Any house requires a good deal of maintenance to remain comfortable and livable, and this is especially true of homes on the water. A house on the water is something of a paradox because water can be the prime enemy of living structures, degrading exterior and interior structures much faster than a dry climate. Make sure that you’re ready to handle the maintenance and upkeep of your waterfront property, and try to look for houses that are already as guarded as possible against the elements.
  2. Climate
    Geographically speaking, areas near water tend to have somewhat volatile climates. In some areas, pleasant breezy summers can be followed by harsh winters that cause entire towns to essentially shut down for several months. If you plan on making this your permanent dwelling, this is something that should be given heavy consideration. Other areas may be more steady in temperature year-round but fall victim to storm seasons that wreak havoc on unprotected waterfront structures.
  3. Lakeside or Seaside
    Lakeside houses and homes near oceans, bays, and other large water bodies all have their own ups and downs. One of the major draws of a lakeside home is the relatively stable weather and lack of tides, but if you’re seeking privacy and peace you may not find them on a lake with several other houses. Seaside homes, on the other hand, are subject to tides and seasonal weather changes which can bring on additional maintenance while on the other hand giving you more room to stretch out on the water.
  4. The True Cost
    Many prospective buyers make the mistake of seeing low asking prices for lakeside cabins or Galt Ocean Mile condos and thinking their one-time investment will become a free resort for the rest of their lives. Waterfront properties are beautiful, but they are also high-risk–and higher risk means higher insurance. Think about the cost of insuring your new home on the water and determine whether it will be a realistic endeavor for you and your family to purchase this property.
  5. Popularity
    Like it or not, word about your new waterfront home will spread quickly among friends and family. If you intended this house to be a private getaway for you and your spouse, you might be frustrated to find out how popular your new dwelling becomes. Expect to hear lots of requests to use your home on the water for everything from weekend retreats to holiday parties, and don’t be surprised to hear a knock on the door from time to time.