Nothing fires up the imagination more in real estate than the thought of waterfront living. It's something many people dream of, and aspire to, so much so that the term 'sea-change' was invented. But like everything in life, waterfront living and its pros - and its cons!
It's true, of course, that the pros outweigh the cons - I mean, who doesn't want to sit on their own private jetty with a cocktail, watching the sun go down! But as with any real estate choice, it's important to do your homework first.
Living by water is said to be good for your health, with all that fresh air and those healthy negative ions. Being by the sea can improve your mood, reduce stress and improve sleep. And because we are generally more active in those surrounds, it can also improve our physical fitness.
Waterfront living puts us closer to many water activities, too, such as sailing, kayaking, fishing, surfing and more. With those amenities on the doorstep, we are more likely to get out and use them. Especially those lucky enough to own a waterfront property with a private boat ramp. No more towing the boat many kilometres to the water, no more mooring fees - sounds good, doesn't it?
Waterfront is so desirable
Then there are the views, the sunsets, the sunrises, the outdoor entertaining - the list just goes on. But believe it or not, there are drawbacks!
One drawback could actually be seen as a positive - if you already own a waterfront property! Because properties close to water are in limited supply, and therefore highly desirable, they generally cost more to buy, but they also retain their value longer, making them a good investment.
All properties require maintenance but you'll probably find a waterfront home requires more, due to the humidity, salt spray and mist. For example, you will need to choose your bathroom and kitchen finishes carefully, as most metals will tarnish and rust quite quickly close to water. And if it's a beachfront home, sand can very corrosive on floors and soft furnishings.
You may also wish to invest in good quality fly screens, as your waterfront abode could be prone to such uninvited guests as mosquitoes and sand flies!
Watch out for nature
One of the most important factors to consider when buying waterfront property is the increased exposure to natural risk - such as storms, rising sea levels, flood and wind damage - and how this will affect your insurance premium.
While you're doing your homework, there are a few more little details you might like to check, based on your interests and hobbies. For example, is it tidal water? Is there deep water access? Is it safe to swim? If it's a canal estate, what rules and regulations are in place?
In truth, you should always do your homework before purchasing any property, rather than simply relying on council searches and solicitors. You will be the one living there, and searches won't show potential problems, like noisy neighbours!
But research is particularly advisable when purchasing waterfront property, or you could end up taking a bath, rather than a swim!