waterfront home surrounded by boats in Fort Lauderdale

The Pros And Cons Of Owning Waterfront Property

4-minute read


Have you always dreamed of owning a house on the water? It may sound dreamy to wake up to the sound of waves each day, but there are plenty of things that you should take into consideration before buying a second home on the water. So, before you purchase, consider the pros and cons of owning waterfront property.


There are so many wonderful things about living on the water. From being close to fun activities to having a place that people love to visit, here are some of the biggest advantages.


Waterfront Property Is Generally A Good Investment

When considering investing in a waterfront property, consider this: there is only so much available waterfront land. This level of scarcity means that there’s a high demand for waterfront properties. Many people choose beach or waterfront homes as second homes and are therefore thinking of it as both an investment and a place to vacation.

When considering a waterfront property from an investment standpoint, you should be aware that some waterfront properties are better than others. Be sure to have an expert inspect the location to be sure that the land is sturdy, and that the waterline is not moving up. If your home is in a desired area, built well, and is on sustainable land, then the chances of its value increasing are high.

The value of waterfront properties has grown more slowly in the past few years due to climate change, but the appreciation of properties that are a few houses or blocks inland has grown much faster in the past few years. If you want to be near the water and have an investment that will appreciate, you may want to look for properties that are not directly on the water.


It Feels Like Vacation

If your hobbies include activities that are done on the water, then you’ll love living in a waterfront property. Whether your waterfront property is a vacation home or a permanent residence, you’ll likely feel like you’re on vacation when at your waterfront abode. Many people are more inclined to spend time outdoors at their lake or ocean home, and thus get the health benefits of clean air and more exercise.

Additionally, people in waterfront homes report feeling more peaceful. A high-value property is typically associated with a phenomenal view. This drives people to spend more time outside and spend more time feeling grateful. These “vacation vibes” will increase your happiness and leave you feeling like you’re on a permanent vacation.


Proximity to Water Sports

Many bodies of water are associated with water sports. If you’re on a sleepy canal in Florida, you may want to purchase a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to be more active. If you’re on the ocean, surfing, kiteboarding, or jet skiing might be in order. If you’re on a lake, you may want to take up fishing or boating. Regardless of what your favorite water sports are, being on the water can give you more time to enjoy your sport and stay healthy.

Get approved to buy a home.

Rocket Mortgage® lets you get to house hunting sooner.


Of course, waterfront properties do not come without their challenges. Here are a few of the biggest setbacks that we see.


Wear and Tear 

When you live on the water, there’s very little blocking your home from the elements. The humidity from the water or sea spray may break down the materials your home is made of, and people tracking in sand and water often may cause damage to the interior of the home. A house within proximity to a body of water is more exposed to storms, mist and intense elements. If you’re purchasing a property, be sure to have your inspector keep a keen eye out for the wear and tear that comes with waterfront properties.

You’ll likely have to put more work into maintaining a waterfront property than one that’s inland. It’s important to note that this will likely mean additional expenses and time that you’ll have to dedicate to keeping your home in good shape. For example, you might have things like docks or retaining walls on your waterfront property that need regular maintenance.


Higher Insurance and Other Costs

When purchasing a waterfront property, it’s important to keep in mind that there will be unique costs associated with your home. For example, some waterfront properties have specific rules. There may be a coastal commission or other organization that not only restricts what you can do with your property, but also requires that you pay a fee each year.

Additionally, insurance is typically much higher for waterfront properties due to the risk of injury to residents or the home. You may have to invest in flood insurance, hurricane insurance and more.


Lack of Privacy on Lakefront Property

While your waterfront home may feel like a retreat to the great outdoors, you may want to anticipate more visitors when you move there. Additionally, strangers will want to access the water as well, so you may see more visitors to your waterfront neighborhood than you did when living inland. This may cause issues with parking, privacy and the use of your personal property.

The Bottom Line: Is It Worth It to Live On The Water?

While resale value is high in waterfront properties, there are plenty of things to consider when moving to one. If you are OK with paying a bit more in insurance and other expenses and are moving into a home that can weather the elements, then you’re off to a great start. If your home has great views and is well-built and cared for, then your property will likely appreciate over time and is a sound investment.

If you’re looking to get approved for a mortgage or learn more about purchasing a second property, Rocket Mortgage® has the resources to help you. From our lender pairing tool to a wealth of resources, we work to ensure that you have a smooth home buying process.

Get approved to buy a home.

Rocket Mortgage® lets you get to house hunting sooner.

I'm Just Researching

Answer a few questions and learn what you can afford - no credit pull required.

Begin Researching Numbers