Should You Buy a Waterfront Property?

How-Tos and Advice

A waterfront property is what everyone wants on a vacation, but what about for a private vacation home or even a primary residence? When it’s longer term than a long weekend, a lot of prospective buyers are left wondering whether or not a waterfront property is a good investment.

Maybe you’ve only just begun considering buying a waterfront property. Perhaps you’ve made the decision and are doing your due diligence about what questions to ask when buying a waterfront property. Whatever the reason for your interest, we have answers for anyone interested in buying waterfront property.

Is a waterfront property a good investment?

The short answer is a resounding yes. Whether you want to find a luxury oceanfront property that comes with your very own boat slip or you’re in the market for a rental property that’s sure to be a hit, there are plenty of upsides to owning waterfront property.

Everything from non-pool water access to water views and a boat slip add value to your property — and those values have been on the rise since 2020. Naturally, vacation rentals fetch higher prices, too.

What to consider when buying a waterfront property

While a waterfront property can be a great investment, they often come with additional costs that are important to consider at the outset.

First, there’s the potential for flooding and the cost of flood insurance that comes with it. However, if you’re looking at buying a waterfront condo, those costs will be factored into your HOA fees and dealing with flooding will be the responsibility of the HOA. It’s important to note that the insurance costs surrounding lakefront properties are usually lower than oceanfront properties.

Second, because waterfront properties tend to be more valuable, their property taxes are often higher as a result. But again, if you’re looking at one unit in a high-rise condo building, these costs will already be factored into the price of your individual condo. The most important thing when looking at a high-rise waterfront building is to make sure you understand exactly what is — and isn’t — covered by your HOA fees.

Next, if you’re an avid boater and your lakefront or oceanfront property comes with a boat slip, there are extra costs associated with that, too — chiefly repair costs. If you’re planning on building a boat dock after you buy, be prepared to cover the costs which can be steep.

Finally, consider having the water inspected. If you plan on making the most of waterfront living, you’ll want to be sure that the water is clean and safe to swim in.

The differences to consider between lakefront property and oceanfront property

Aside from the obvious differences, there are a few other differences to consider when deciding what kind of waterfront home is right for you.

Lakefront properties are likely more readily available nearby. This means less travel to get to and from your waterfront home compared to an oceanfront home, and those costs add up over time.

Then there’s the seclusion factor. Lakefront properties tend to be more remote and secluded while oceanfront properties — especially in popular places like Miami, Florida — are often busier and more bustling. There are also common property differences. Oceanfront properties often come with little to no outdoor space while lakefront properties are often encircled by outdoor space and shrouded in trees for privacy.

Whether you’ve got lakefront living on the mind or are envisioning breezy evenings by the ocean, there are plenty of waterfront highrises from coast to coast to choose from. Whether Portland, Oregon has captivated you or Miami, Florida’s nightlife has enticed you, or you’ve got your heart set on somewhere in between, there are plenty of dreamy waterfront properties waiting for you.