You wake up listening to the tide come in and out, sit on your porch to enjoy a warm beverage at the start of the day, and breathe in the fresh breeze as it blows through your windows all day long—it sounds like a dream, and for many it is. Until now.
It’s possible to enjoy waterfront living on a budget with a little planning and some secret (until now!) tips. If you dream of enjoying waterfront living some day, or already have your dream lake house and want to cut back on spending, you won’t want to miss these tips.
Remember: The Type of Waterfront Matters—A Lot
If you’re looking to buy waterfront property on the cheap, consider the kind of waterfront you look for. Living on a small lake or river will provide the same peace and water opportunities without the higher price tag.
“In the last decade, the popularity of lakefront property has exploded as well. But it is still not as fashionable as oceanfront…yet. As a result, the appreciation potential of a lakefront home is greater, in the opinion of many investors, than that near the beach.” — Paul Moore, owner of Smith Mountain Homes
Choose Aquatic Sports Wisely
Water sports can be expensive. Whether you enjoy jet skiing or towing guests behind your motorboat, the costs of maintenance and fuel alone are enough to make the financially conscious weary.
Living on water doesn’t mean you have to be a boat owner, though. Pick a few inexpensive water sports to take up as hobby. A few to try:
- Fishing: You can find equipment on the cheap easily online.
- Paddle boarding: While the upfront cost is expensive, there are minimal maintenance costs.
- Row boating: You can often find inexpensive rowboats online. A small amount of maintenance is required, but it’s minimal compared to other options.
Consider Wear and Tear on Your Boats
While considering where you’ll enjoy your waterfront living matters in terms of home costs, it also makes a big difference in how much maintenance you’ll need to do on your boat. The saltwater causes a lot more wear and tear than freshwater from a lake or river.
“Saltwater is much more corrosive then freshwater; any boat that spends time in saltwater should be thoroughly rinsed with freshwater and should have its engine flushed. It should also be noted that boats used in saltwater have a shorter life expectancy than boats used in freshwater.” — DiscoverBoating.com.
Living on the water means that you not only need to worry about rain showers, but a heavy dose of dew every morning that settles on all of your expensive outdoor furniture. To avoid damaging these pricey additions to your backyard, waterproof your furniture or buy a cover to protect everything. The upfront cost will pay off when you aren’t replacing tables and chairs every year.
Avoid Touristy Areas
It goes without saying that housing price tags and the cost of living are higher in popular tourist destinations. Look for up-and-coming locations or remote areas that may be further from a town and therefore much less expensive.
Compare the Cost of Dock vs. Marina Mooring
Paying to dock your boat at a local marina gets expensive—fast. The average cost to dock a 35-foot boat at Harbor Island West Marina in San Diego is $577.50 per month, according to their website. Dock it for 12 months out of the year and you’re looking at a hefty annual fee.
Keeping your water vessels at your own dock will not only save you thousands of dollars, but it’s more convenient. Having immediate access to your boat(s) makes it easier to take quick or spur-of-the-moment trips onto the water for sunrise, sunset, or a quick lunch cruise.
Make waterfront living a reality with these tips. Soon you’ll be sipping tea on your front porch while you watch the sun rise over the water, certain that you’ve hit the jackpot.