We in the Bay area are very lucky to have so many homes on, or near, the water.  Whether it be a quiet lagoon on Alameda Bay Farm Island, alongside a stream in the Oakland hills, or next to San Francisco Bay in Alameda, the choices are numerous and varied.  Because of their appeal, they can often be a bit more expensive than a similar home elsewhere, so it is important to consider the issues concerning their purchase so you can be assured that you have the best value for your money.

The Pluses of Purchasing A Home On The Water:

1. The presence of water often creates a soothing, gentle atmosphere within and around the home.  Often, one can observe the plants, wildlife, and small animals that are usually adjacent to these streams and bays. 

2. Nearby water often encourages all kinds of water sports, jogging, or other healthy living activities.  You can paddle or sail on the water, and invite friends and family to join you.

3. Many homes on the water are protected and maintained by homeowners associations, so the maintenance of the waterfront or tidal area is not left solely to you, but shared financially with your neighbors, thus assuring a pleasant year round atmosphere.

4. A home on the water is can be ideal for entertaining.  If you enjoy inviting friends, family, and neighbors for parties, the atmosphere is often quite inviting. 

Some Things To Consider About Purchasing A Home On The Water:

1. When having an inspection on your potential new home, make sure that the adjacent water sources have not undermined your home's foundations.  Take extra time and effort to make sure that water has not found its way under your porch, stairs, lawn, etc..

2. Be prepared for a bit more wear and tear on the home's exterior compared to other homes away from the water.  If you are on the bay or ocean, you might get more moisture and windy weather than your more sheltered neighbors. 

3. If you are part of a community that has a homeowners association, determine your rights and responsibilities with regard to you and your home maintenance around the water.  What are you going to be responsible for, and what are they going to take care of?

On balance, living on or near the water can be a joy and a gentle pleasure. If you find that special home-buy it!

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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