There are so many homes in the San Francisco Bay area that are located on, or adjacent to, some form of water.  They could be located on a small estuary with  Alameda homes, or in Alameda Bay Farm Island homes facing the bay. They could be alongside a stream in an Oakland hills home, or right on the ocean in San Francisco. 

With all the many options, it is important to consider the elements that surround a home purchase adjacent to water.  Generally, these homes are in demand because they are often quite appealing, so purchasing one becomes a bit more expensive, hence the need to make sure that you get the best value for your money.

The Pluses of Purchasing a Home On The Water:

1. The presence of water in any form is prized because it is a soothing, gentle atmosphere.  Having it next to your home is ideal for that reason.  Tie this in with being able to observe the plants, wildlife and smaller animals that are usually adjacent to bays and streams, and you will find that it makes for a pleasant spot, year round, as the seasons change.  

2. Having water nearby encourages all kinds of water sports, and healthy living.  Being able to set a kyack in the water paddle into the bay with friends, or move away in a quiet sailboat is a plus not enjoyed by most of your other friends just a few miles inland.

3. Many homes on the water are protected and secured by homeowners associations, so that maintenance of the waterfront or tidal area is not left just to you, but shared by all the residents together, thus assuring you a pleasant atmosphere throughout the year. 

4. A home on the water is an ideal place for family entertaining.  The views and ambiance are welcome by friends and family alike, and there is lots to do on or near the water for family members of all ages.

Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Home On The Water:

1. Make sure that adjacent water sources have not undermined your home's foundation.   Be sure to do a complete check to see that no water has found its way around breakwaters or under your porch and stairs.

2. Be prepared for a bit more wear and tear on your home's exterior if you are not in a sheltered area.  If you are on the bay or ocean, you may get more moisture and windy weather than your friends in their homes in the hills.

2. If you are a part of a community that has a homeowner's association, determine your rights and priveleges with regard to you and the water.  What are you going to be responsible for, and what are they going to care for?  What are the rules for parties and entertaining and parking?

Most of these items immediately above are not serious issues, just ones that need to be reviewed when considering buying a waterfront home. All in all, the assets are obvious, so if the opportunity presents itself, take it! 


Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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