A number of times, I’ve heard a few people I know talk about how great it would be to live by the water. This generally meant living by the beach, but in a few other conversations referred to living right next to a lake. In any case, there is true appeal for some people to living next to a body of water, whether it’s for the scenic views, sunsets, sound of waves, or simply tranquility. To the point that they’re willing to pay a premium for the privilege.
I guess I do see the appeal to some degree, but it’s not a big deal to me. Having views would be kind of neat, but I don’t get any excitement out of living right next to water. Certainly not to the point where I’d even consider paying any more to live there. Actually, in some cases, I think it’s riskier to live right on the water, and that properties right there should be worth less money that those a bit further away.
In other words, perhaps some waterfront property should be discounted as inferior to property a little further inland.
The reason? Natural disasters!
Really, think about how destructive water can be. Some recent flooding around here has gotten me thinking about how flooding and water damage can really wreak havoc for homeowners. The thing is, it shouldn’t be a surprise in many cases. We know that weather happens, so to speak, so in many situations it’s a matter of time before there is an impact on our lives.
I think of this river that’s nearby here, which it seems like every decade causes flooding – with people feverishly working to sandbag and protect property. I wonder why on earth they ever bought property by the river in the first place? They had to know that there is flooding periodically, so why build or buy there?
Sometimes, tragically, we see a lot of destruction in hurricane-prone areas. I don’t see the appeal to building a home or buying a home right on the ocean, in areas that historically are put at risk by hurricanes or tropical storms passing by. The same concept could actually apply to tsunamis. Driving down the coast of Oregon some years ago, I was taken aback by seeing a tsunami evacuation route sign. I had never heard of major tsunamis hitting the U.S. mainland. Well, then we saw the tragic tsunami in Japan occur, and out come a few stories about how one could hit our west coast at some point.
It seems like another example of emotions and home-buying being linked sometimes. Logically, we know that we could be put at risk financially – or even personally – by living in certain areas. But, the emotional appeal of living certain places sometimes overrides logic. Sometimes it’s a matter of thinking through the science of risk, as one would in other financial situations.
Ultimately, is the risk worth the reward? For some it is, but I’ve always had a different view on it. Put me in a place that’s devoid of those types of rewards, and I’ll be totally fine!
My Questions for You
Why do you think it is that waterfront living is so popular?
Is it appealing to you, or are you basically indifferent to it like me?
Do you think many folks think through such risks?