Living in a waterfront home is a dream for many Americans and it’s easy to understand why. The water is enchanting, peaceful and seems to offer a different vista every time you gaze at it. Besides, a shoreline home is a great place to escape the noise and stress of the city as well as to entertain friends and family. Owning a lakefront home is a sweet reward for success for many Americans. There are, however, a number of pros and cons to consider when buying or renting. We’ve listed several advantages of buying vs. renting a lake home below:
- Building equity – The chief reason to buy a waterfront home as opposed to renting one is that you can build equity in your new home each time you make a mortgage payment. Since waterfront property is highly prized in most parts of the United States, there is less downside equity risk involved with owning shoreline property than with other types of real estate.
- You know where you’ll be staying – When you rent a waterfront house for the summer season, you usually have to start right after New Year’s Day securing a place for the coming season. Even when you’re a long-time renter, there’s no guarantee that the place you’ve grown to love will be available for the coming summer. The owner may run into financial difficulties and decide to sell the house. When you own the lakefront house, you can be secure that you’ll have the same place year after year.
- You can pass it down – When you buy a waterfront home, it becomes part of your estate and you can enjoy the thought of your children and grandchildren spending their summers at the house long after you’re gone.
As intriguing as owning a lakefront property may be, there are some scenarios where renting a lakefront home might make more sense.
- You’re simply unsure about owning waterfront property – One very good reason to opt to rent vs. buy a lakefront house, at least for a few years, is to see if owning–and maintaining–a waterfront house is right for you and your family. It’s much easier to change your mind if you rent.
- The size of your family may change – Another good reason to consider renting instead of buying is if you think your family size may change. For instance, if you have a house full of teenagers today, in a decade they will all likely be at college, married and have families of their own. That five-bedroom home that is just perfect for your family today will be way too much house for you in a few years.
- It’s easier to forecast expenses – Shoreline homes have different maintenance needs than homes in the city. When you rent, painting, maintaining the waterfront and taking care of the dock are the landlords responsibility. Not having these added, unfamiliar expenses makes it easier to stick to your summer budget.
- You don’t have to spend money on furnishings – Many seasonal rental homes are offered furnished, saving you from furnishing a home you might only use part of the year.
Spending the summer in a shoreline home can create memories that your family will savor for the rest of their lives. While buying such a property is certainly intriguing, it’s wise to weigh the pros and cons of owning versus renting.