A home by the beach or a spectacular sea-view is the dream, isn’t it? Waking up to the soft rush of the ocean waves or sipping a cup of coffee around sunset as you take in the expansive views from your balcony are everybody’s idea of living life king size.
In cities like Mumbai, if you have the finances, you can surely invest in a luxurious waterfront house – be it a bungalow, a villa, or an apartment – that is nestled right next to the Arabian sea and its gorgeous vistas. But let us apply some brakes to that idea for a few minutes: have you considered the hidden costs of owning such a waterfront property? If you haven’t, then you are indeed at the right place.
Living in a waterfront home comes with maintenance costs due to the weather conditions it faces including saltwater corrosion, humidity, storms and floods. This means that you'll need to allocate funds for repairs and upkeep of your roof, walls, windows, doors and plumbing. It may also require investing in materials and equipment to safeguard your home against water damage like paint, sealants, pumps and generators. Moreover, insurance premiums tend to be higher for waterfront properties as they cover the risks associated with disasters.
If you’ve heard the fact that waterfront homes are subject to laws and regulations that differ from those to inland properties, then you should know that you heard it right. These may involve obtaining permits and approvals from authorities such as the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and the local municipality. Ultimately, dealing with land disputes, encroachment issues or environmental violations can be time consuming, expensive and emotionally taxing. So, plan your waterfront house purchase smartly, especially if you are planning to build a property by the beach!
Living in a waterfront home also means being exposed to challenges such, as pollution, erosion, climate change impacts, and biodiversity loss concerns. For instance, you might have to address water contamination arising from sewage disposal, industrial waste discharge or agricultural runoff. You might also have to confront the wearing of your shoreline caused by waves, tides and currents. Additionally, you may need to adapt to the consequences of climate change such, as rising sea levels, extreme weather events and the depletion of life. These environmental concerns can impact your well-being, safety and overall quality of life.
Waterfront properties often find themselves in isolation from the rest of society in areas. As a result, you may encounter reduced access to amenities like water supply, electricity networks, road infrastructure, schools and hospitals. Furthermore, you may face issues relating to conflicts with communities, fishermen or activists. Moreover, security threats like thefts, vandalism or trespassing could also become part of your waterfront living experience. All these social challenges can diminish your enjoyment, thus increasing stress levels associated with living by the water.
Waterfront homes typically come at a higher price compared to inland properties due to their demand and limited availability. Consequently, you will have to allocate a portion of your income or savings towards purchasing and maintaining your waterfront property. Moreover, you might need to make compromises in aspects of your lifestyle such, as travel opportunities, education options and entertainment choices. Additionally, you might have to give up on investment prospects that could potentially provide returns or lower risks. These alternative choices can impact your stability and long-term objectives.
In a city like Mumbai with tons of existing and potential waterfront living opportunities, finding the perfect waterfront house is indeed a dream come true. But one must not ignore the heft of the hassles that come with such properties in the form of varying costs: financial, upkeep, legal, climate-oriented, social, etc.
Ultimately, a smart buyer must strive to invest in climate-positive construction and innovative, sustainable technology that will enable their investment in a waterfront property free from most hidden costs. So, be realistic about your expectations and budgets, do your research by consulting the experts, and weigh the pros and cons before diving headfirst into purchasing a fascinating waterfront home.
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