Should You Buy Waterfront Property in New Jersey? Benefits and Considerations

Buyers expect calm views and endless amusement when real estate is marketed as beachfront, lakeside, or riverside. For many homeowners, owning a bayfront property in New Jersey equates to having a vacation every day!

Nothing compares to living on the ocean. It’s no surprise that many people dream of living on the water, given the breathtaking vistas and luxurious feel that waterfront property provides. It may sound perfect to wake up to the sound of gently lapping water every day, but there are a few factors to consider before purchasing a home that is directly on the water.

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Purchasing a waterfront home might be one of the most lucrative real estate and vacation home investments you can make. Regardless of the potential financial benefits, acquiring a waterfront property can help you create a wonderful leisure time escape for the entire family, as well as a tranquil spot right in your own backyard.

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When Does a Property Considered to be Waterfront?

What is the definition of a waterfront property? The first question to ask when buying a beach house is whether paying a premium for a vacation-like property in New Jersey like a waterfront home is worthwhile.

Simply, a waterfront property is a real estate holding that is constructed on ground that runs along the edge of a body of water. While many waterfront homes offer benefits such as convenient access to a beach or lake, stunning scenery, and the ability to participate in a variety of aquatic activities such as swimming and boating, not all waterfront homes are created equal.

Beachfront property, for example, refers to land that is located on or near a beach. However, you must also ask yourself: Will you be accessing a calm and serene private beach, or will your home be located next to a louder and more popular public beach? Do you have a back porch that leads to a harsh expanse of rocks, shells, and seaweed in your future backyard, or do you have a back porch that leads to a pleasant, sandy oasis instead? Similarly, if you’re debating whether or not to buy a lake house (which, presumably, sits near to a lake), you’ll want to examine if the water is good for swimming or if it’s choked with weeds. Of course, if you plan on heading out on the water in any conditions, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space and area to dock a boat, park your jet skis, and store other necessary equipment.

In other words, while it’s a good start, just because a piece of real estate qualifies as waterfront property doesn’t indicate it’ll be the best fit for you right away. It pays to do your homework.

Another factor to look into is the waterfront area of the town or city the property is located in. New Jersey beachfront property is in high demand (and hence commands higher prices) in the real estate sector, but not all waterfront neighborhoods are equally well-kept or desirable. A little forethought and an on-site visit can help you get a sense of the property and its surroundings, and it’s well worth it.

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Here are some of the many advantages of living near the water.

Relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

When you don’t have any neighbors on at least one side of your land, your home life is more serene and private. Your mental peace and sense of tranquility is also enhanced by the absence of traffic noise, pollution, and other undesirable metropolitan irritants.

Living on a canal or lake has the added benefit of being surrounded by a beautiful ecology. A unique picture of nature is provided by the variety of fish, birds, and even sea life. This setting may provide a bonding experience for any event, whether it’s a grandparent with a child or a romantic night beneath the stars with a significant other. Many canals and lakes allow hours of solitary enjoyment with nature just beyond the backyard and are naturally good spots for fishing or bird-watching. In this article, we take a look at 10 Cool Things To Include When Building A House.

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Beautiful Views

The gorgeous and natural views that a waterfront property affords are one of the most tempting qualities in the list of advantages. You can sit in your driveway, on your deck or at a window seat in your house and look out at the open sea or another natural marine setting. Amazing views of clear sunsets and sunrises, as well as a plethora of birds flying above your home, will make you feel as if your front yard leads to a world of natural wonders.

Water sports and activities

Being surrounded by water allows you to participate in a variety of summer recreational water activities. When you live far from the water, fun water sports may be a summer activity that you only get to do once in a while. However, if you live near the water, you can go boating all summer, spring, and fall.

Fishing and kayaking are only two of the numerous enjoyable activities available. These are some of the most typical activities that would ordinarily cost money if you traveled from a city to a water sports club. You will not only have a good time on the water, but you will also have the opportunity to meet new people and develop a wonderful social life. If you own a boat, you may also dock it nearby or even in your garden, giving you quick access whenever you want to take a ride.

If you don’t want to participate in water activities, there are always beach soccer, golf, volleyball, a natural running track, and other outdoor games to enjoy. Aside from that, you can immerse yourself in the culture and nightlife of seaside areas.

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A Worthwhile Financial Investment

In terms of investment, waterfront homes are also very valuable. Waterfront properties are harder to come by in the New Jersey real estate market, especially in 2021, which allows them to hold their value for longer than properties in the city center.

Many people fantasize about owning a beachfront property. As a result of their popularity, these properties have good resale value should one wish to sell them later.

There is a great chance for additional income if an owner decides to move. It can be rented as well as resold because of its high resale value. For the same reasons why you want to buy a waterfront house, people desire to rent one. Waterfront rentals are in high demand, especially in the spring and summer. Opening a rental location on your property is a terrific method to ensure a continuous stream of extra revenue as well as a guaranteed holiday destination whenever you desire to return to your private paradise.

Health Advantages

Investing in a seaside property has an unanticipated benefit: better health. Spending time near the water to relieve everyday stress provides a comparable effect as spending a day relaxing by the pool. Simply getting away from the city and being able to breathe fresh air while surrounded by nothing but pure nature has a positive impact on your health, emotions, and well-being.

Living near natural areas such as beaches, parks, and forests in New Jersey can greatly reduce stress levels. It will also improve the quality of the air we breathe, as well as our mood and emotional health. Each of these elements is important in lowering the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Things you should know before you buy.

It’s crucial to understand the difference between “waterfront” and “water views” when looking at waterfront listings. If you’re seeking navigable water, limit your search to items that include the word “waterfront.”

Even with that title, waterfront residences don’t always come with water access; in some cases, the term “waterfront” is used to designate listings on a retention pond or similar unusable body of water.

Communicate your expectations to your real estate agent. Tell them how you want to utilize the property; if you own a boat, tell them how much depth, dock, and lift you’ll need. Allow the listing agent to confirm the waterfront status before your showing if there is any doubt.

There are frequently restrictions on how much water can be used. You’ll want your realtor to verify the legal documentation and title of the home before making an offer to see what you can and can’t do on the water.

Consider the following questions:

  • Can a boat be used? Are there any restrictions on the size or speed of the boat?
  • Is it legal to build out into the water? How far is it?
  • Is fishing allowed? Are there any limitations?
  • Are watercraft permitted? Is it motorized, manual, or a combination of both?

A bulkhead or barrier will almost certainly be present on any waterfront property. This barrier between the ground and the water could be formed of concrete, wood pilings, metal, or rock, depending on your location. Ask your agent about the age and composition of the seawall, as it is an important feature of the property. Repairs or replacement of the seawall might be expensive, so find out if the expense is primarily the responsibility of the owner or if there is a community fund. You might wish to pay for a professional seawall inspection after you’ve made an offer.

Considerations specific to home buyers

Overall, a waterfront property may be a terrific investment – one that will provide you with many years of memories! However, before purchasing a home, buyers must be prepared to calculate the costs. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages can be beneficial.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a waterfront house, think about what’s most important to you. Consider the following example: Are you looking for a waterfront home or pad with a built-in boat dock that offers breathtaking views, relaxing spots to tan or swim in, or a move-in ready home or pad with a built-in boat dock?

For many people, lakes and beaches aren’t necessarily the simplest places to go to, or attractive to live around all year long. In the depth of a New Jersey winter, beach towns and the availability of services and convenience can be harder to come by as the daily traffic is greatly decreased. Keep this in mind and think about how far you’ll have to travel and how easy it will be to get around.

You should also consider how much more you’re willing to spend for the opportunity of owning property on the water, especially given the high demand for beachfront and lakefront properties. That entails deciding how to finance the purchase, including what type of loan length, interest rate, and mortgage type you like, as well as how much you can afford to pay a possible seller, particularly in the event of a bidding battle.

When evaluating a purchase here, don’t forget to account for hidden expenses such as increased maintenance or insurance charges. If your waterfront property is a second home that needs to be cared for by a caretaker while you are away for extended periods of time throughout the year, you may face additional fees.

Considerations for Waterfront Home Sellers

If you’re thinking about selling a waterfront house, you should know how much homes of similar size and stature in your neighborhood have sold for in the last 6–12 months. Aside from making sure you’re correctly priced to be competitive, you need also know how to stage and show the property and when the best time is to place it on the market.

Highlight the home’s best features when marketing the property. That means you’ll probably need to stage your beach or lake house to showcase the benefits of owning a waterfront property. Not only will you want to use high-definition photos and videos in your property listing, but you’ll also want to set up deck chairs, kayaks, boats, fire pits, outdoor tables, and any other useful touches or accessories that help accentuate the property’s overall atmosphere. The fact is that you’re selling a way of life as much as a house, so be sure to point this out to potential buyers.

If you have a boat dock on your property, make sure it’s clear and well-maintained, as well as any pathways going to it. Prior to showings, you may also want to clean up the front or back grass areas, prune any plants, pick weeds, and clean up any beach areas.

Waterfront Living in New Jersey

Can’t wait to kick back on a deck chair and relax with a bottle of wine in hand while listening to the waves lapping? Are you ready to set sail for a day of sun, fun, and adventure? You’re well on your way to purchasing the lake house or beachfront home of your dreams now that you know what to look for and consider when buying a waterfront property.

It’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are going to the ocean as a living destination, for reasons ranging from quiet, to fun in the sun, to improved health and well-being. Living in a waterfront property opens up a world of possibilities, and there’s no disputing that a home on the water provides the ideal setting for a Jersey Shore lifestyle.


  • Michelle Garofalo

    Michelle Garofalo is the guiding force behind MSC Enterprises, LLC, a prominent custom home builder and real estate developer in Monmouth County and Ocean County, New Jersey. With over 25 years in real estate development, her expertise extends from a successful career in the solar industry, where she managed over 75MW of projects. Co-founding Infiniti Energy, Michelle now oversees day-to-day operations and leads business development, ensuring a seamless journey for clients. Her meticulous approach and commitment to excellence are reflected in MSC's residential and commercial properties, known for their quality, durability, and energy efficiency.