Why It’s Great to Have a Home on or Near a Waterfront
Hello! Welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog. The idea of a waterfront property, or a home quite close to a body of water, has been romanticized over the years, and not without reason: waterfront properties can be a very worthwhile investment indeed.
Let’s explore some of the advantages to owning such a property.
What Waterloo Water?
Many of the ideas explored in this article will apply to any home near any waterfront, in any location. But as WRX Property Group is based in Kitchener-Waterloo, and we focus on this region and the surrounding area (including the cities of Cambridge and Guelph), let’s look a little more closely at some of the water bodies here.
There are many rivers, creeks, reservoirs, ponds, lakes and more in this area. Major attractions include Hespeler Mill Pond in Cambridge, Guelph Lake (and Guelph Lake Conservation Area), Laurel Creek Reservoir (and Laurel Creek Conservation Area), and the lakes in Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener (Silver Lake and Victoria Park Lake, respectively) – just to name a few.
Arguably, the most important body of water to the region is the Grand River. The river has many notable tributaries (including both the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, which stretch from Cambridge all the way east past Guelph).
The Grand River is a huge part of Kitchener-Waterloo’s identity, and just another part of what makes it a great city. It stretches from Lake Erie all the way north to its headwaters in the area near Dundalk, Ontario (280 kilometers in total!).
Let’s look at the advantages of owning a waterfront home.
What makes a waterfront home (or a home near to a waterfront) worthwhile? Well, quite a few things. It’s impossible to ignore the financial aspect and implications, so let’s dive into that first. Waterfront properties do cost more than comparable homes that are further away from any bodies of water.
And properties that truly back onto water can be even more expensive than those that are simply close to a body water, or separated from it by a tree line. They cost more for two primary reasons: many people enjoy living near water, both for the aesthetic appeal and for the various activities that rely on large bodies of water.
Secondly, they cost more because there can only be a finite number of waterfront properties in any given city. In Kitchener-Waterloo, for example, the Grand River stretches from well below the southernmost part of Kitchener to well above the northernmost part of Waterloo, but it’s limited to the eastern extreme of each city.
Despite its size, only a handful of neighbourhoods have direct access to the Grand River, and even within these neighbourhoods, only a handful of homes would truly qualify as ‘waterfront’ – and several dozen more would qualify as ‘nearby.’ The real estate market in Kitchener-Waterloo (and, indeed, the real estate market in general) is like any market: scarcity confers value.
By investing in a waterfront home – or a home near to a waterfront – you are investing in a property that will consistently retain both demand, and monetary value. It’s not a coincidence that the Waterloo neighbourhood of Laurelwood – one of the most sought-after areas in the entire region – has local access to the incredible Laurel Creek Reservoir.
Activities: 1) Row, Row, Row Your Boat: Watercrafts
We mentioned the fact that living near a body of water opens up the opportunity for a wide variety of fun activities; let’s explore a few of these more fully. If you live near the water, then it’s a great idea to purchase a watercraft of some sort.
Canoes aren’t necessarily cheap (smaller, entry-level canoes will likely cost upwards of $250, with nicer models running into the thousands), but they’re a great investment that can serve you and your family and friends for years to come.
Kayaks are incredible as well, and they have the twin advantages of typically being more affordable and easier to store. Depending on the size and type of water body your property is close to, other types of watercraft may be available – or even advisable – but canoes and kayaks are great in part because of their inherent versatility.
The Grand River is fantastic for smaller watercrafts: solo, partner, or team voyages on canoe; exploring with friends in separate kayaks; floating around in a pedal boat – it’s entirely up to you.
2) One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Fishing
For anyone who loves to go fishing, by backing onto a body of water, your hobby/pastime/means-of-acquiring-fresh-fish-for-food (M.o.A.F.F.f.F. for short) can become a daily activity. According to the Grand River Conservation Authority, “The Grand River and its tributaries offer world-class recreational fishing.
Whether you’re fly fishing for trout, trolling for walleye or dropping a line in search of catfish, you can find what you want in the rivers, streams and reservoirs of the Grand” (GRCA). Indeed, the Grand River watershed (of which the Speed, Nith, and Conestogo are all part) features over half of all of the fish species in Canada!
3) Walking, Hiking, Jogging, Biking: Outdoor Living
Who doesn’t love a nice stroll along a scenic path? Well, if you live close to a waterfront, that scenic path might be mere minutes away – indeed, it might be part of your property! Living near a beautiful water body will naturally encourage you to spend more time outdoors, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
Kitchener-Waterloo has an impressive amount of trails available for its residents, but perhaps the greatest of them all is the Walter Bean Grand River Trail. This trail begins just south of Kitchener’s border, around Cambridge and the Township of North Dumfries.
From here it follows the Grand River all the way throughout Kitchener and Waterloo, and continues north well into the Township of Woolwich. It’s a well-maintained path that offers stunning views of the Grand River itself, as well as the natural areas around it.
Living close to the Grand River means you could take advantage of this beautiful trail whenever you want. Not only is it enjoyable, but it’s also quite healthy – more time spent outdoors, whether it’s walking, hiking, jogging, or biking, is great for your physical (and mental) wellbeing.
As the owner of a waterfront home, there are naturally a different set of responsibilities than that of a non-waterfront home, and other aspects of property ownership to pay attention to. Does the water body have a history of flooding?
How does it fare in different seasons and different weather conditions? Where does your property line end, and the not-privately-owned lake or river begin? Many of the homes in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge near the Grand River do not actually border it, but it’s not a bad idea to research flood insurance – the more you know, the better.
If you have outdoor furniture, make sure it can withstand the conditions – it’s different near the water than in the middle of the city. Finally, be aware of potential pests: knowing the area and how to properly prepare your property are important.
If any of the ideas discussed here resonated with you, or if you’d like to lead a lifestyle in which water plays a large part, then perhaps a property near the water is perfect for you.
WRX Property Group would be happy to go over any questions you have, or help you out in your real estate journey. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to know more!
Written by Will Kummer