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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro


Looking to buy a home on water . . . lake or ocean? Be prepared to pay considerably more than for a non-waterfront dwelling. An agent in Lake County, Florida, Dawn Giachetti, is an expert when it comes to selling lakefront property. She says that homes on lakes are by far the most desirable. A 3,000 square foot house in an inland community would be $400,000. If you put that same home on a lake, you’re probably looking at $1.4 million. That’s an increase of 250% for prime lakefront access.

The price differential holds true for homes with a water view as well. Exploring the Vancouver, B.C. area housing market years ago I found that even a faraway, peekaboo view of the ocean increased the price considerably from similar homes with no water view.

The attraction to ocean, lake, and river views is pretty much a universal phenomenon. I’ve often wondered what is so captivating about water. Why are we willing to pay so much more for waterfront property or a water view?

The answers to such wonderings are, of course, legion. Just Google the question and you’ll get a month’s worth of reading.

A summary explanation is that we can’t help ourselves. We have learned that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm us, increase innovation and insight, and even bring healing to trouble minds. We have what scientists call a 'blue mind' -- and it's tailored to make us happy in all sorts of ways such as relaxing in the surf, listening to the murmur of a stream, or floating quietly in a pool. Being around water gives our brains and our senses a rest from overstimulation. In other words, in addition of our body being composed of about 60% water, the peace-inducing quality of water appears to be part of our DNA.

This holds true even for people who are scared of water because they can’t swim, are scared of underwater creatures, or have had a traumatic experience on or in water. They still find peace and comfort sipping a morning beverage on a balcony overlooking Lake Chelan.

Most people cannot afford waterfront or water view homes, not to mention the relative scarcity of them compared to inland properties. The alternative: water vacations or trips to lakes or beaches for the mind-calming effects.

I live in non-waterfront home in neighborhood that surrounds a 24-acre lake, but the HOA does have two waterfront parks for residents’ use. I often fish at sundown on one of the docks when the lake is calm, my company being the feeding swallows and bats. My accomplishments might only be several very clean lures, but I always take great pleasure is simply being at the water’s edge gazing at the surface, watching the elusive fish jump, viewing the occasion osprey grab an evening meal.

Water is life. In more ways than one.

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