The Perils and Pleasures of Waterside Life

Our guide to waterside property will take you through everything you need to consider when purchasing or living waterside.

A row of modern looking apartments by the sea

Homes always cost more if they have a sea or river view, and for many, living in such picturesque surroundings is a property dream. Yet there seems not to be a summer week go by without a photo in a local newspaper of a home sprawling dangerously close to a cliff edge or devastating floods carrying away livelihoods and loved ones. 
A flooded town centre
In truth, climate change and rising sea levels are no risk that can be brushed aside. Sea levels are predicted to rise twice as fast as previously forecasted by the UN just a few years ago – over a metre in total by the year 2100. In the UK, the Environment Agency warns that one in six of the population are already at risk of being flooded in their homes. 
Yet as far as the housing market goes, this seems not to be a real concern. Anything on the water continues to sell very well , it seems property buyers continue to lack any concern with rising water levels; because although there may be damage sustained at some point, their investment is highly likely to bounce back better than before.
Our guide to waterside property will take you through what you need to consider when purchasing or living waterside, insurance and how best to maintain them for the future years to come.

How does Buildings Insurance work for properties at risk of flooding?

While premiums are often higher for properties near water, they’re rarely entirely un-insurable. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) has agreed that insurers must offer flood insurance to any home where the risk is no higher than a 1 in 75 chance annually.
Most insurers judge risk by postcode rather than entirely on property detail. This works both ways – with those sharing postcodes with properties less likely to be flooded experiencing increased premiums as well as those likely to be flooded finding theirs decrease. As an example, a resident of Canford Cliffs which shares a postcode with the area of Sandbanks – which would be wiped out entirely if the sea rose a metre. Saw their insurance company increase the premium by a full 100% on renewal. 
In most areas liable to flooding, insurers will have action teams at the ready should the worst happen and be able to offer tangible support when required. The extra premiums may have a financial impact short-term, but are worth it in the event of an incident occurring. 
A row of riverside homes over looking the Thames

What needs to be considered about coastal properties that isn’t necessarily thought about for standard on-street homes?

There are numerous considerations that must be made for waterside homes that wouldn’t bother those with a standard house on a residential street. For example, the sea air promotes rust on metals and so any metal materials on the external facing areas of the property should be made from stainless steel or properly protected and coated. Painted areas are also liable to chip and peel more often and so regular spot-checks and touch-ups should be made.
Glass and windows tend to fog and get grimy quickly as waterside air throws up dirt and dust, so regular cleaning is required to keep things bright and clear. Wood on the exterior of properties is markedly more sensitive to the elements due to water and salt erosions and so will deteriorate quicker than elsewhere. 

Does being waterside have any impact on the interior of coastal homes?

Changes in the air don’t just affect the exterior of homes but also the inside, too. When left with airways closed for a prolonged period of time, waterside homes are more prone to mildew and damp than those in non-waterside sites. This is because even when windows are open and living spaces are well ventilated, the air being circulated throughout is still more humid and (often) saltier than it would be elsewhere. Mildew can develop much quicker than it would usually, and in spots it may not elsewhere – including walls and cupboards. A regular quick wipe down with disinfectant (and/or mould and mildew remover should things have already progressed to such a point) as well as regular airing of rooms is key to ensuring a dry and clean home.
Some wooden window shutters that are flaking paint off and in need of a touch up

With all this regular maintenance and cleaning, why do people continue to purchase waterside homes?

A sea or river view is a beautiful thing and living by the water can have a calming impact. Waterside properties do require a bit of extra attention and care, but the quality of living in such an environment is high and financial wise, the investments into this type of home seem to be a good one. A waterside home needn’t just be on a beach, either – Great Britain offers rivers, lakes, canals, broads and other waterways that can make brilliant places to live in spectacular settings.

I want to move into a waterside property but I need some help maintaining the place. Who should I ask?

Refresh Renovations recommended tradespeople and property professionals will understand the implications of the air and environment on the homes and so will be able to offer expert advice and recommendations based on the work required for your properties and others nearby. Most homes in waterside areas can be kept in great condition simply with regular maintenance carried out on the interior and exterior, and perhaps a few modifications to any exposed areas outside. Living by the water can be a beautiful thing; and just staying on top of things will certainly make it much easier. 

Get in touch!

For a free no obligation chat on how we can help you to keep your waterside retreat in tip top condition or to carry out a home renovation in what might seem a unique environment, get in touch today.

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