Ah, the lake! Just the very thought of the lake conquers up the sound of waves lapping on the shore, the distinctive clean, crisp smell of the lake, and the exhilaration that abounds in your heart when you can spend time there. As with everything in life, there are pros (many) and cons (few) living near a lake. When you love something, whether it be a place, a hobby, or a person, you are willing to overlook any inconvenience for the pure joy your passion brings you. However, later in this article, for the sake of fairness we will discuss what some people might consider the cons of living near a lake. Stay tuned!
Lake Life is Beautiful
Life living near a lake is beautiful! Let’s start with a few of the many beauties living near a lake will provide:
The Air You Breathe by the Lake Will Help You Live Longer
Just being near the water seems enough. How can it get better than that? But it does! It is not just that you “feel” better near the water as if some kind of siren song has drawn you to the shore. Research has shown that the air near a lake or sea is charged with negative ions. Although the ions are negative, they have a positive effect on your body. These ions work to balance the serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin is a chemical that is associated with mood and stress. This is why you feel a release of tension when at the lake. The ions help your body absorb oxygen. More oxygen in your body improves alertness and also combats free radicals. Free radicals might sound like protesters who have no boundaries, but they are not. Free radicals are organic molecules that are responsible for aging and tissue damage. In a nutshell, living by water can help you live longer.
The Sounds You Hear Near the Lake Will Help You Rest Better
The chances are that if you have visited a spa or gone for a massage, calming sounds come from the facilities speakers. Those sounds on a CD are often sounds of the water lapping against the shore or waves breaking on the rocks. Flowing water’s soothing sounds are often used in meditation, and we know that meditation is a renowned relaxation method. Moving water is likened to “white noise,” in which individuals may hear a different song. I know from experience how the soothing sound of water can give you an extraordinarily restful sleep. When visiting my cousin, who lived on a Saginaw Bay channel in Michigan, I slept on a sleeping bag on her living room floor. The open window was a mere 25 feet from the seawall of the channel. To this day, I remember the all-encompassing, tranquilizing lap of the water against the rocks. The sleep I had that night was deep and rejuvenating. I have since learned that your brain interprets water and waves as “non-threats” and can attain a deeper sleep. That type of rest recharges all of your batteries and gives you the energy and strength you need in the morning.
The Blue Color of the Lake Will Help You Unwind
You can find an example of the need for a Blue Mind in Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick. The narrator of the novel, Ishmael, stated that whenever he found himself “growing grim about the mouth” and in need of “driving off the spleen,” he would head to the sea. Blue Mind refers to a mildly meditative, relaxed state you find yourself in, when you are on or near water. Ishmael knew where to head when the stresses of life got to be too much. Life, in general, is stressful. That stress takes a toll on your mind and body. Living near a lake combats that stress by putting you close to nature. Physiologically, your brain and body change when you are communing with nature. You relax. Your focus shifts away from stress, and that is important. Stress keeps your body in a flight, fight, or freeze mode. When in one of those modes, your body has less energy to keep your immune system operating at an optimal level. Your ability to heal and repair is compromised by stress. Having a Blue Mind allows your body to function in the way it was intended.
Your Body Will Get Stronger Living Near a Lake
Living near a lake gives you unparalleled opportunities to engage in all types of water sports. You will have the ability to walk out your door and into a healthier you. Studies have shown that water aerobics can lower high blood pressure when done regularly. Others have to pay big bucks to attend a class or therapy session. You can just walk to the water’s edge and jump in! Especially helpful for your joints, being in the water is a great low-impact way to exercise. Incredibly, something as exhilarating as being in the water is also good for you. Few things are “good for you” that are actually fun too. No one gets excited over eating broccoli or brushing their teeth, but everyone can get behind water sports. There are a variety of really fun activities that, while affording needed exercise, are a blast to participate in. You can go snorkeling or scuba diving. Play water polo with the kids or neighbors. Skiing and wakeboarding are exhilarating sports that will get your adrenaline rushing, letting you know that you’re alive. If you are interested in a more laid-back approach at the lake, get out the fishing pole and bring home dinner. Two solo pastimes on the water are kayaking and paddleboarding. A kayak can be an awesome way to spend an afternoon gliding along inches from the water’s surface. Being able to move in inches of water, a paddleboard allows you to explore areas of the lake that you aren’t always able to access.
There are Less Fees to Pay by the Lake
Living near, or on, the lake saves fees you would otherwise incur. There are no marina fees or boat ramp expenses. A person I know who has his boat at a marina and needs to call ahead and give the marina time to get his boat out of the storage dock and into the water. Granted, it is only a few hours notice, but it is nothing like walking out of your back door and down the dock to your boat. You can go whenever you choose, and come and go as often as you would like. Even if you are not directly on the water, you don’t have to haul your boat down a crowded expressway. You are already there!
Your Investment in a Lake House Will Grow in Value
Lake properties hold their value and increase in value better than any other residential real estate that you can buy. Even in hard times, such as we have experienced recently, lake properties hold that value and command top dollar. Throughout the United States, waterfront property is highly prized. With a lakefront home, you build equity each time you make a mortgage payment. That can’t be said of a typical home. If the lake house is your secondary residence, you always have a vacation destination. Anytime you need a break, you have the ideal place as a retreat.
The Beauty of Your Surroundings
If you glance through a magazine while you are sitting in any professional’s office waiting your turn to be tortured, you will run across a picture of nature. Someone will be trying to sell you something, and they will use Mother Nature to draw you in. It might be a backdrop of mountains to sell you a snazzy car. It might be a forest to sell you an air freshener that smells just like pine trees. But it will be your innate connection to the earth and nature that is played upon. The simple truth is that we are all drawn to nature. The lake is one of the loveliest backdrops to nature. The water’s color, the life that lives on, and in the lake and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets each day are nature at its best. The beauty of the lake never gets old; it changes with the seasons but remains a constant connection to our love of nature.
The Cons of Living Near a Lake
Everybody Loves You and Your Lake House
You will have everybody and their brother wanting to come and stay. And you may not want them to. They may be annoying, and they may come with no provisions and treat your lake house like a hotel. Know that this is a possibility beforehand and set guidelines. Establish that there is no open invitation; it is by appointment only. And set up house rules and expectations for the times when you do have company. Remember, there are no victims, only volunteers.
These Creatures Can Take a Bite Out of Your Lake Fun
Yep, mosquitos love water. And the lake is full of water. To combat them, know what their habits are. The little darlings like to rest in tall grass, weeds, and brush. Stagnant water is their cup of tea. But there are some things you can do short of gasoline and a match. Use fans outside of the house, like on the patio or deck. Not the best of pilots in the wind, mosquitos have a hard time getting to you. Use repelling oils like clove, citronella, and eucalyptus to keep them away. You can concoct your own spray with oil and water and spritz inside and out to discourage them. Dragonfly nymphs look at mosquitos like we do at Doritos, so consider adding water plants that have reed for the nymphs to perch on. You can also bring out the big guns and use a biological larvicide. This breaks the reproductive cycle of the mosquito and results in less of the pests. The larvicide only targets insect larvae, so it makes it safe to use around children or pets.
You Will Feel it in Your Pocket. Lake Living Can be Costly
Yes, lake living can be expensive. The real estate investment could be substantial, but only depending on where you buy. If you want to be where everyone else wants to be, you will have to pay for the privilege. If you go a little further out, or deeper into nature, you will be able to find lake property that will not break the budget. However, as you learned earlier, lake property holds its value.
An Expert Opinion
Not wanting you to take my accurate word for it, I consulted an expert on the subject of lake house living. Another niece (I have four) has a second home on a lake in Michigan.
She has been through all the seasons, made all the improvements, stocked all the cupboards, and endured all the company. She was kind enough to provide, in her opinion, the pros and cons of living on a lake. They are as follows:
- Life slows down,
- I spend more time outside at the lake,
- I feel a calmness being on the lake
- Sunsets are beautiful
- In general, lake people are happy.
- The activity on the lake is less/quiet during the week
- The stars! Clear sky lends to star watching
- Kayaking daily with my dogs
- The lake never “closes”—you can swim/boat at any time
- Goose poop on my lawn/dock
- Weekends tend to be busy on the lake (lots of boats, tubers, skiing, etc)
- Dock and Boat maintenance
- Seaweed washing up to my shoreline—clean up
- Trying to keep the swim area free of lily pads
Final Thoughts on Living Near a Lake
Living on a lake is peaceful and renewing. It is worth any inconvenience that you might run across. As it is in life, there is always something; nothing is perfect. But living on a lake can make life seem that way!