23rd August 2019

Messing about on the river.

Living near water, whether it is a river, lake or the sea, is apparently good for us. Various studies have found many positive benefits; it is relaxing, reduces stress and has a positive impact on mental health. A German study found that even man-made water features such as city fountains, ponds in parks and canals induce similar restorative experiences to water in its more natural form.

Waterfront properties are certainly popular among clients, with a high percentage wanting water nearby in some way, shape or form. You don’t have to be a fisher, or a fan of sailing, for this to be the case. Many people are attracted to the variety of wildlife you find around water, with many waterways protected because they are in Conservation Areas. Water is widely regarded as creating a lovely environment in which to live.

My patch in the south boasts two of the world’s greatest chalk streams; the Itchen and the Test, well-known for their clear water and brown trout. Some clients will not look at a house unless it has running water alongside or is near the sea. Three of my current clients all want water nearby - one of them is a keen angler, the other two are not. This is just as well as houses with fishing rights can be hard to find.

There is very little downside to a river on your doorstep, although possible flooding is the obvious one.. Risk of flooding often dominates the news, with hundreds of homes recently evacuated in Derbyshire when a dam threatened to burst after being damaged during extreme rainfall, for example. Such events are becoming more commonplace so one needs to take a sensible long-term view rather than just look at history. But in general, homes at risk are usually easy to spot although be aware that insurance companies can sometimes be difficult to convince. And anyone with young children needs to bear in mind that water should be secure or securable, so they are not at risk.