This is becoming a common question people living in towns and cities are asking themselves more and more. The motivations for moving people to ask this question could involve many reasons. For whatever reasons, more people are considering lake living as opposed to city and town living.
Is Living on a Lake Worth It?
Yes, and no. The answer to whether or not living on a lake is worth it is highly subjective. The answer has to consider what a person or family needs for quality of life and what they value as part or all of their lifestyle quality. Is time important to achieve daily goals? What type of entertainment do they hold as the ultimate worthwhile expenditure of time?
Across the U.S., lakes are near cities that offer semi-rural lake living with convenient access to city services, lakes with towns and communities all around their shorelines, and lakes owned by government entities in extremely rural settings where lake homes cannot be built on the water.
Living On City Versus Country Lakes
A few examples of these lakes are Lake Travis in Texas, Clarks Hill (Strom Thurmond) Lake in Georgia and South Carolina, and Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada. These lakes provide easy access to Austin, Texas, Augusta, Georgia, and Reno, Nevada. Prices for lake homes on city lakes tend to sell at much higher price points. However, these lakes offer the best of both worlds.
Usually, mom and pop establishments serve local food fare, and there are a few fast food restaurants, plus you have immediate access to fishing, watersports, outdoor activities like hiking and camping, and nightlife near the lake. You might have to drive a few miles for shopping, services, and fine dining, but that won’t cost too much more precious time, and they usually have school districts serving parts of the lake.
Lakes Surrounded By Towns And Communities
These lakes have lakefront communities, waterfront homes or homes that abut government shorelines, fast food, marina restaurants and bars, small towns within a few miles or 20 minutes away with small grocery stores, some health care options, and few conveniences, mobile mechanic services, and one big town with good restaurants, and most services. Utilities can be unstable, internet access can be limited, and cell phone connection is spotty.
Most people living on these lakes schedule a monthly of semimonthly trip to the big town for supplies, and children have long trips to school on buses to the towns. School activities and teacher meetings are more time consuming than town living. When things need repair, it may require an emergency trip to a service provider miles away, or you may have to wait for a contractor to schedule you for a home repair or construction. Utilities are unstable, internet access is limited, and cell phone connection is spotty.
It is important to remember that unincorporated communities and chartered towns may not have enough of a tax base to support police or fire departments. Depending on your state and county government policies, these emergency service qualities vary in how they operate, but usually sheriffs and volunteer fire departments serve these lake communities. Response time for ambulances and access to health care are limited.
Government Owned Lakes And Lakefront Property
These lakes usually have no waterfront properties, cities or towns are miles, or more than an hour, away, and there are no schools. There may be a marina or several marinas with restaurants and very few fast food places or cafes, and you create your own entertainment, which comprises peaceful living and immediate access to extreme wilderness. Utilities are unstable, internet access is limited, and cell phone connection is spotty.
Again, when things need repair, it may require an emergency trip to a service provider miles away, or you may have to wait for a contractor to schedule you for a home repair or construction. Residents do not have quick access to health care and hospitals. Sheriffs and volunteer fire departments provide emergency services, not city services supported by a tax base.
The Benefits Of Lake Life
If none of the drawbacks of lake life have deterred you so far, and you genuinely love nature, a slower lifestyle, so much less traffic, hardly any entertainment venues at most lakes, and barely any CCTV cameras, there is no better lifestyle. Lake and rural residents have much more freedom and control over their lives.
The absolute best part of lake life is watching the migratory birds flying in and out during their seasons, observing the baby wildlife animals in the springtime, hunting deer and quail or waterfowl during hunting season, swimming, off-road sports, fishing, boating, and maybe hanging out with your neighbors at the local café, marina bar, or popular local beach.
Living at the lake makes it difficult to keep a work schedule, though. Sometimes, and especially if you work for yourself, it is impossible to ignore the wildlife and the beach and go to work. Hunger and the necessity for water and electricity usually take care of those desires and put your brain into “get down to business” mode.
Psychological Benefits Of Living Near Water And Nature
A myriad of psychological research studies show that the impact of “blue” and “green” spaces rewards mental health. In other words, spending time in nature is good for you, and even better for children. Since “The Internet of Things”, people and children are becoming more detached from social interactions, but this detachment is especially affecting children negatively.
A 2020 review of “Blue Care” research studies on the mental and physical health benefits of living around nature by Easkey Britton (explorer, surfer, scientist), et al., concluded about the beneficial effects of Blue Space Interventions (BSIs):
“This is the first systematic review of the literature on therapeutic BSIs and it shows that interventions are diverse in study population, setting and activity. The majority of studies included adults (although not elderly) often with multiple disorders, predominantly psychological. The studies were primarily conducted in developed countries and the emphasis was on active (rather than passive) activities with marine or coastal settings favored.
“Findings suggest how activities in blue space, rather than particular qualities of blue space, might contribute to rehabilitation and health promotion. Many of the interventions resulted in significant positive effects for health, especially psycho-social wellbeing benefits, with relatively few findings for physical health. This review illustrates that blue care has the potential to improve mental health for diverse groups, but more research is required.”
In a 2019 study by Amber L. Pearson, et al., of Michigan State University, on the beneficial effects of BSIs in one of the first studies of its kind in the Great Lakes region:
“We found a protective effect for Great Lakes, whereby living closer to a Great Lake was associated with lower anxiety/mood disorder hospitalizations…We also found that a higher proportion of inland lake area was associated with lower anxiety/mood disorder hospitalizations. Since we also found that larger lakes were associated with lower hospitalizations, it is possible that abundance of blue space may be important to yield benefits as echoed in our finding that proximity to a Great Lake was protective. It is also possible that having multiple, nearby lakes creates a habitat or migration corridor for certain species of birds or other wildlife that also contribute to the aesthetic or restorative dimensions of blue space.”Amber L. Pearson, et al. – Michigan State University
Enough of Science, Lake Living is Awesome!
There will always be advantages and disadvantages to any lifestyle. At Lakehub.com, we are partial towards lake living, no matter how far we have to drive to get our groceries, health care, or supplies, and even though we don’t have the protection of tax-payer based services like paid police and fire departments. Nature is much more soothing than traffic any day of the year, and we do not need science to know what road rage does to human psyches.