Find Your “Happy Place” in a Waterfront Home in Massachusetts

Verani Realty

waterfront homes for sale in massachusettsWhile Massachusetts may not be the first place you think of when dreaming of a locale for a perfect waterfront property, the Bay State is home to all sorts of waterfront homes. Along with its more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, Massachusetts has 192 miles of coastline dotted with quaint fishing villages, summertime hotspots, and beachy locales – many of which are just a short drive from Boston. But if you’re not sure which area is the future location of your “happy place,” this walkthrough of different waterfront areas – housing dreamlike homes for sale in Massachusetts – is a great way to dive in.

Cape Cod and the islands

Cape Cod Bay is where historians believe the Pilgrims settled (and one of the theories for how Massachusetts got its nickname) and as expected, is full of history and New England charm. The area’s strong connection to history and culture and multitude of recreational activities makes the Cape (as it is affectionately known) a popular choice for both tourists and year-round residents. You can scope out the 70 miles of beach along the peninsula, explore tidal flats of Cape Cod Bay, jump in the warmer waters of Buzzard’s Bay and Nantucket Sound, or enjoy waterfront views protected through the Cape Cod National Seashore Act – not to mention the many small, freshwater kettle ponds that dot the landscape.

It’s common to discover 150- to 200-year-old waterfront homes for sale in this region of Massachusetts, featuring sturdy bones, a unique character and probably a story or two. If DIY doesn’t fit into your definition of “happy place,” don’t fret: tear-down purchases are common but require some research into local zoning laws. Cape Cod and the islands (most notably Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket) include well-known communities such as Chatham, Barnstable, Mashpee, Sandwich, Bourne, Falmouth, Woods Hole, Dennis, Wellfleet, Truro, Harwich, Brewster, Oak Bluffs, and Eastham.

Boston suburbs

If you’re moving to Massachusetts and city life makes you happy, Boston and its surrounding waterfront towns offer the best of both worlds. Beantown, a city nickname that commemorates the early settlers’ love of baked beans, has many residential offerings overlooking its upscale North End and Seaport District – perfect for work or play. A short drive north or south, however, opens a wealth of outdoor recreation options and access to a variety of waterfront areas and homes.

Again, history leaves its mark in the region’s seaside towns of Salem and Beverly, to offer cultural and shopping options, and many smaller villages off the beaten path that a real estate expert in the area will be able to navigate for you. Generally, stick within the Interstate 93 belt that runs north and south along the coastline when researching waterfront homes in Massachusetts. If you aren’t set on a seaside property, this area also offers river access and lovely homes on lakes and ponds.

Revere and Quincy

Bordering East Boston, Winthrop, and Chelsea, Revere is home to the oldest public beach in the United States. Revere Beach and its historic district offer affordable options for seasonal and year-round living. Nearby Quincy shares a border with Boston as the city’s immediate suburb and is the site of the country’s first commercial railroad. The area’s shipbuilding and maritime culture are evident in the architecture and developed portion of Revere and Quincy’s shore and island properties.

Both Revere and Quincy are comprised of many small neighborhoods, each with unique aspects and traditions drawn from the diversity of its current residents and original settlers who include the family of John Quincy and Abigail Adams.

Manchester by the Sea and Gloucester

Located on Cape Ann (which locals sometime call Cape Cod’s lesser-known cousin,) Manchester by the Sea is known for its scenic beaches and panoramic vistas. It, as well as nearby Gloucester, trace their heritage to the colonial fishing industry and summer getaways for Boston’s high society. Beaches and small coastal islands are part of the landscape, offering the full scope of recreational activities to residents and vacationers alike. Hotspots include Singing Beach, Coolidge Reservation nature and wildlife area, and busy ports where you can charter a boat or embark on a fishing excursion. Other towns in this area with waterfront homes include Beverly and Essex.

No matter which waterfront property in Massachusetts floats your boat, it’s important to be informed about historic homes and their upkeep and other considerations unique to living near the Atlantic Ocean. Be sure your Massachusetts real estate agent has specialized knowledge of waterfront properties in the state, as well as the land use, weather’s impact on upkeep in contrast to landlocked homes, unique insurance details, building or recreational restrictions, public services, environmental aspects, and what else might be hidden below the surface. Other considerations include rules around boat access and fishing, swimming conditions and privacy.

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