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Five Houses for Those More at Home Living By the Water

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Living on the waterfront, with views of the sparkling water from the bedroom, might be considered luxury enough for some, but for those who like to take to the high seas while the weather is warm there's nothing quite like a private dock. This waterfront home on San Francisco Bay in Belvedere, Calif. had to make concessions on convenience in order to get so close to the water: the home is accessed by a private funicular from street level. But considering the owner could commute to S.F. by boat, this $19.5M four bedroom is a bit more practical than it looks.

? On South Carolina's pricey Kiawah Island, at least one secluded estate had to make an effort to get to deep water. The 15,000-square-foot main house, set on an 11.7-acre peninsula, was separated from open water by hundreds of feet of marsh land, so a long wooden causeway was constructed to give the owner of this $29M estate some additional bragging rights.

? For something a bit more permanent, there's this compound in Woods Hole, Mass., equipped with a stone and concrete pier. If the boat-loving buyer could spare $14M, he or she would be in good seafaring company in this town, home to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Plus, with a spacious main house and two three-bedroom guest cottages, there's plenty of room for jealous friends.

? A bit further north, in York Harbor, Maine, a similar property beckons with a lower price tag. Seabury Farm, set alongside York River, offers quick access to the ocean but with better protection from the elements and 12 acres of space to spread out. The six bedroom house has recently seen its price cut to $3.495M. And that's one magnificent dock.

? Lastly, it would be hard to neglect an estate referred to as The Boat House, even if it is in the middle of Montana. Set on Whitefish Lake in Whitefish, Mont., the two-bedroom vacation home has a garage for the owner's powerboat, which is carted up from the lake on rails. Better yet, the $4.4M asking price includes a 24-foot boat. Talk about turn-key!

· 125 Belvedere Ave [Sotheby's]
· 85 Blue Heron Pond Road [Sotheby's]
· 43 Church Street [LandVest]
· Seabury Farm [LandVest]
· The Boat House [Sotheby's]