Lake Livingston: Open Water or Cove?

Generally speaking, with open water, you will get a beautiful, unobstructed view of the lake with either sunrise or sunsets. And, in some cases, both if your home faces north or south. Plus, when storms occasionally come up, they look fantastic coming across the lake.

You may look across at homes but they will be so far away over the lake they will not affect your view or privacy for that matter. And, on the open water you can watch your kids, family & friends swim, jet-ski, fish, run up and down the shoreline of the lake in a boat or whatever else makes them happy from the comfort of your back porch, deck or yard.

Comparable waterfront homes on the open water are always higher priced than those in coves and this can be as much as 50 to $100,000 or more, according to the location. The reason
waterfront lots on open water and the subsequent homes built on them are more expensive than those in coves is because there is much more demand for these properties. And, generally speaking, not enough supply to meet the demand as more people prefer open water than coves. Note, one thing you might keep in mind is that although you pay more for homes or lots on open water going in, you also get more when the times come to sell.

You do get more wave action on the open lake so more wear and tear on your bulkhead. But, not to the extent that it discourages the majority of buyers from wanting to be on the open water. You just get a steel bulkhead (preferred over wood on open water) when the time comes, if you don’t already have one on the property you buy, and move on.

Regarding coves, they come in all shapes & sizes from rather large to very small. There are those that the neighbors across the water are so far away that privacy is not issue at all and coves that are so narrow that you would swear you could reach out and touch them.

Also, there are some man-made canals around Lake Livingston but not many. Those may be grouped in occasionally with coves in advertising … just so you know.

There is an unwritten rule here that applies in almost every cove and that is, no racing up and down in a boat or jet-ski … “no wake” rule. You can do it but will not make your neighbors happy.

In general, the water is calmer in a cove so less wear and tear on your bulkhead.

If water depth is a consideration, it would be best to check that when looking in a cove more so than the open water But, to be safe, check both if a concern. There are some deep water coves, those that may have acceptable navigable water but not “deep” and, according to where the property is located in the cove and how important water depth is to you, a particular property may not have acceptable water depth to meet your criteria.

The further you get back in a cove, the more likely you are to have shallower water. At the very back or beginning of a cove is normally where the water is most shallow. The reason for this is the incoming flow of the waves brings in and deposits silt from the lake.

Also, water from the surrounding land washes soil particles into it which, unlike the rest of cove, have 3 sides of land for soil to wash from, both sides and the end itself. So, it’s best to check before making an offer if water depth is important to you.

With all of that said, if you have no preference of open water versus coves, then you might find a property in a cove that will suit you just fine.