How to buy a lake house
There are so many considerations when buying a lake home, we'll try to cover the basics starting from the 'Big Picture' down to lake lot specifics. Choosing a professional realtor from this site will help guide you in the right direction.
First consider what you want in a lake home and the lake itself. Are you raising a family and require recreation or looking for a retirement home with lake scenery as the primary objective. Look at the size of the lake and what kind of boating is popular. Smaller lakes limit the size of boats and motors and large lakes may allow Scarab and other 'go fast boats.' If you sail, consider the size of the lake, prevailing winds, and see if bridges or other obstacles with prevent your boat from exploring the entire lake. If there are fishermen in the family investigate the type of fish found in the lake. Contact local bait and tackle shops and maybe hire a guide to see if the fishing is to your satisfaction.
Next consider what part of the country you want to live in. Will you be near family? Want to be by major metropolitain areas and hospitals? Are there empolyment oppotunities near by? Look at the weather and climate. Consider a nothern lake if your family ice skates, move south if you like to be warm year round.
You can use our Lake Information resources to look in each state and identify the lakes you might consider. Each listing has lake features and businesses and recreation on or near the lake.
It goes without saying the size of lake house you choose will be based on the size of yourfamily and whether or not you expect lots of visitors. Look at the house orientation and decide if you want morning or afternoon sun and where the sun will set on the lake.
Some lake side neighborhoods have restrictions about parking boat trailers, recreational vehicles, pets and so on. Make sure to ask your realtor about any covenants and restrictions.
Look at the slope of the lake lot you are considering. If the lot is steep to the water you can assume the water will get deep quick. If you have a relatively flat lot, generally the water will be shallow. Water depth is important for boating, swiming and about all activities. Take time to examine the water dept around the property you are considering. If you are looking at property in a lake channel, look at the depth of water in the channel so your boating friends can make it to your dock.
Big open water views often command a matching price but consider 'big water' will attract more boats and more waves on your dock. Smaller channels and coves may not offer the view but will generally be more quite and the water will be still. If you have kids that will swim off of your dock, look at water clarity and how busy (waves) it will be on weekends and holidays.
If you have questions or want to contribute information about your local lake or real estate use the 'Contact Us" button. We look forward to hearing from you.