The purchase of a lakefront house is often discussed by families searching for a vacation or weekend getaway home or for those looking ahead to their retirement years. Lakefront homes are rarer in quantity than comparable homes in a suburban setting, a factor that can make them much more expensive to purchase.
In addition to the higher initial cost to purchase, lakefront homes can also create other challenges that prospective buyers will need to consider before making a purchase offer. If you are currently looking for a lakefront property or planning to do so soon, here are three important questions you should ask about each property before adding them to your short list of possible purchases.
Are there concerns about fluctuating lake levels or water quality that would impact your ownership experience?
Before considering any lakefront home, you must first consider the lake, including what it was constructed for and how it is managed for water quality and lake levels. For example, if the lake is part of a flood-control project, you will want to see historical information that shows how often the lake levels fluctuate, how large the fluctuation, and how that fluctuation might affect any home you may be considering.
It is also important to get a good understanding of the water quality in the lake and how water quality is monitored and maintained. As part of this question, you should request information about how residential septic needs are managed and seek to obtain the results of several years of water quality testing records.
Is the property governed by an association?
If the lakefront home you are considering is part of a development, you will want to learn as much as possible about governing HOAs or other associations because of their potential to impact your ownership experience. It is usually best to choose your lakefront home in a development governed by an association that can be proven to be financially solvent and well-managed to help protect the value of the property and enhance your ownership experience.
Will the allowed uses of the lake fit your needs?
Prospective purchasers of lakefront property should also remember to ask about the ways in which property owners are allowed to use the lake to ensure that the allowed uses will fit their needs and desires. For example, you may want to ask whether you can install a dock or boathouse, whether you can fish, swim, or ski and whether motorized vessels are allowed before making your decision.
To ensure that your search for a lakefront property is as productive as possible, prospective buyers should always work closely with a reputable real estate agent who offers proven experience in the listing and sale of lakefront homes.
For more information about lakefront property for sale, contact a local real estate agent.