Are you considering purchasing a lake home? If you are like many people, purchasing a lake home may represent the realization of a long time dream. After all, if you love lake views and if you enjoy spending time on the water and the beach, nothing could be better than walking out your backdoor to enjoy a beautiful lakefront oasis. Before moving forward with plans to purchase a lake home, however, it is essential to take these five things into consideration in order to be certain owning a lake home is right for you.
#1: Can Your Budget Handle the Purchase?
Sure, owning a home on the lake can be a very enjoyable experience, but it is important to remember that lake homes tend to be far more expensive than those that aren't on the lake. In fact, you can potentially spend tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands more on a home that could be purchased for less if it were not on a lake. Therefore, you need to be certain your budget can handle the extra expense.
#2: Can You Afford the Insurance Coverage?
Getting homeowner's insurance is always a good idea and, if you are taking out a loan on the home, your lender will require you to have an insurance policy in place. Depending upon the exact location of your home and the activity of the lake that it is near, the property may be considered to be in a flood zone. In this case, obtaining insurance may be quite difficult as well as costly.
#3: What Type of Lake Access Do You Receive?
Having a home on the lakefront doesn't necessarily mean you get to access the lake at any time you like. Not only do you need to adhere to HOA guidelines, but there may be certain times of the year when the lake simply isn't accessible. If the water levels fluctuate on a regular basis, for example, you may not be able to enjoy the lake throughout the year. Learning more about the lake as well as the climate around the lake will help you determine if the amount of lake access you enjoy is worth the extra cost of purchasing the home.
#4: What are the Property Restrictions?
HOA guidelines often place restrictions on lakefront properties. For example, you may not be able to add on to the home or you may not be allowed to increase the dock size. Therefore, it is important to read through the restrictions so you can be certain your future plans will not be thwarted after you purchase the home.
#5: What Activities are Allowed on the Lake?
While you may be able to freely access the lake from your home, this doesn't mean you automatically get to do whatever you want on the lake. If you have your heart set on boating, swimming or fishing, for example, you will need to find out if these activities are allowed on the lake as well as any restrictions or guidelines that are in place in regard to these activities.
Jolenta Averill is the owner of the Madison real estate brokerage Lake & City Homes Realty. She specializes in luxury Madison real estate, Madison golf course homes and Madison lakefront property. Jolenta can be reached at (563)BUY-SOLD.
If you're looking to sell or buy, do not hesitate to contact us.
We are prepared to work hard ensuring that your needs are met and that the result is more than you were hoping for. Nothing gives us more pleasure than your success and being with you through major life changes.