A lakefront purchase sounds like a great idea… and it is! But as a home buyer and potential homeowner, lakefront properties come with extra considerations, and any prospective buyer should be familiar. Use these helpful tips to make the most out of your lakefront purchase and enjoy the amazing perks that come with a lakefront home.
1. THINK about the LAKE more than the HOUSE. You can buy a house anywhere, right? Buying a lakefront house is a special purchase because of that very reason: it is on a lake! When considering buying lakefront property, think about the factors that make your lakefront buy worthwhile – is the lake easily accessible, or is it difficult or requires a sizable walk to reach the shore or docking area? How is the view of the lake from the house’s main features and rooms, or the property overall? Where will the sun be in morning and evening? What is the water actually like – clear and pristine, or cloudy and difficult to traverse or maneuver a boat in and out? How deep is the water? What is my level of privacy, including public lake-goers, boats, and neighbors? Is my dock or shoreline a personal or community area? Are the activities I enjoy supported by the lakefront lifestyle? Determining what about the lakefront purchase is most important to you can help you make an important decision going forward. As is often said for lakefront properties, the value is in the land – or the lake!
2. What does BUYING on a LAKE mean for the HOUSE? There are plenty of pros to living on a lake, but those pros may come with baggage, such as higher list prices, insurance considerations, and agency regulations. Let’s take these one at a time.
- List Prices: Everyone knows that buying lakefront property means a more expensive purchase price. Aside from the land being naturally valuable, lakefront property is also a scarce resource, leaving few choices for many interested buyers which causes list price to rise even more. Although worthwhile, this kind of pricey residential venture might take more planning for loans and mortgages, so it is best to apply early. This goes for other expenses too – always consider the potential increase in taxes and other bills when upgrading!
- Insurance: Lakefront properties may take more of a beating from the elements than a regular home, and as such need to be readily protected. Florida lakefront homeowners are responsible for a few different insurance policies than a normal homeowner – typically a wind policy, flood policy, and general hazard policy, which may need to come from separate providers. As stated before, an early move on these applications will save a homeowner from trouble and help to ensure a safe lakefront household for years to come.
- Regulations: When considering a specific lakefront property, always find out from any governing agency what can and cannot be done with the property or on the lake itself. A home buyer should take preventative measures before he or she purchases, for instance, a lakefront property intending boat use, but is not allowed to build a personal dock, or the lake does not allow watercraft or fishing. A homeowner’s association will also make apparent what is required for upkeep and maintenance of the house and the lake – useful information for a prospective buyer and future homeowner.
3. CONSIDER the lakefront COMMUNITY. Get out there and get the inside scoop. Talking to neighbors is a great way to find out valuable information on the lakefront community you are interested in as well as the property – what are the best qualities of the community? What are the worst qualities (if any)? What are the people like? If your lakefront purchase is a year-round primary residence, the answers to these crucial questions can really make the difference between a happy move and a not-so-happy one. Your realtor is another great source for insightful knowledge about the Central Florida area you are considering.
Overall, remember that a lakefront property is a limited and beautiful resource. Buying a lakefront home is a great way to marry a passion for the outdoors with your home or family life, and as a lakefront homeowner, YOU are responsible for a little part of the Florida environment. Your awareness of pollution, weed control, and the effects of alterations on native wildlife will protect native habitats and species, prevent erosion, and increase the aesthetic beauty of your lakefront home. For the best results in buying a lakefront property, a great realtor familiar with the area can make a huge difference, and the Mike Rance Team is ready to help!