So you’ve finally made the decision to purchase a home on a lake. Congratulations! Whether you are planning to build a home or purchase an existing one, there are several things you should consider before moving forward with your lake home plans. First of all, what are your goals in buying a waterfront property? Are you looking for seclusion, a place to unwind from a hectic job in the city? Or do you plan on entertaining family and friends in your new retreat? Are you a fisherman or boater? Do you prefer to spend long, lazy summer afternoons dangling your feet off a pier and dreaming the day away?
All of these activities will make a difference in your ultimate choice of lake home. You will want to carefully consider the lake home or lot itself, and its surrounding area. If you are looking for seclusion, you’ll probably want to find a lake property a bit removed from others. A new development with lots of neighbors is not going to work for you. On the other hand, those desiring a social lifestyle on the lae may find the perfect waterfront property in a new development.
With the current concern about the environment, owners of lake homes are more and more becoming stewards of the water and shoreline. There aren’t anymore natural lakes being made, but there are constantly more and more people who want to live on a lake. This can lead to the destruction of the qualities that draw people to the lake in the first place. But nowadays, many people are choosing not to buy or build in areas where waterfront property has been overdeveloped. Over- development can affect the level of nutrients in lake water and thus the wildlife. It can destroy natural vegetation. And let’s face it, overdevelopment ruins the scenic quality of a lake-one of the very things people buy a lake home for in the first place.
Instead, more and more lake homeowners today are looking for carefully managed and maintained sites and developments. They are aware that even a small structure built on waterfront property can have a huge impact on the health of a lake, and are endeavoring to tread lightly on their part of the earth.
One thing you can do is be aware of structures located near the lake shore, such as boathouses and docks. It’s a good idea to take a look at your potential property from the water, if possible, before buying. Does the boathouse and dock stand out and dominate the lake shore by your property? If so, it’s a safe bet that these structures are affecting the quality of the lake water as well as its scenic aspect. If you’re building a house, keep the size of the boat house as small as possible, and tuck it in a discrete spot where it won’t dominate the landscape. The same is true with a dock, too. Many homeowners today prefer a more rustic look that blends into the look of the lake front property. If you are buying a pre-existing home and everything about it is perfect except for the shoreline structures, these are relatively easy and inexpensive things to change.
A bit of forethought about what you desire in a lake home, and some research will make your search for waterfront property a breeze.