Buying a lake property does sound like a dream come true to a vast majority of people, but the process of choosing and eventually completing the purchase is often far from enjoyable. It involves a lot of calculations, conducting a serious search for the property that meets all your needs and requirements, multiple decisions, and analyzing the pros and cons of making this decision in the first place. If you still realize that you have made the right choice, here is a comprehensive list of things to consider when buying a lake property. Hopefully, it will not take ages to organize a housewarming party for your waterfront home from the moment you set off on your purchasing mission.
First, define the purpose of your purchase
Purchase-related decisions you make will depend on the reasons for buying the lake property you have in mind. For example, if you want it to be your primary home then you will need to hire top-quality movers like those at mod-movers.com to relocate your belongings as soon as possible, and you will analyze different parameters than when it is meant to be a vacation home or a rental property. However, certain factors are always important regardless of the purpose of your purchase. The lake property should be in the vicinity of a grocery store, a post office, and, ideally, a medical clinic as well. Otherwise, if you choose a remote, secluded location, you might get your privacy and peace, but spending time at your lake property may become stressful at times rather than relaxing and joyful.
Define your budget in the initial stages
Accurately determining the financial means at your disposal before buying a lake property is one of the critical factors in this process. The amount you are willing to spend will further influence the manner in which you prioritize the requirements. Bear in mind that this type of real estate is usually available at a higher price than the land-locked property. Also, know that the commission paid to a real estate agent is generally covered by the seller, but will be added to the asking price. So, perform these calculations before you start and eliminate any doubt whether you can afford this investment.
Hiring a real estate agent is a must
You need an expert in the lakefront property market who can give you some useful advice and introduce you to all the crucial things you need to know when buying a lake property. An expert should help you buy waterfront real estate so that you can get the best value for your money, something that suits your needs and expectations. Also, this professional will provide you with an insight into the traits of the local area, water quality, lot characteristics, flood history, expansion possibilities and many more useful pieces of information you need to consider when making the final decision. Knowing how complex legal matters in a purchase of this kind can be, hiring a respectable real estate agent is surely an additional investment worth making.
Hire a professional to conduct a detailed inspection of the property you are considering
A detailed inspection of a lake property by a team of professionals is a must before buying it. The property that seems perfect on the outside can hide problems with mold and mildew or water intrusion inside. Also, it is important to check the quality of water, inspect elevation certificates, corrosion on your exterior and all those factors that might cause you problems or further expenses later on.
Make sure you find out all about the hidden costs
Hidden costs can harm your budget considerably as soon as they emerge. Experts do not call them hidden without a good reason, because you become aware of them only after the purchase process has come to its end. Here is what you have to focus on:
Buying a lake property on a leased lot
It may happen that the lake and the shoreline that your lake property is situated on are owned by the local municipality, a public utility, or the state or federal government. What this means to your finances is that you will have to pay per month for the lease. Moreover, the lease can last from 20 to 100 years depending on the area you are considering. Understandably, these expenses can be a significant burden on your budget.
High property taxes
Yes, your lake property will be subject to property taxes which can be sky-high if this is your second home. Furthermore, if your plan involves renting your lake home any time soon, bear in mind that then the rent becomes subject to income tax as well. Hence, it is of great importance to study all the local, state, and federal tax rules, or simply ask your real estate agent for an explanation, prior to completing the purchase.
How about insurance?
Considering the exposure to elements and various structures that can be present on your lake property, homeowner’s insurance can be very expensive. Do not forget to consider this factor as well when weighing the pros and cons of buying a particular lake property.
Repairs to HVAC and septic systems
These hidden costs can be avoided easily and completely if you conduct the above-mentioned thorough inspection before the purchase. You can also request that your real estate agent include a Homeowner Warranty as part of the closing costs so that your first year will be covered for certain repairs. Otherwise, you might suffer serious consequences in the form of costly repairs.
Paying utilities at your lake home
Utilities at your vacation lake home can reach a very high price. If you want to avoid these expenses at least during a certain part of the year, “winterizing” your lake home during the winter months is prudent.
Homeowner’s Association dues
These are compulsory and are varying prices. Thus, it is a good idea to gather the necessary information on this topic in advance, either by using relevant sources online or asking the realtor for the details.
If buying a lake property has your unreserved attention and you follow the above-mentioned tips, you will be able to make the right investment, fix up your waterfront home before you move in if necessary and then finally relax and enjoy. While it is true that the whole process may stress you out, do not feel pressured and make the wrong choice or decision. Once the purchase is over, you will get the rightful satisfaction you deserve!