When the average person daydreams about a waterfront home, they picture a large house with an abundance of windows. In reality, however, the house itself is the least important part of buying a waterfront home. Sure, you want a nice home that meets your needs, but houses can be changed. The are many other deciding factors that can't be changed and are much more important in your decision-making process.
1. Type of Lake: Depending on what state you live in, lakes can be public or private. Michigan, for example, has a mix of both public and private lakes. Private lakes do not have a public boat launch and are used only by the people that live on them. This helps reduce traffic on the lake, particularly on holiday weekends.
2. Size of Lake: Comparing lakes in Arizona to lakes in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is probably unfair, but you do want to buy on the largest lake you can afford. Not only does it increase your enjoyment, but it can possibly help when you decide to sell the home in the future.
3. Usage Type: Throughout most of the United States, lakes are either all-sports lakes or no wake lakes. All-sports lakes allow the use of larger boats and motors for tubing and waterskiing, while no wake lakes restrict engine size. Typically, no wake lakes are limited to human-powered vessels, like kayaks and canoes, as well as small fishing boats.
4. Frontage: Lake lots are notoriously small. While size does matter, the amount of frontage on the lake side of the lot is the most important factor. In some communities, lake lots are valued by how many frontage feet the lot has on the water.
5. Slope of Lot: While you can't change the topography of the lake you are interested in, you can aim for a lot that has a gentle slope to the water. Lots that are high above the lake with a long walk down multiple flights of stairs to get to the beachfront are less desirable.
6. Invasive Species: Many inland lakes are under siege from invasive aquatic species. Animals, plants, and other aquatic diseases were brought to the United States on barges from overseas and worked their way into the lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway and other ports where they have no known predators. They can wreak havoc on both fish and plant life.
Buying a lakeview or lakefront home is much more than just the house. Consider how you plan on using the lake before making your decision.
For information about waterfront homes for sale in your area, contact a real estate agent.