Main Content

4 questions to ask before buying a lake home

Happy couple of kids dream of a home. House concept

You have probably been dreaming of owning a lake home and imagining coming home to picturesque waterfront views and a peaceful vibe. However, before you even begin your search, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Can I afford it?

    Lakefront homes are generally more expensive because their location is highly prized. According to Zillow, the average waterfront single-family home in the US is worth more than double the median value of a normal home.

    To find out if you can afford the premium price these homes command, obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a reliable lender or bank. Based on an assessment of your credit score and income, the lender will let you know how much you can afford to spend on a home. A pre-approval also tells the seller that you have the capacity to pay for the house they have on the market.

    However, you must remember that lakefront homes come with extra or hidden costs. In addition to the property taxes, homeowner’s association fees, and the standard home insurance, you may have to buy additional flood insurance or pay extra to insure your dock and other structures on the property. Think, too, of the upkeep.

  2. What are you going to use it for?

    Are you going to use your lakefront home as a vacation home or as your primary residence?

    Installing updated heating systems may not be as important if you are only going to spend time there during summer, for example. However, you may have to complement the house’s thermostat with the changing seasons if you intend to live there.

    If you intend to use the property as a second home, lenders may ask for as much as a 20% down payment and a higher interest rate. As a rental, the property could be subject to even higher rates. Weigh the additional costs against your projected rental payments and tax deductions.

  3. How do you get there?

    Location and accessibility are key factors that can sway your decision to buy the lakeshore home of your dreams.

    When you visit the house for a viewing, mind the time it takes for you to get there. Check out all possible roads and commutes to and from the place. If the home is in a remote area, you’d want to know if the roads are paved.

    Find out its proximity to commercial areas, schools, or your workplace. You can also ask around the community for the best possible routes to take.

  4. Is it really in good shape?

    Hire a professional home inspector to confirm that the home is up to code.

    They can thoroughly comb through a house for hidden structural or operational defects that the naked eye cannot see.

Make your dream of owning a lakeside home a reality – let Real Estate Broker Ron Young and his experienced team of Realtors at Wedowee Lake & Lands Realty be your trusted guide. They are your trusted real estate partners from the shores of Lake Wedowee, AL. Call them at 1-256-357-9600 or email them at ron(at)lakewedowee(dotted)org.