Main Content

Buying a Lake Home? Factor in These 5 Hidden Costs

If you are considering purchasing one of the waterfront homes for sale in Alabama, make sure you budget for these five hidden costs. They are often overlooked by potential buyers and can be an unfortunate way to bust your budget shortly after moving into your new lake home.

#1. Bulkhead Repairs

If your new home is separated from the water by a bulkhead, make sure that you have this bulkhead inspected before moving into your new home. If you think you will need to repair or replace the bulkhead, make sure that you factor these costs into your home buying budget.

#2. Flood Insurance

When buying a waterfront property, you might be anticipating higher homeowners insurance premiums due to the higher property costs. Do not overlook the additional cost of flood insurance. If your home is at or near the water level, you will want to make sure you are protected in case of heavy runoff or unseasonably high rainfall.

Your real estate agent can often recommend a good insurance agent that specializes in waterfront properties. Making sure you have adequate coverage without going overboard can help you protect your investment.

#3. Maintaining a Septic Tank

While some lake homes will be serviced by city utilities, others may be farther from the main grid. Many of the more remote lake houses are serviced by a septic tank. Make sure you find out ahead of time if your new home has a septic tank and if so, when was the last time it was replaced. An older septic tank can mean an expensive repair bill is in your future.

#4. Decks and Docks

If your home’s previous owners built a deck or a dock, you will need to make sure of two things. The first is that all applicable permits were applied for and granted. Finding out that your home’s conveniently located dock will need to be torn down and replaced can be a major headache and an expensive project. You will also need to have an inspector double-check that all the boards and joints of your add ons are in good condition. Knowing ahead of time that part of your deck is rotting and will need to be replaced can help you plan for the expense.

#5. HOA Requirements

Many waterfront communities have a homeowners association that will dictate what you can and cannot do to your lake house. Make sure that you budget for HOA dues and get approval from the board before undertaking any exterior modifications on your lake house.

To learn more about an available lakefront property in Alabama, contact our team. We look forward to helping you choose a vacation home on one of Alabama’s lakes.