Planning to buy a lakefront home? Make the most out of your investment by finding the property that matches your lifestyle needs. When looking at lake houses for sale in Alabama, pay close attention to the following:
Is the location right for you?
A lakefront home offers numerous opportunities for recreation. However, if the location is not right, you might not be able to enjoy it as much as you want.
If you’re looking for a primary home, consider proximity and accessibility to places that are important to you, such as your office, grocery stores, and schools for the kids. If you’re interested in a vacation home, choose a property that’s easy to access from your primary residence, so you don’t lose much of your precious holiday time to traveling. In addition, if the property is too far from where you live, you might not be able to visit it as often as you’d like.
What activities are allowed on the lake?
Do you plan to do all kinds of watersports and outdoor activities? On Lake Wedowee, there are few restrictions that can impede your quest for fun. Fishing, boating, swimming, and camping are just some of the popular activities that make the area a top destination for locals and tourists.
However, you may have to watch for a few hazards, such as shallow points and the occasional crocodiles, which could hamper certain activities. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s best to know about the condition of the lake and the surrounding areas before buying a property.
Some properties may be covered by a homeowners’ association, which may restrict some activities within the neighborhood. Before closing a sale, do a thorough review of the HOA’s covenants and restrictions first.
On the other hand, if you prefer a quiet neighborhood, you might want to choose a more secluded, less touristy area, or one where motorized water vehicles are not permitted.
Are there restrictions on building a home or improving a property?
When you buy a lakefront home, don’t assume that you’re free to make any changes to the property, or build a dock or any other structure on the water. Lakefront homes are typically subject to building and zoning regulations to protect the quality of the water and preserve the surrounding areas.
Construction on Lake Wedowee is governed by the guidelines set out by Alabama Power Company, who developed the lake to power its hydroelectric generating plants. The company issues permits related to construction activities on the shoreline, as well as to the maintenance of properties and structures constructed without their permission. Restrictions cover such details as easements, setbacks, size, and others. See this document for detailed information.
HOAs may also impose restrictions and requirements on home construction and renovation within their respective communities. It’s best to go through these first and make sure you’re ready to comply with them.
Is the home in good condition?
Waterfront homes are more vulnerable to the elements than any other property type. This is why a professional home inspection is crucial. Some of the most important details to look into are water damage, mold issues, wood rot, and corrosion. Inspecting the septic tank is also a must. A home with protective measures, such as ripraps, storm shutters, and stainless steel material, is ideal.