Common Hurdles to Owning a Lake Home and How to Overcome Them

by Beau Peters

Owning a lake home is a dream for many people. Whether you’re considering it as a second home/vacation house, or you want to move there permanently, there is nothing more relaxing than waking up each morning to look out at the water.

There are many benefits to owning a lakehouse. It’s a good investment, it’s private, and it always feels like you’re on vacation.

But, there are some hurdles that you may have to overcome. Being as informed as possible can help you to understand what you might be facing throughout your ownership, so you can be better prepared.

Let’s take a look at some of those common hurdles to owning a lake home and how you can work through them to enjoy your home for everything it’s worth.

Getting a Loan to Buy a Lake Home
One of the stereotypes surrounding lake homes is that they’re quite expensive. Unfortunately, that’s a stereotype that is often true for a reason. No matter the size or features of a house on the lake, it’s the location of the property itself that tends to raise the price.

A house that has an unobstructed view of the water can range anywhere from $500,000-$1 million more than a house in the same spot with no view of the lake. Since most people can’t afford that kind of home out of their own pockets, a loan is often necessary.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy. A home loan is a big investment, and you may be denied after your initial application. If so, it’s important to understand some of the possible reasons your application wasn’t accepted. Some of the most common include:

Low income
Low/no credit
Job change
Unexplained deposits

Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting your application approved. Build up your credit score as much as possible, for starters. That requires paying off debts and paying your bills on time.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure you’re financially secure enough to afford a lake home. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Remember, the home itself costs more than just the listing price. Maybe you can afford to buy it, but is there work that needs to be done? Will you want to make any upgrades like a breakfast nook, or a new fireplace?

If you do feel as though you can afford a lakefront property, make sure you have your finances in order and a high credit score before applying for a loan.

Remote Living

Many people want a lake house because it feels relaxing, quiet, and remote. You probably won’t have to worry about noisy neighbors or feeling “cramped” next to a bunch of other houses. But, remote living has its disadvantages, as well.

First, because you’re not in the center of a community or city, you might have to get creative when it comes to basic things like buying food, supplies or even receiving medical care. Thankfully, technology can be your best friend when you’re living remotely. You can order food online from a local store if you plan on making a trip into town. You can have supplies delivered to your home. You can even partake in telehealth sessions with your doctor if you need to check-in, or if anyone gets sick or injured. It’s becoming a more popular practice than ever in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of it, as needed.

While you may not be able to walk next door and ask your neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar, living remotely can be relaxing. Weigh out the pros and cons of that kind of solitude before you make a final decision. It isn’t for everyone.

That’s why some people choose not to live in their lake homes full-time. Instead, they are often used as vacation homes or getaways. If you choose to go that route, don’t assume that its remote location means it’s safe. It’s important to protect your lake home whenever you’re away. You can do that by:

Installing motion sensor lights
Installing outdoor cameras
Keeping valuable items hidden from windows
Getting an alarm system

Whether you stay in your lake home full-time or only for vacation purposes, you can choose how to respond to the remote location, and make the most of the solitude.

Wear, Tear, and Repairs

One of the reasons lake houses are so popular is because of the views they provide. There are typically very few things blocking the actual house’s view of the water. That’s the point, right? While that design makes for a beautiful backdrop, it also can contribute to a lot of natural wear and tear on the home.

Because of the water and limited protection from trees and shrubs, there isn’t much to keep lake homes safe from the elements.

As a result, you might find yourself needing to make repairs to your home more often than you originally expected. Additionally, the insurance rates of lake homes tend to be much higher than traditional homes because of these risks, including flood insurance.

Before you buy lakefront property, it’s a good idea to have a home inspector check everything out and alert you to any issues you might expect, or any damage that is already starting to occur.

None of these hurdles are meant to keep you from buying the lake home of your dreams. Lake houses are popular for a reason, and they’re great places to live and/or play! As long as you educate yourself on some of these potential issues ahead of time, you should have no problem finding a lake home that works for you, your budget, and your lifestyle.

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