It’s the dream of any water skier. Wake up, look out the bedroom window at a shiny sheet of glass, grab a cup of coffee, walk down to your dock, and start running buoys. Yes, the lake life can be a slice of heaven. However, before you shop for your own corner of the water, there are a few things to keep in mind. To get a little insight on owning a piece of the lake life, we spoke to Gordon Hall from LSF Development Corp. He is the man behind several water ski centered communities. He has a few things to think about before you decide.
1. Public or Private? Which type of lake is right for you? If water skiing is the only thing you want to do, private lakes typically offer the best conditions. Do you like a little more variety on the water? Public lakes offer that opportunity, but can also be restrictive. Hall says; “Before you commit to the biggest investment of your life, better make sure the permits for the course and jump on that public lake are solid.”
2. Get Involved Early. If you choose a new development, getting in on the ground floor can have tremendous advantages. It can ensure you get exactly what you want not only in the home itself, but where it’s positioned on the lake. “The view looking right down the center line of the course is awesome,” says Hall, “but what about that loud noise every time they turn around right next to you?”
3. Upkeep. In many cases, lake homes require more maintenance than normal homes. In addition to the home, you need to maintain the dock and the shore line. “There are also spiders and insects you have to deal with,” says Hall.
4. Lay of the Land. Weather is never the same from year to year. One season could be a drought,
the next season, a flood. Make sure you know how your lot is affected by adverse weather
conditions. Will there still be enough water to get your boat to the dock in a dry year? In a wet
year will you live behind a wall of sand bags? Hall says if a lot seems inexpensive for the area, it
could be that it is vulnerable to mother nature.
4. Cost Structure. Waterfront is more expensive, but it’s more than the mortgage.
Home owners associations and higher property taxes are two examples. Hall also poses the
question: “If we need a new ski jump, will I have to pay for 1/6th of it? ½ of it? All of it?” It’s best
to know before you move in.
6. The Next Generation. Think of your kids. Many lake homes don’t have too much to offer when it comes to a back yard. “Better have all the safety fence in place,” says Hall. “Your dream ski place will not be any fun if you are always worrying about little ones or guests falling in,” he adds.
7. Location, Location, Location. Just like all other real estate, lake location is king. “Convenience, commute, schools, people,” says Hall. “Make sure you have the balance with the other things that make up your life,” he adds. A great way to make sure your dream home fits your life is to visit early and often before you buy.