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The Pros and Cons of Suburban and Community Lakes

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Photo courtesy of Tellico Village.

During the pandemic, the number of people buying a lake house has drastically increased. It’s easy to see why. Surrounded by more trees than people, lake homes are the perfect locations for social distancing. However, when looking to buy a lake house, there are several factors to consider.

Of course, there are the obvious deliberations — how much money to spend and which state you want to live in. But one of the most important factors is which type of lake community you’re seeking. 

Some of us want to channel our inner Henry David Thoreau in a remote location, surrounded by undisturbed wilderness, a la Moosehead Lake.

Others of us (likely extroverts) prefer a community of other lake dwellers. This group is seeking a lively, close-knit group of neighbors full of potluck invitations and shopping trips. If this is you, it’s worth looking into buying a home on a community or suburban lake. These lakes are typically smaller and more removed from the hype (nothing like Lake of the Ozarks’ infamous Party Cove) with plenty of charm. If you’re considering suburban lakes in your buying decisions, check out these pros and cons first.

The List of Pros

Photo courtesy of FXVA.com.

The most practical benefit is the cost. Since community and suburban lake homes are primarily located away from the waterfront, they cost a fraction of what a lakefront property would. According to Homelight.com, waterfront homes consistently cost more than those away from the water. In 2017, the difference was $50 more per square foot, which can certainly add up. 

Aside from the savings, buyers are attracted to the neighborhood vibes of suburban lakes. Unlike remotely located lakes, the focus is on the community more so than nature (although nature is undoubtedly an added benefit — for instance, Great Falls Lake, Tennessee, is known for the amazing waterfalls and white water rapids).

In addition to friendly neighbors who live a 30-second walk away, lake communities often have a unique culture that makes the neighborhood special.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (located on Geneva Lake) is renowned as a summer paradise. This lake town is known for shopping, an award-winning magic show, and colorful mansions along its shores. 

Lake Lure, North Carolina, has a similar reputation. Close to Greenville and Spartanburg, this community lake offers a vibrant, lively culture and all the perks of lake living. This dynamic feel is emblematic of suburban lakes more broadly.   

Another benefit is the proximity to amenities such as state parks, shopping centers, and restaurants. These resources and attractions are usually not available in rural lake areas.

Community lakes in the Liberty Park area of Birmingham, Alabama, are close to Vulcan Park, the Summit shopping center, and other attractive features. Similarly, Lake Anne in Virginia is located in Reston’s charming suburban community with an exciting restaurant scene, public parkland, and proximity to Washington D.C.

For those seeking a lakeside retirement community, suburban lakes often come with even more amenities. For instance, residents in communities such as White Bluff Resort, Texas, and Tellico Village, Tennessee, can join clubs, golfing groups, and countless other organizations.

Another feature that is often helpful is for those who want to be near a hospital. For instance, Lake Tansi offers proximity to the high-quality University of Tennessee medical center. 

This List of Cons

Clearly, there are more pros than cons — what can we say? We love lakes! However, depending on how you envision your lake lifestyle, there are some cons to consider.

Although there is a lower cost to living on a community or suburban lake, you are typically sacrificing a waterfront view. As such, there’s a good chance you can’t look at the lake from your back porch or hop on the boat at a moment’s notice. You might also lack a boat dock for this reason, although it’s typically possible to find rental spaces at a nearby marina. 

Additionally, if you’re seeking a more active environment, these lake areas may not be suitable for you. For instance, if you’re someone who wants to roll out of bed, run to the lake, and hop on a jet ski, a smaller lake may not allow for these water sports or easy access to the lake. Ultimately, if living directly on the lake is more important to you than access to surrounding amenities, a suburban or community lake may not be a great match. 

Remember — the search for a lake house is all about figuring out what’s most important to you. For help on this process, reach out to a Lake Homes Realty agent with market expertise on both local and national levels.

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Best Security Cameras for Your Lake House

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Security cameras are one of the most necessary tools for your home. Especially for lake properties, which are typically second homes, it’s even more crucial to make your house less vulnerable to break-ins. Plus, security systems provide a significant advantage to deterring robbers. According to High Security Home, not having a home security system increases your chances of being robbed by 300%. Thankfully, with modern technology, keeping your home safe is easier than ever. Primarily with Wi-Fi access, you can check on your lake house’s safety from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re new to home safety systems or looking to upgrade your technology, check out the best security cameras for your lake house from top brands.

Lorex Technology Wi-Fi Security Cameras

Lorex Home Center.

The newest Wi-Fi security camera from Lorex is perfect for any lake homeowner. With two outdoor cameras and one indoor camera, you can keep a close eye on both curbs of your home — your home front and lakefront. The stand-out feature of this product is the ability to control the cameras with the sound of your voice. Commands like “Lorex, show me all outdoor cameras” and “Lorex, turn on all warning lights on outdoor cameras” utilize the same technology as an Alexa to help you keep tabs on your home from anywhere. In response, sensors can be linked to a nearby Wi-Fi camera to start recording. After the sun has set, color night vision helps provide maximum security.

Piper Home Security Cameras

Piper Security System.

New from Piper, this all-in-one security camera is a simple yet effective way to equip your lake house for maximum protection. It has all the features of the best security cameras, complete with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities to view all parts of the room. You can set this device on one of three different modes: home, security, and vacation. If ever security mode is breached, an intruder deterrent siren will immediately go off. The two-way audio system allows you to use Piper as a video intercom to check in with family or pets. This way, it feels like you never left your home! No matter where you are in the world — whether you’re at your permanent residence or on vacation — you can watch live or recorded videos of your lake home from your phone or tablet.

Blink XT Wireless Security Camera

Photo courtesy of Digital Trends.

Ranked by Security.org as the most affordable outdoor camera (starting at $99.99), the Blink XT is undoubtedly one of the best security cameras out there. New from this Amazon-owned company, this product can run for an impressive two years with only two AA batteries. The simple set up makes this a perfect product if you’re just getting started in home security. Plus, its waterproof capabilities make it ideal for screening your lakefront property. So you can monitor your lake home while you’re away, the Blink XT comes with an easy-to-use app that can work with your Alexa. At a low price, you can have peace of mind about your home’s safety.

Ring Spotlight Cam

Photo courtesy of Ring.com.

Ring’s products consistently rank among the best security cameras for a reason. The wire-free and waterproof features, combined with a simple installation, makes it very attractive to homeowners. The new spotlight cam is specifically known for its integrated spotlight, siren, and motion detection. With instant motion-activated alerts and a high-quality night vision camera, you can quickly determine whether it’s your mom or a total stranger at the door. The ability to hear, see, and speak to anyone on your property from a phone or tablet offers an additional stand-out feature. 

Nest Outdoor Cam

Photo courtesy of Chris Monroe/CNET.

Nest, a product of Google, is another well-known contender among the best security cameras. The Nest Outdoor Cam has every important feature of a high-quality outdoor camera — two-way audio, HD vision, face detection, night vision, and 24-hour recording. If you’re a new lake homeowner, you might be attracted to Nest’s simple installation process, using only a magnet. With push notifications for any activity in your front and backyard, you’ll be able to monitor your home’s safety easily — even if it’s been a month since you’ve made the trek to the lake house.   

Security cameras with remote access provide the best solution for most lake homeowners. These security cameras are worth investing in, especially if you don’t live on the lake full time. Which one is your top pick?

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Whiteboard Topics: 5 Reasons to List Your Lake Home Before Spring

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Are you thinking of selling your home this year? You might think that spring would be the ideal time to sell your home, but we think otherwise. Here are 5 reasons why you should list your lake home before spring. Lake buyers schedule. Lake home buyers have a different schedule. Because lake homes are not […]

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Top Ice-Skating Lakes Around the World

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Whiteboard Topics: 5 Tips to Get Your Dream Home

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Sustainability in Style: A Look at Recycled Furniture Trends

January 4, 2021

If you’re hunting for outdoor furniture for your lake house, you’ve likely noticed phrases like “eco friendly” and “sustainable” appearing in magazines and on retail websites. This is because going green is on the rise. One of the top furniture trends in 2021 is the use of natural and sustainable materials. Many designers have adopted eco-friendly […]

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5 Drink Recipes For New Year’s Eve

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It’s no secret that 2020 has been a rollercoaster. Between a pandemic, a presidential election, and intermittent lockdowns, it’s been stressful, to say the least. Those of us who live on the lake are thankful for our nature-adjacent respites during these times. We’re also looking forward to a bright future in 2021. Before we make our New […]

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