Whiteboard Topics: Does “Lake Home” Mean “Lakefront”

Not every lake home is waterfront, but they all have their advantages.  Lake Homes Realty’s CEO, Glenn Phillips, breaks down the differences between types of lake homes.
  1. Sometimes, But Not Always: Not every lake home is on the water. There are many options available including lakefront, lake access, and lake view.
  2. Lakefront: This property is also known as waterfront, and is actually on the water. The home has direct access to the lake.
  3. Lakeview: These homes are some distance away from the lake, but have a beautiful view of it from where they are. For some, the view is the highlight of lake living.
  4. Lake Community: Typically a large community with plenty of amenities including golf courses and clubhouse access. You’ll also be a fair distance from the water but said amenities will more than make up for it.
Whether your home is right on the water, or some ways away, you can still make the most out of your lake living experience. Think about what’s most important to you before you buy your dream lake home!

Lakefront Property: What Are Your Options When Buying at the Lake?

When considering purchasing lake property, many potential buyers assume lakefront is their best option. But for many buyers, there are other options to consider, specifically lake-view and lake-access properties.

Lakefront property, of course, includes shoreline as part of the property, while lakeview property is within sight of the water but doesn’t include shoreline.

Lake-access properties may not have a clear view of the lake, but do have guaranteed access to it, through either a dock or path.

Factors to Consider

How do you know what kind of lake property is best for you?

Most buyers gravitate first toward lakefront because of the convenience and excitement of living right on the water. However, after you factor in location and price, lakefront may not be the best option for you.

First, you need to figure out which is most important to you. Is it living on the waterfront, sticking to your budget or finding the perfect neighborhood?

As you consider these options, you will want to think about how often you will be visiting your lake property and how you envision the time you’ll spend there.



lakeview home in idaho
Photo courtesy of Hendricks Architecture.

If you have your heart set on a particular lake and have a tight budget, lake-view properties could be your best option.

Prices will vary greatly from lake to lake, and each lake will have lakefront properties at a wide range of prices.

Generally, lake-view properties will be considerably less expensive than lakefront lots nearby.

If you are open to considering several  different lakes, you can often find a lake-view property within your budget.

An advantage to buying lake-view or lake-access property is that most can offer buyers the majority of the conveniences enjoyed by lakefront properties, but often at a fraction of the cost.


lakefront house with family

When looking at lakefront property, the biggest advantage is that they are an increasingly scarce resource. After all,  there is only a limited amount of shoreline on each lake.

A lakefront property will appreciate most quickly, especially if the lake in question has historically low inventory of similar properties.

Upkeep is a potential con when considering a lakefront property for purchase. The cost of maintenance from erosion, dock repairs and other weatherproofing expenses can certainly add up to a great deal.

These are costs that you will incur the entire time you own the property, most of them can be avoided with a lake-view or lake-access home.

Activities on the Lake

You should also seriously consider how you plan to use the property and the activities you see yourself spending the majority of your time engaged in.

If you love boating, you will want a house with easy access to a dock, whether your own on your property or a community dock nearby.

If swimming is one of your favorite activities, a waterfront property may be best for you.

You will need to consider the depth of the water surrounding your property, and if the lake is not at full pool year-round, what the variance has been historically.

three boys sitting on raft at lake

Swimming fans should also consider how rocky the bottom is near their shoreline, the amount of boat traffic and safety record for the area you plan to use.

It is important to be mindful of the location you are considering. Some houses sit on main channels, which often have high levels of boat traffic. Others are tucked into quiet coves, more secluded and with less traffic.

If you are someone who loves a busy lake and enjoys having people around, then a main-channel lakefront property could be ideal for you. But if you prefer a secluded spot, you may be interested in a property seated in a cove that could be either lakefront or lake-view.

All in All

Whether your best choice is a lakefront, lake-view, or lake-access property depends on your unique needs and circumstance.

Considering all of your options and knowing which property types are available in your area are important parts of the buying process. Are you ready to start enjoying lake life? Begin your search here!

4 Things You Must Do When Looking at Lakefront Property

looking at lakefront property tipsFinding a home on the lake is an exciting time; so exciting that one may forget to check a few important aspects out before signing the paperwork. This list will help you remember the main focuses on purchasing your new lake home other than what you plan to do once it is purchased.

Do not be blind-sided by the beauty. Make sure you are aware of the requirements and what to expect with the home. Lakefront property is very different from a normal real estate transaction, keep the following in mind:

Number 1: Find an agent that is a waterfront specialist.

Typical agents will not have the knowledge of every aspect of purchasing and owning a waterfront property. They may have enough to complete a sale, but there is more to it than just pointing then signing.

For example, one home may be cheaper due the fact that its lot doesn’t have year round water. It is important to find an agent that knows the ins and outs of your lake. They will ensure that the home you purchase is perfect for your needs.

Number 2: The property is more than just a home.

You must remember that you are not just looking at the home itself, but you need to take a look at the property, the views, and other aspects of living in this specific location.

Often times a rambunctious home buyer will buy a home that they fell in love with only to find that the view is bad, the swimming is actually mucky, and other problems they could have avoided.

Number 3: Choose your home to fit your lifestyle, not build your lifestyle around the home.

The home may be absolutely perfect, but it may not be perfect for you. If you love kayaking on calm waters, a house on a busy main channel is probably not for you.

You will need to think of key aspects of your life that you would like you home to cater too. After all, you are spending good money on it, so make sure that it fits your lifestyle instead of the other way around.

Number 4: Get to know the neighbors.

It is crucial not to be shy. Go ahead and knock on the doors of the neighbors. They have insider information about the area and other aspects of living in the neighborhood.

You do not want to purchase a home only to find out that at night it turns into a loud party area.

No matter what state you are looking for property in, this list applies to them all. Keep your list of personal requirements near by as you look at homes. Do not let your excitement blind from all aspects of the decision making process when it comes time to purchase your home.