How to Buy a Lake House in the Winter

Is snow and ice covering your lakefront dreams? Don’t let that discourage you from buying a lakefront home in one of the best times of the year. But how do you know that the shoreline conditions are? How deep is the water? Are there aquatic weeds? What does the yard look like?

Follow these 3 tips to keep from making a mistake on the lake!

  1. Remember, you’re not just buying a home, you’re buying a lake. So all the details of the lake itself are extremely important for the enjoyment of your new lifestyle. Obtain photos from the seller and/or seller’s agent of the lake conditions (shoreline) during the spring, summer and fall. Trust me, every lakefront homeowner has them. If they refuse to produce any, that’s a red flag. You can see how deep the water is with pictures of people swimming. It will also give you an idea if any aquatic weeds are visible. Some are desirable, some are not…make sure you know the difference. Is there a dock in the photos? Be sure it’s permitted and included with the sale.
  2. Ask the right questions to the right people. First, find out if there is a lake association. If there is, they will be the best people to ask about water quality, level control, aquatic weeds, swimming and boating restrictions, etc. Next, talk to at least 3 neighbors as close to your prospective home as possible. I guarantee one of the three will be a long-time resident who can tell you all about the shoreline conditions as well as boating traffic in that area, local fishing, etc. Of course, it’s also a great way to meet your new neighbors.
  3. Buying lakefront property is different than any other real estate. You are not expected to know everything…but your agent should! Be sure to work with a Buyer’s Agent that specializes in lakefront homes. In fact, there are so many differences, we compiled a 37 point checklist for any lakefront buyer to work with. Remember, the seller’s agent works for the seller, not for you! Anything they tell you about the lake and property, be sure to always use the “show me” rule.

In the end, there’s nothing that beats living the lakefront lifestyle. Good luck with your dream home!

Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”

Leave a Reply