Purchasing a lakefront home is a dream for many people looking to live a truly unique lifestyle. But it’s important to remember that you are not just buying a home, you are buying a lake.
The specific features of any lake are critical to understand so you can make the most of your desired lifestyle. So how do you chose the right lake for you? Just remember the acronym W.A.T.E.R.:
- W – Water Quality
- A – Aquatic Vegitation
- T – Total Acres
- E – Environmental and Lake Management
- R – Recreation
Water quality is typically monitored by the town, state or lake association. Be sure you understand how and when the lake water is tested and where you can find the reports. The most important questions to ask is “How am I notified if there is a problem with the lake water”. Lakes become more desirable if you see an active history of monitoring, minimal problems and a documented plan of the notification process.
Native aquatic plants are important in the ecological balance of lakes because they provide oxygen, food, habitat, shelter and contribute to the diversity of the aquatic environment. In contrast, non-native invasive species can impede recreational activities, lower property values, decrease aesthetic values, stunt fish growth and displace wildlife. Be sure to understand the status of invasive plants in the lake and what the management plan is around them.
The size of the lake will have a direct impact on your desired lifestyle. Smaller, non-power boating lakes are quiet and serene, great for viewing wildlife, early morning kayak rides and taking in the scenery. Larger lakes provide unlimited recreational activities, restaurants, and social events. You can argue strengths and weaknesses of both, but there is always one that will suit your lifestyle requirement perfectly.
Environmental and Lake Management
First, check to see if there is an active lake association that you can (and should) join. Lake associations proactively manage a number of lake related issues that are critical for you to understand…such as: lake level control, boating safety, social events, water quality, weed control, watershed management, and use of buffer zones. The active management of this issues will have a direct impact on the enjoyment of your lake.
What type of recreation is allowed / not allowed on the lake? Are there safety rules and regulations and how are they monitored? Are there governing bodies that exist and/or that are allowed to come on the lake? To find out how busy the lake can get, speak to some long-time neighbors…they always have great input on the lake activity.
Take the time to chose the right lake for you. Match your wants and needs to the perfect lake and you will enjoy the lakefront lifestyle for years to come!
Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”