Owning lakefront property is an experience that will change the way you live…it becomes a retreat to escape the hassles of daily living. The wildlife, recreation, and vacation feel of waterfront living will forever be a part of you.
But there are dozens of considerations specific to the lake itself, as well as the lake home, that can make or break your waterfront enjoyment.
After 17 years of selling lakefront properties, we’ve seen our share of buyers’ sabotaging their ability to obtain their dream lake home…here are the top 3 mistakes to avoid:
Not being financially prepared
Here are some quotes we hear everyday from our thousands of lake home buyers:
- “Financing will not be a problem for us…”
- “We are cash buyers”
- “We own our own home outright”
- “How dare you ask me if I’m financially able to buy a home”
Honestly, our lakefront specialty Realtors have zero interest in your finances! We have one goal only…to make sure you don’t miss out on a rare opportunity.
Lake homes are selling as soon as they hit the market…usually within the hour. And if you think its a rare value and a dream find, so will everyone else!
When an offer is submitted on a property, you will need to provide a mortgage pre-approval letter or for a cash buyer; some proof of liquid funds. Your offer will NOT be considered without it. So the seller will move onto the next buyer who was better prepared.
So get pre-approved (even through it “won’t be a problem”), have your cash proof of funds ready, and/or apply for that home-equity line now (it can take weeks to get them approved).
Hassling over a few thousand dollars
It’s human nature right? We need to feel that we negotiated the better deal. We need to feel we got the last word in. We need to tell a great story to our friends and on social media.
But at the end of the day, is that more important than waking up every morning for the rest of your life in your dream lakefront location??
I’ve been in my lake home for 22 years. There has NEVER been a day when I’ve been out on an sunset pontoon cruise, on an early morning paddle-board ride or sharing a favorite frozen drink on the lakeside deck with good friends where I’ve said to myself “I can’t believe I spent that extra $5,000“! In fact, I’d spend 10 times that for the privilege of living in this paradise!
Keep this in mind, for every $10,000 you may pay more for your dream property, that’s just $42 a month on a 30-year mortgage at today’s rates.
Don’t lose your dream lake home just because you are trying to “win”. Sometimes negotiating the best deal means paying a little more. After all, the last laugh is yours as soon as you pour your first frozen drink!
Not using a lakefront specialist
If I had a nickel for every time I said this… “Buying lakefront property is different than any other real estate”. After all, you’re not just buying a home, you’re buying a lake and everything that comes along with it.
It’s why we put hundreds of people through our “Keys to Buying Lakefront Property” Seminar every year. It’s why we developed our “37-item property checklist” of lake property concerns. It’s why we created our 16-page color “Buyer Success Guide”.
A “generalist” Realtor does not have this information, yet it’s critical to your lake life enjoyment. A lake specialty agent lives the lake life themselves. They’re knowledgeable about water quality, aquatic plants, all types of recreation, boating rules & regulations, shoreline conditions, cove vs. main channel, compass orientation, zoning requirements, legal water rights, and so much more!
Remember, the sellers’ agent works for the SELLER…not you. It cost you NOTHING to work with a specialty buyer’s agent. You get all their experience and knowledge for free. So the real question is…”Why wouldn’t you use a lakefront specialist”?
Experience Lakefront Living!
So my best advise is: 1. be ready to act when the right deal comes along, 2. think about the big picture when negotiating and 3. put the right team in your corner. You’ll be living the lakefront lifestyle in no time…Good luck!
Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”