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adsman
10-29-2010, 10:13 PM
I have been looking at lakefront property for a few years as a primary residence....
Wanted to get feedback from anyone that lives on the water as a primary residence and their thoughts on making the leap to invest in premium waterfront property.

I'd love to hear some advice, wisdom, encouragement, cautionary tales, and/or regrets...

Truth be told, I've made an initial offer on a property and am in the middle of offers/couteroffers....

deerfield
10-29-2010, 11:44 PM
Adsman - Primary residence? I think that would be excellent. People I know on the lake where I keep my boat have been there for decades. In some cases they are going on second generations. Have not encountered anyone who regreted it, although am sure there are. I own a lot but no house on it. For now we lease a slip and make day trips to the lake where the boat stays on a lift. Make sure you understand all rules that apply to lake use, home construction, and association membership (if applicable). Also, make sure you know the history of the lake and are comfortable with the lake's water quality. I would go big on home interior space, decks, and garage. I also would keep things simple so not a lot of time is spent on maintenance. I say go for it. - Deerfield

Ian Brantford
10-30-2010, 12:10 AM
Be prepared to be more of a community activist. Sharing the water resource makes everyone more affected by their neighbour's actions than with conventional property ownership.

The most important long-term issue is any threat to your use of the lake, with water quality being at the top of the list. You'll also want to know who's who with local government. For example, anyone who could say yes or no to passing an ordinance against your favourite watersport would be of interest.

adsman
10-30-2010, 12:14 AM
Thanks Deerfield ... To clarify, I am looking at buying a property with a house on it...

Not a mansion... 4bed 2.5 bath ... 3 car garage plus double covered carport....bulkheaded and Boat dock with lift for boat and two jetskis and patio/deck on top of the dock

Oh, and it's on over an acre

VA LSV
10-30-2010, 10:16 AM
Lived on the water for 18 years now and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Raised 2 kids that are both water rats for life.

Be sure you know the local zoning and shoreline regulations.

BensonWdby
10-30-2010, 11:35 AM
Make sure you understand the boating regs on the lake and who controls them. I doubt you would want to live on a lake that is no-wake until noon. Good news is that the water quality is probably the worst it will be right now due to time of year.

If you are not familiar with lake get a terrain map of the bottom to make sure there is enough space for everyone. Get out on it with a boat and get a feel for it.

If you want to get in good with the neighbors - sell the jet skis (to someone not on the lake) - you will become instantly more popular. The only people on the lake that like jet skis are the ones that own them. The money you get from them could go towards paying someone to do the yard maintenance for a few years - giving you more time on the water.... or use the money to buy a pontoon.

Once you move in - introduce yourself to everyone you see on the water.

you da man
10-30-2010, 11:54 AM
ditto on all the comments - two additional thoughts - property taxes- generally these are higher then non-waterfront and occaisionally you'll see special assessments associated with weed control and things of this nature unique to lakefront living. Secondly - be mindful of the septic/sewer issues. this is a big deal in our neck of the woods. most of the lakes don't have access to a sewer system and are therefore have on-site septic systems - most of which are old, failing or undersized -do your due diligence go check with the city/county and see exactly what was permitted vs what you are buying.

Speaking of septic systems, on of my best friend has a new lake house he had built and it was required that his septic system be able to notify him and a septic company via smart phone if it should fail or any other type of emergency. On a side note, his new house is on 2 half acre lots that were both acquired in 1960 by his grandparents for a trade of $800 worth of furniture.

maxpower220
10-30-2010, 05:29 PM
I currently live on a small private lake in a well established neighborhood. I have found that I don't ski as much as I thought due to work schedules and trying to get people to get over. I feel that as a primary residence, the home and the location (vs your work and schools) are much more important. If you have to transit several extra miles each day to work, you are losing that time that you thought you would be skiing.
-Make sure you know the rules of the water BEFORE you buy. Also, make sure you have easy or secure access to your waterway. My lake is private with no community ramp. I have to ask a neighbor to use their ramp that they paid to put in.
-Make sure that you understand the extra costs for living on the water, usually higher taxes. Also make sure that you understand any flooding zones and the insurances that you may need. Also know how many boats are used vs how large your lake is. You don't want to fight for good water on a small lake with several boats.

If nothing else, living on the water has spoiled me by not having a back yard neighbor. The yard, then water, and the house on the other side of the lake is hard to see. It's great. In this economy and home rates, you should be able to get a killer deal. I purchased my retirement home in May as a "short sale" for about 1/2 price. I got 3.75% on the loan, but I think you can find 3.5% right now.

usaski1
10-31-2010, 06:25 PM
I live on a small private lake in Texas. I moved from california just so I could live here. Its pretty awesome. Some things to note is that you will most likley be living out of town. so anything you need is 1/2 hour or more away. I would reccomend living less than an hour from a major city, so you can find employment there. Sometimes you dont realise how many trips you need to make into town. Nothing is convienent on the lake. Garbage disposal need fixing, need to run to home depot? thats an hour and a half most likely. I have not noticaed any special "water" property taxes. Make sure you know what your HOA dues are each month. Also make sure you know what the restrictions are. We have to get everything approved here. Want to wake up and build a fenced in area for your dog? Better get approval first. Just some things to look out for. You will get to know your nieghbors and those relationships will be much more important than your nighbors were on city streets.

saskyrider
10-31-2010, 09:45 PM
While we don't live on the water, our lake and cabin is a 15 minute drive from town, and our cabin is just 2 cabins off the water. The beach is public property but we are friends with the people that live on the beachfront, so it is a win/win for us.. the main issue is docks. The docks that currently get put in are junk, except for one, and i'm negotiating to by into the dock as there are currently 4 people in on it (its real long) the main issues we run into is the septic!! we had an incredible year for rainfall with the lake getting over 35 inches this year! crazy and when it costs 75$ during the week for a pumpout and 125$ on the weekends it quickly ads up... our solution was to get our own tank and pump, and we made an agreement with a local farmer for dumping on his hayland. Other than that i'd love to live there year round!!

Geoff

eseebeck
11-01-2010, 03:25 PM
I've never known what it's like not to live on the water. a brief 4 year hiatus (aka college) took me away for part of the year, but was always on the water for the summer months.

What do you do if you don't live on the water. What do kids do all day long during the summer? we swim, ski, tube, fish ......

Can't imagine anything else. The downside, hmmmmmmm. can't think of anything.

zabooda
11-01-2010, 04:27 PM
I live a 1/2 mile from the water and is one of a dozen places I go to. I was raised with a summer cabin and I was slalom skiing at age 6 but I got tired of going to the same place all the time. The problem here is the Corps of Engineers manages the shoreline and everyone have to remove their docks as it is a hinderence for the salmon smolts. I looked at waterfront in Arkansas for retirement. Those prices are reasonable.

adsman
11-01-2010, 04:51 PM
thanks for the great feedback...

some more details based on your responses:

- the house is very appealing to me because it is 5 mins away from my current house now. I live in a very residential area.... and the house would be 10 mins away from Home Depot / Best Buy / Groceries etc... and a 35min commute to work... on top of that, my kids wouldnt even have to change elementary school and district.

- i am very familiar with the lake.... it has been my primary lake for 2 years

Hutch5
11-01-2010, 05:37 PM
We are on a small lake in NC. We love it and having the boat on a lift is huge plus for me as I have no other garage that it will fit in. Not to mention 1 min and it's in the water. Maybe the only drawback to that is I don't do as much exterior wax/wash as I should because I have had the boat off the lift and on the trailer once in the 18 months we have owned it. Also since I do most of my maintenance with the boat on the lift (exception of prop of course) I have donated quite a few tools to the lake.

Only other consideration that may not be an issue in Texas and since you know the lake would be covered anyway is water levels....haven't seen anyone mention yet perhaps due to locale, but in NC and around Southeast, low water levels due to drought the past few summers have been a significant issue with a few friends of ours unable to use their lake place/boat lift as the water is so low. Good luck....we said when we bought our place that we would have to be prepared to sell when our girls get ready to go to college....man it will be tough if it comes to that...the whole family has loved the place!!

Indyxc
11-02-2010, 06:14 PM
I'm buying my first home, and it's on a medium size lake here in south east Michigan. About a 550 acre lake, 40 mins from Detroit, and about 5 miles from work. I'm excited to keep the boat in the backyard. Always been something I've wanted to do.

viking
11-09-2010, 06:13 PM
I'm buying my first home, and it's on a medium size lake here in south east Michigan. About a 550 acre lake, 40 mins from Detroit, and about 5 miles from work. I'm excited to keep the boat in the backyard. Always been something I've wanted to do.

1st home and on a lake? Talk about a great "starter home" :)
Pics for sure when you get settled!

Indyxc
11-10-2010, 09:33 PM
Yup,

It's one of the upsides living in a very depressed housing market. This home is worth about 150K less than it was a couple year ago, and given that it is an estate sale, I was able to get even more off. Couple that with 4.2% interest rate on it, and I'm thrilled.

I am also proud to say that the purchase of this home is only through my own hard work, and the work ethic instilled by my family. All my money for the downpayment I earned myself! :)

Just need to save until mid winter for a boat downpayment!

DOCDRS
11-10-2010, 11:11 PM
I'm buying my first home, and it's on a medium size lake here in south east Michigan. About a 550 acre lake, 40 mins from Detroit, and about 5 miles from work. I'm excited to keep the boat in the backyard. Always been something I've wanted to do.

can I come ski there with ya?

Indyxc
11-11-2010, 09:21 AM
can I come ski there with ya?

Absolutely! Seeing as I want to buy a Mobius LSV or Launch 21v, bring it on over.

In fact I'll even let you keep it in the water, FREE :o Come drive it anytime you'd like! I'll need the keys though, just in case I need to move it. :)

eseebeck
11-17-2010, 04:47 PM
again I have to add, how could you go wrong being on the water, it is awesome. full time entertainment. all summer long, swim ski tube fish. lest we forget watching everyone else on the water. true entertainment!!! Fall is beautiful changing colors, docks and boats come out, say goodbye to the trunk slammers for the winter. Trunk slammers are those neighbors who show up late friday night or early sat. morning and open and close their trunks 100++ times as your falling asleep or just waking up. Gotta love'em though, some of the best freinds our family has.

then winter, skating, snowmobiling, fishing. we call it the hard water. our back yard is over 300 acres of the stuff. course we share it with 200 or so of our closest friends.

Then..... SPRING !! and it starts all over again.

beats the blacktop jungle hands down. Too bad god didn't make more waterfront property!!

viking
11-17-2010, 06:54 PM
how could you go wrong being on the water, it is awesome. Too bad god didn't make more waterfront property!!

I hear that - especially out west :(
spent my summers on a family lake place on Pelican Lake north of Brainerd, MN. Pretty pitiful out here compared to the "land of 10,000 lakes"

adsman
11-19-2010, 05:09 PM
Soooo.... I bought the house... closing in December... Since this is not a HGTV forum, though I would share the pics that matter... eventually I will be asking for advice on what to do to convert the lift...

http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af164/captainkingwood/riverview.jpg

http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af164/captainkingwood/riverdock.jpg

http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af164/captainkingwood/fromdock.jpg

Ian Brantford
11-19-2010, 05:22 PM
I am now on a slow burn of envy. Congrats!

lsvboombox
11-19-2010, 05:22 PM
sweet property and dock!!!!! where is the house?

I am sure you will like lake life.. It will add some years to your life......

adsman
11-19-2010, 05:35 PM
the property is 1.5 acres... the house is up the path

http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af164/captainkingwood/house.jpg

viking
11-19-2010, 06:26 PM
WOW is all i can say adsman! Love it......I would kill for a place like that. I'm envious to say the least :)

lsvboombox
11-19-2010, 06:44 PM
very nice.....

bzubke1
11-19-2010, 07:31 PM
What lake is that on adsman?

Ian Brantford
11-19-2010, 10:43 PM
What lake is that on adsman?

adsman, that's a trick! Don't post where you are! Well, perhaps if any uninvited guests bring the BBQ supplies, it will be okay.

deerfield
11-19-2010, 11:31 PM
the property is 1.5 acres... the house is up the path

http://i1004.photobucket.com/albums/af164/captainkingwood/house.jpg

Oh, man!!! That's the bee's knees!!!

kaneboats
11-22-2010, 01:04 AM
Moby Dick's blowhole, did you see that? I've got only one thing to say:

ROAD TRIP!!!!!

moombadaze
11-22-2010, 01:30 PM
very nice-congrats

lift should be very easy to convert from the straps to proper support

rdlangston13
11-29-2010, 01:52 AM
thanks for the great feedback...

some more details based on your responses:

- the house is very appealing to me because it is 5 mins away from my current house now. I live in a very residential area.... and the house would be 10 mins away from Home Depot / Best Buy / Groceries etc... and a 35min commute to work... on top of that, my kids wouldnt even have to change elementary school and district.

- i am very familiar with the lake.... it has been my primary lake for 2 years

you go to lake houston?

zegm
11-29-2010, 05:22 PM
Lived on the water for 18 years now and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Raised 2 kids that are both water rats for life.

Be sure you know the local zoning and shoreline regulations.

Have lived on the water now for 8 years and LOVE IT!!! Ok I had to spend some money on a fence to keep my dogs from going to the waters edge. Something about being a favorite food of alligators. But to get up in the morning and to see the Moomba hanging in the lift knowing it will take about 5 minutes to go out into the lake!

adsman
12-01-2010, 03:45 PM
you go to lake houston?

DING DING!

correct... not the greatest lake in the world, but its very convienient...

rdlangston13
12-02-2010, 02:04 AM
i heard that lake was real polluted? how is the water out there? it looks like lake houston is actually the closest lake to where i live but my boat is stored at somerville

adsman
12-02-2010, 11:12 AM
i heard that lake was real polluted? how is the water out there? it looks like lake houston is actually the closest lake to where i live but my boat is stored at somerville

its terrible. fresh water sharks, snakes, gators, 20 to 1 jetski to ski boat ratios on weekdays ... only about 2-3 ft deep with stumps everywhere... constant chop, even at sunrise and sunset

the water is toxic... even though your drinking the water every day... its the city of houston's main water supply...

the lake is definatly not worth anyone finding their way out here.

kaneboats
12-02-2010, 11:30 AM
Do I sense some subterfuge here?

wolfeman131
12-02-2010, 12:53 PM
Wow, adsman, I have the same problems on our lake. I also try and warn people away from it and steer them towards the other lakes in GA. It's for their own good of course.

rdlangston13
12-05-2010, 06:42 PM
its terrible. fresh water sharks, snakes, gators, 20 to 1 jetski to ski boat ratios on weekdays ... only about 2-3 ft deep with stumps everywhere... constant chop, even at sunrise and sunset

the water is toxic... even though your drinking the water every day... its the city of houston's main water supply...

the lake is definatly not worth anyone finding their way out here.

haha, guess i will stick to somerville then. took the LSV to rinkers yesterday to get the tranny and vdrive service done as well as a fresh water flush kit installed.

do you go there? and if so, what is you experience with them like?