Dreaming of Owning That House by the Lake?

We’re in the thick of lake season, and if you’re just visiting a friend’s lake house but dreaming of owning your own house by the lake, we get it. It certainly feels like an ideal situation. Want to get away from the city? Head to the lake. Want some peaceful scenery? Head to the lake. Want to make some fun family memories? Head to the lake. Want to drink too much and wake up looking like a lobster? Well, those are just bad lake choices.

Whether you’d be choosing to buy a house by the lake for your primary residence, vacation home or rental property, there are some pros and cons to consider. 

Pro #1
Lake Houses are (Usually) an Excellent Investment

While the purchase of a lake home will generally be a bigger investment than a suburban primary residence, or at least your initial investment, the potential for home appreciation is greater.

Even when the real estate market takes a dip, a lakefront home typically holds more of its value.

Con #1
Insurance Costs Can Be Higher

Owning a house by the lake typically costs more to insure because insurance companies consider them to be a higher flood risk. And if your property is in a federal flood zone, you will be required to pay flood insurance. This can be several hundred dollars a month on top of your normal home insurance. 

Pro #2
Endless Amounts of Beauty and Fun

When you think of owning a lake home, you’re probably envisioning the morning sounds of birds singing, a breeze rustling through the leaves and quiet water with some splashing fish as you sip your morning coffee on the deck facing the sunrise. 

You might also envision the afternoon sounds of laughing kids and grandkids as they jump off the dock, the jet skis zooming by your cove, your pontoon starting up while everyone clatters in for a day on the lake. 

The opportunities for fun, adventure, scenery and endless family memories are what await at the lake. This pro alone is enough to tempt anyone to make the investment in a lake house.

Con #2
Maintenance is Never Ending

  • Living on land by the lake can come with its set of challenges. If it’s a sloped area, you’re most likely going to want to xeriscape it so you don’t have to worry about ground upkeep. 
  • The rise and fall of water levels can lead to property degradation, most notably, your dock. 
  • You have to consider wood rot, rusted metal and other materials affected by moisture. 
  • There’s no shortage of pesky insects and snakes to watch out for and spray for.

We could go on, but you get the gist. 

Pro #3
Potential Rental Income

It’s possible to decide to enjoy your lake home during random weekdays and in the fall in order to take advantage of short-term renters ready to pay up each weekend or even full weeks.

Depending on your area of the lake and the condition of your home, we’re seeing average size lake homes in Lake of the Ozarks renting for $225-$450/night. You could quite easily pay for your mortgage and home repairs for six months to a year based on the income you receive from summer rentals. 

And the beauty is, you can decide how long you want to loan your home out for the summer, and when you’re ready to say, we’re done! It’s time for our family to take over.

Con #3
Lack of Modern Conveniences Near Your Lake House

Many lake homes lack quick, close-by modern conveniences like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and liquor stores within a close driving distance. Some of those options can be quicker to get to on the lake in your boat! 

If you’re just planning on spending the majority of your time at the lake during the summer, this may not feel like as big of a con. You’ll most likely pick up all your grocery and toiletry needs on the way to last you a good amount of time. Maybe you’re just doing a once a month run into the nearest town for milk and TP. But if you’re planning on your house by the lake being your primary residence, and you live in a more treacherous driving area, this may be something bigger to consider.

There are even more pros and cons you could add to our list, but the main thing to consider is timing, finances and dreams. If all those line up together, boom, you’re ready to buy that lake house. And if that’s the case, you need to know that the Dani Beyer Real Estate team would love to work with you to fulfill your lakefront dream!

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