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Buying Lake Front House Questions


Buying Lake Front House Questions

Old 08-03-2022, 10:04 PM
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Default Buying Lake Front House Questions

Hi all,

Hopefully I will be retiring in a few years. Thinking about a waterfront lake house to make my residence year round.

A few weeks ago I visited Smith Mountain Lake and Lake Norman. Absolutely loved both!! Still doing research on other lakes in NC, SC, Georgia etc. Trying to find that perfect place to retire, if one even exists!!!

I have never lived on the water before. Anyone that has lived on a lake give me any pros/cons? What would be desirable/undesirable? I'm sure my mind would only be looking at certain things, while other items should be considered.

Looking for something with 1/4-1/2 acre that hopefully i can take care of myself thru my senior years by myself. I don't want the house to be slightly higher than the water level, but don't want to live on a steep property with a hundred steps to get down to the water or around the property either.

Thanks for any insite

Last edited by underpsi68; 08-03-2022 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:33 PM
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I love LKN! Others I'm considering are Lake Murray & Hartwell in SC. Lake Lanier in GA. Right now lakefront property is thru the roof.
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:55 PM
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wait till the market crashes in a few months
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Old 08-04-2022, 01:55 PM
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Besides the normal house buying things you need to check the water depth and bottom. Make sure you don't have to go out a ridiculous distance to have enough water to dock and put in a boat lift. Also check how the water level fluctuates during the different seasons. If the house doesn't come with a good dock...figure that in. Docks can be very pricey. When I bought my lakefront home on Chautauqua Lake, I put on a wet suit and walked the lake bottom in front of the house. That was the spring of 1976...Can't imagine not living on the water.

Good luck

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Old 08-04-2022, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by F-2 Speedy
wait till the market crashes in a few months
Personally I just don't see it... Especially in lake homes. The biggest competition for financing in last 4-5 years is the cash buyer. And like back in the last down turn, sales plummeted but there was few crashes in the "play" market because people had the money and just waited for it to straighten out. It may be different in some areas, but here in the midwest, that is what we went thru. (LOTO)

If we make it to the midterms, and it goes like we think it will, it will STOP Biden's agenda dead and we should be able to ride out the storm without too much headache.

This market is NOTHING like it was back in 2008 when everything was leveraged, speculative financing and renters that bought homes with zero investment into them. Like I said, I don't see it. Hopefully I'm right since we are building homes...

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Old 08-04-2022, 02:06 PM
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I absolutely LOVE SML, but it's pretty rural. A lot of folks that have retired (including some family of mine) have found themselves pretty bored, especially out of lake enjoyment season. And it's not close to anything, including a major airport.

I would look into Lake Murray, Lake Wylie, and Lake Norman for retirement myself. All are in "suburbia" and you are not so isolated.

The taxes in SC are way cheaper than VA and NC as well. BUT, the infrastructure does suck in SC because of such. SC is becoming a major retirement state. As such, the healthcare system is overtaxed as well in many areas.

My stepmother had skin cancer removed from the back of her neck in Arizona, and moved to Greenville, South Carolina a short time later. (Greenville is often referred to as the "Phoenix of the East".)
She had some 'irritations' in her face and jaw, and it took MONTHS to get in to see a doctor. It turns out, by the time she got in to see a Doctor, what was left(over) of the skin cancer had U-turned and went into her salivary glands, and she went downhill quickly.
Moral of that story: Ask ALL the questions that are "not in the brochure" when you come to town. Get to know local residents and what their complaints are about the area.

Also, you need to work with a realtor that knows lake front property, especially around docks, permits, etc. etc. You may end up with a beautiful piece of land and/or home, but you can't put in a dock (or expand something existing) to enjoy it for a multitude of different reasons.

I can suggest a couple realtors for Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, and Lake Murray. Both of them are avid powerboaters. LMK if you want some contact info.

Last edited by Sydwayz; 08-05-2022 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:49 PM
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After living 30+ years on a small inland lake in MI, I would gladly trade for warmer climate.
The in/out every year adds up to a LOT of work and time.
Check into your riparian rights before signing.
Accesses and shared properties can become a big issue.
Like any other property line it can become disputable.
Water access adds another layer.
Get good advice and make sure everything is covered correctly.
Good luck
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:55 PM
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When you narrow down a time of retirement and what state you want to retire in. Get a good local real estate property lawyer.
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Old 08-04-2022, 05:51 PM
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Don't see market dropping in the past yes rates go up prices go down? Not sure in this crazy market if this still applies Do comparisons with other houses or Condos and yes hire lawyer no matter what State good luck!
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Old 08-05-2022, 05:42 AM
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Check out your neighbors also, if they are very close, that could make or break your enjoyment.
Also as stated- look into the dock situation very well. Having your boats at your place is the only way to go.

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