By Charlene Efird

It’s summer.  The dream of owning a lake house, enjoying the lake lifestyle and just plain relaxing is once again very appealing. Whether you are just beginning your search or are nearing a decision, you’ll want to consider several factors when making that important decision.

How you will you use your lake house. Will this be a year-round residence or a 2nd home getaway? Are you considering vacation rentals of your lake house?  Are you interested in a fixer upper or prefer a well maintained, move-in ready home? Do you prefer a larger newer home or a vintage cottage?

Location- Do you prefer a main channel ‘big’ view or quiet cove?  Do you want deeper or shallow water at the house? Typically main channel lake homes with big mountain and lake views are priced higher than ‘cove’ homes.  Do you prefer westerly sunset views or easterly sunrise views?  Is a convenient drive to groceries and restaurants important?

Ease of Lake Access: A lake is bowl-shaped. Thus most lakefront lots are slopping to steep. How important is nearness of the house to the lake?  Stairs, decks, patios, vernaculars can ease that access.

Financing:  If you prefer to finance rather than make a cash purchase, talk to a lender and get pre-approved to know your financing options and how much you want to spend.  Cash Buyers may want to provide a Verification of Funds letter.

Market Value.  Lakefront homes are typically more expensive than off water homes. Market Value is determined by the amount of lake frontage, views, boathouse, docks, ease of lake access as well as the house itself. Consider costs of boathouses, seawalls and docks. Boathouses typically cost $70-$125,000.  Dollar/square foot living space is but one of many factors contributing to market value of the lake houses.

6. How will I know if the property is priced right?

After looking at lake properties, you’ll have a sense of appropriate price. What is the lot worth? How old is the house? What did similar houses sell for? How much would it take to build it new? What improvements have been added? What personal property (dock, lift, furniture, etc.) is included? How long has the home been on the market? Will you need to renovate to the house to suit your family’s style? Consider and compare it to the asking price. Final calculation: What is the property worth to you?

Charlene Efird, Broker, CLHMS, CRS, Lake Lure Professionals Realty Group/Keller Williams, 2975 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure., 828-625-2552.