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Buying a Home Near a Lake

When buying a house, it is often just as important to look what’s around the house as it is what’s in the house. A good example of this is view and location. A house in the middle of Eastern Idaho’s outskirts could have an identical duplicate in downtown Boise but sell for half the price because of location. Similarly, a house near a lake comes with a beautiful view, a majestic feel, and the prospect of thrills and adventure…and maybe a heftier price. There are pros and cons to buying a home near a lake. Before deciding which way you’re going on the debate, check out the following list of things to consider in order to help you better make your decision.

Go Through the Process Right

If you want to buy a home near a lake, make sure you do it right. Find a knowledgeable agent who knows about lake properties and has a history of working with buyers and sellers for waterfront properties. When you find a real estate agent who knows about these types of properties, they can guide you through each home and tell you the costs and benefits better than someone who knows little about lake properties could.


Do you share this lake with neighbors who are close by? What is the location like, and is it warm where you are living? Consider different aspects of the location before buying a lakefront property, especially through the eyes of potential buyers in the future. If you ever want to sell your lakefront property, later on, you want to make sure that you look into the future and be sure that you are getting a generally desirable deal. If you live in a cold climate and are secluded in the woods near a lone lake, that could be right for you (and you still want that to be your ultimate priority), but maybe that setup would be less desirable for others. Think these things through and consult with an agent about them.


Be sure you’re getting a good deal. This is another reason why a seasoned lakefront real estate agent next to you and helping you along the way would be a good idea. Is this price a good price for a lakefront property? What would the price be if I wanted to sell this home five or ten years from now? Or maybe fifteen or twenty years from now? Consider the price and what the price will look like in the future before splurging.

The Lake

Before going for the lakehouse, check out the lake. It may look beautiful from afar, but you will want to make sure it’s a lake you are able to do things in. If it’s murky and cold all year long, it’s probably not worth the cost to buy the lake house. Even if you do love the lake house itself, if the lake isn’t good, the house probably isn’t worth buying. You want a lake that you can swim in and fish in--not only for you but for future buyers as well. What’s the point of having a house on a lake if you can’t go on the lake? Maybe that’s why the house was for sale in the first place and hasn’t accrued any buyers or offers.

Overall Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to buying a lake house. Some of them include the obvious: having a house with 24/7 access to a lake. You can have midnight swims with friends or go on a small boat ride with a loved one, or by yourself, and you can take in the beauty and majesty firsthand, both on top of the lake itself and from outside your window or in your backyard. Summers will be more fun, and winters will give you a frosty wonderland to look at (if you plan on staying at the house by the lake all year long). If it’s always been a dream of yours to have a house on the lake, then that’s benefit enough.

Overall Drawbacks

With the good comes the bad, so consider the drawbacks before buying a house on/by a lake. A couple of drawbacks include added expenses for living on a lake and having to join an association. These may be things you haven’t even considered, as many people are unaware that when buying a lake house you must join the lake’s association--those who have control over the water. As for added expenses, you will need to think about septic systems, insurance, and property taxes.

What Do You Want?

There is a lot to consider when buying a house near a lake, but above all else, you need to ask yourself what you want. If this is something you want, and if you can afford it and you have consulted with an expert real estate agent and you feel right about it, go for it. Be sure to think it through first, and then do what’s best for you.

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