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What to Consider when Buying a Lake House

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While Lake Martin’s busiest season is coming to a close, one of the many wonderful things about our Alabama lake is that it’s a great place to have a second home year-round. Our sunrises and sunsets are stunning no matter what time of year it is. Late summers and early springs mean more time for water sports and fishing, and a thriving arts and culture scene means there’s always something to do. The Lake Martin team knows purchasing a lake home is a huge investment, so we thought we’d give you a few things you should consider when buying a lake house.  


Proximity to your full-time residence is an important factor to consider before buying a lake house. 80% of people purchase vacation properties within 80 minutes of their main home. Lake Martin is conveniently located just a short drive from many major cities including Birmingham, Montgomery, Columbus, and Atlanta. While proximity is important for you, the buyer, it’s also important for any future renters as well as future resale value. 


The level of maintenance a home requires, as well as the level of maintenance you’re willing to give, should also play a factor in determining what kind of lake property you should buy.  Those looking for as little maintenance as possible should consider condos as condos often have full-time grounds employees with no yard of their own to maintain. If you see yourself having an expansive lakefront view, think about maintaining your yard from the lake view as well as from the front door. You’ll want both entries to be spectacular!


Rhonda always says, “Location! Location! Location!” In fact, you can read all about what she has to say about locations around Lake Martin here. However, when you think about a location for a lake house, you want to consider not only the two points above but also your location on the lake. Are you looking for big open water or a small quiet cove? Do you want to be near the lake with access to it or directly on the water? These questions will help you determine where you conduct your search. 


One of the things to consider when buying a lake home is to think about potential regulations. Flood plains, for example, might hinder any plans you have for renovating or expanding your footprint. Water regulations might impede your ability to add a dock. Be aware of no-wake zones and other water-specific areas. Whatever you do, don’t worry! A great realtor (like Allison and Rhonda), can help walk you through all of these specifics. 


This is where renting comes in. Are you looking to rent your home to summer vacationers? Do you want to have great resale value? Are you looking to flip a home to make a profit? All of these investment questions are important to consider. In fact, knowing your end game before you even purchase your vacation home is a great first step! 

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