Dan’s Tips on Buying A Lake Property…Lake Home or Lake Cabin
During this economic downturn, I think the most troubling thing I’ve noticed about the real estate market is how some buyers have lost sight of the “true value” of owning a waterfront property. When the first words I hear on the phone are: “I just really want to take someone to the cleaners,” It tells me that something is missing in this prospective buyer’s reasoning behind even looking for a waterfront home or cabin. It is pretty much a red flag for me right from the start, because I know I will probably never really be able to make them happy in their search.
Now don’t get me wrong…even I like to find a good deal on things. But if you are looking at a lake place only as a monetary investment, and you are basing your entire reasoning on how much you might make when it comes time to sell – and how far you can get this elderly seller to bend because you believe you are one of the few buyers with cash out there – you may never really get the true appreciation out of your real estate purchase.
As I stated in my post from last week (Tip #1), there are all kinds of reasons to buy a lake cabin or a lake home. Even though the investment issue does play into each of those scenarios, and any good Realtor representing you should help you understand that potential investment value as well, it should be only one of the many reasons for owning lakeshore property.
Perhaps the best advice I can give is this:
While you are out with your agent viewing multiple lake properties on a variety of lakes, pay close attention to those that have been lived in – or used – for some time. I mean the nostalgic lake cabins that have obviously provided countless family memories over the years…those that are well emblazoned in photos, with creative projects around the premises, or the ones that are filled with somewhat tacky knick-knacks scattered from room to room. These are the true vacation getaways that have been used for all the right reasons, and have been instrumental in building strong bonds with family and friends during their owner’s tenure.
Most of these sellers never purchased these lakefront cabins and summer homes with the idea of getting rich from them…but they did get rich in life experiences along the way. That is something that can never be replaced by money!
Throughout the years, waterfront properties have typically been good places to put your money because of the limited supply and ongoing demand in the types of dreams I have described above. Life can get hollow at times, and people tend to look for ways to make it more meaningful again. Homes and cabins on the water seem to be able to supply some of that missing piece of the puzzle at times. So as an owner of waterfront real estate, you have something that many others don’t – and that makes it more valuable from the start.
Hopefully, if you do decide to join the ranks of the waterfront property owners, you will get just as good of a return on your waterfront real estate investment as those sellers who built decades of memories around them. And I also hope you do well monetarily when it comes time to sell.