Many people dream of retiring to a comfortable, beautiful home situated with a view of one of the most precious parts of Michigan life: water. Whether you dream of a lakefront home or a cabin on a river, you share a dream with many people in our state. Especially when thinking about a dream retirement home or a second home (such as a cabin), it's easy to fall into the trap of over-romanticizing.
1.What's the waterfront mark-up? Many landowners, particularly savvy ones, will purchase waterfront properties as investments. When they have owned it long enough, they will re-divide the parcel into a number of buildable sites and sell those for much more than they paid for it.You can end up investing way more than you can hope to get out of the finished property if you don't make a careful decision.
Possible solution: Talk with your Realtor to decide if a $30,000 parcel that is less than a quarter acre is a sound investment or a money sink.
2. How are the bugs? If you haven't walked the property at dusk during the middle of the summer, you don't really know. Many waterfront properties are plagued by biting insects, such as mosquitoes. With diseases like West Nile and Zika becoming ever more common, avoiding insect bites is a major concern for those whose health is compromised and those with small children.
Possible solution: Ducks and other waterfowl are great at picking off mosquito larva in the bodies of water they frequent. If you or neighbors keep them (or wild ones regularly visit), there should be less of an issue. Additionally, there are a variety of sprays and machines which reduce bug issues.
3. Can you afford insurance? Most homeowner policies have limited floor or water damage coverage. If the property you are looking at is in a flood plane, even the 100-year flood plane, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain affordable flood insurance for the property.
Possible solution: Check FEMA flood plane maps and property hunt based on their recommendations. Ideal waterfront properties have an excellent view while not sitting in the 10, 25, 50, or 100 year floor planes.
4. What traffic can you expect? Even if your home is tucked back on a dirt road and unpaved driveway, deep in the trees surrounding the lake, you may be dealing with Jet Skis or motor boats at all hours of the night and morning, making your waterfront haven a noisy prison.
Possible solution: Talk with your Realtor about noise levels, tranquility, and other factors before making a purchase. Knowing what kind of traffic is permitted on the body of water you're considering can ensure that its the right fit for you and your family!
If you are considering buying a waterfront home or a buildable plot, you need a savvy, hard-working Realtor to ensure you'll be getting what you pay for! Contact the professional team at Pyxis Realty today to discover the joys of waterfront living without the potential drawbacks!