How to Detect the Hidden Costs of Buying a Lake House

It is easy to get wooed by the beauty of a quiet home on the water, to the point that you forget to ask all of those important questions of the realtor. What may look like a hidden gem, may have hidden costs like flood insurance, high sewer rates, and a shoreline that isn’t what you thought it would be. You have to do your research regardless of where you are purchasing in the nation. Here are some clues on how to look for those hidden costs.

What is the Water Access Like?

Walk the property but not as if you are looking at it for the first time. Picture yourself there after a few months. What are the land neighbors like? Do you like the sounds and scents you are seeing? Do you have the kind of access to the water that you want and need?

Determine if there are going to be any hidden costs to water access. You may need to build additional fencing or do landscaping to access the water the way you are dreaming of.

Check the Tax Commitment 

There are different tax commitments to every new home, and also to every lake house. Some Lake Austin homes for sale for example will now be exempt from city taxes after a new bill allowing some property owners to secede from the city. This will make these lake houses for sale in Texas tax-exempt.

There are a number of laws such as this for lake homes across the nation. Discuss the fine print with your realtor in full so that you know precisely what your tax advantages and tax commitments are.

Know Your Insurance Requirements

Call your insurance company for quotes the second you start looking at lake houses for sale. Many lake homes will have a higher risk of flood or weather damage simply because they are on the water. States with high risks of hurricanes and earthquakes will also bear a higher insurance cost.

Your homeowner’s insurance is likely to be higher. Get your quotes before you sign the dotted line.

Additional Hidden Costs

Among additional hidden costs, you might see are sewer rates, lift fees, dock fees, water rates, or landscaping costs you weren’t expecting. Know what the weather might be like between the date of sale and the date of closing. You might walk into your new home that is an actual absolute disaster zone due to weather or water trauma.

Make a list of every potential hidden cost and ask your realtor.

Schedule a Viewing

An important part of every new home sale is the viewing. You will know the good feelings when they come, and when it’s not the best deal. You can still have that ah-hah moment in a home with hidden costs. You are just better served if you know what they are ahead of time. Schedule a viewing with these questions in hand the next time you want to view a lake house.