Once you have decided to seek out the Maine Lake Lifestyle, you will have a few decisions to make. Many people dream of living on a large level lakefront lot, with privacy, but open lake views, and an elegant and spacious home. However, only a few are in the position to pay the hefty price tag that assuredly comes with such a property...and the hefty annual taxes.
This does not mean that Maine lake living is out of reach. With a little planning and decision making upfront, you can find the lake home that fits both your budget and your lifestyle. You can do this by deciding which elements are most important to you. Often this will depend heavily on your intended use of the property. Is this to be a year round home, a vacation retreat just for you and your family, a potential rental property, or a retreat purchased together for use by a group?
Once you have selected a Realtor® to assist you with your search and spoken with a loan officer to find your target price range, you can begin by taking a critical look at the homes available. Don’t be discouraged if you start to feel that you cannot “have it all.” A little bit of time spent sorting through your desires and priorities may reveal the perfect home for you.
photo courtesy of Dana Moos
A few things to consider. Take a moment to think about which is most important to you.
Year round home...or seasonal property? Homes may be listed as “seasonal” for different reasons (lack of a heat source or insulation, lack of a winter water source (some homes simply pump water from the lake for non drinking uses,) or roads that are inaccessible in the winter. Some seasonal homes can be converted to year round, but some cannot. You need to speak directly with the local code enforcement officer to find out.
Sloped or level lot? Many Maine lake homes may have a steep slope down to the water. If the view is your most important desire, this may work well for you. If an easy walk to the water is needed, then a more level lot may work better.
Size and amenities of the home or size and amenities of the waterfront? This is often the largest trade off to be considered. Is the size and and comfort level of the home more important to you, or are you happy to consider a more rustic and modest home in exchange for a large waterfront area?
Waterfront or water access? Many people automatically search only for homes directly on the water not realizing that property taxes will be much higher and the homes much more costly. If boating, swimming, or beach access is your primary goal, a home with deeded access to larger areas of water just a short walk from the home may work well for you.
You can often buy a more spacious and well appointed home just off the water when compared to homes right on the water. These may also lie just outside of shoreland zoning, making any future septic system needs or home expansion plans much easier and less costly. Shoreland zoning extends 250 feet from the water and dictates building codes (including restrictions on expansion) and septic design and construction.
Yes, with a little planning and decision making upfront, you can find the Maine lake home that fits both your budget and your lifestyle.
Check out this featured home with deeded access to Cobbosseecontee Lake beach, boat launch, and dock....or search for your Maine Lake Home here.
Please feel free to call me with any questions or concerns. I’d be happy to help you find your perfect Maine lake home.
The Maine Real Estate Network - Kristen Wheatley - Lewiston-Auburn Maine Real Estate
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Copyright © 2013 by Kristen Wheatley