It's important for a buyer of Maine lakefront property to understand what gives a lakefront lot its value. Everyone's heard of location, location, location, but what is it about location that gives a lakefront property its value?
Maine lakefront properties are made up of two parts: the building and the lot. While it's true that building costs have been ever-increasing , it pales in comparison to the increase in the value of the lot over the same period.
Here are the top 5 attributes that give a lakefront property's location its value:
#1 Sandy Beach:
More members of your family can enjoy the water with a sandy beach. With a sandy beach, mothers can see their toddlers playing safely at the water's edge and seniors can enter and exit the water easily. Lacking a sandy beach, sandy bottom frontage is the next best thing. Sandy beaches are rare, and that's what makes them so valuable and desirable.
# 2 View:
Having a nice wide water view is very important at all ages. If a property is located on the eastern shore, you not only have sunset views, but also views of the western mountains. There's nothing more satisfying than relaxing on a deck or patio overlooking the water.
#3 Level Lot:
The flatter the lot, the better - it's easier to get to the water and enjoy the surrounding area. Homes that are on steep grades are difficult to navigate. I've seen lakefront homes on steep grades that require one to be half Billy goat to safely get down to the water.
#4 Proximity to the water:
Years ago, homes and camps could be built close to the water. It allows you to watch the kids from the deck or the screened porch and gives you the chance to be closer to wildlife - loons, mergansers and ducks. Closer to the water is better. Since 1990, all new homes must be built at least 100 feet from the water - unless the lot is grandfathered.
If you're coming to your Maine lakefront property from a metropolitan area, nothing quite beats the quiet serenity and privacy of a lakefront home. Having a thick privacy screen of hemlock and pine between properties is very desirable. Sadly, not all lakefront properties offer the privacy you seek. When looking at properties, be sure to check out the lake frontage area, which can express the amount of privacy. It's tough to have much privacy with only 50 feet of frontage. The typical lakefront lot is a half-acre in size with 100 feet of water frontage. 100 feet of frontage starts to give one the privacy one seeks. The more frontage, the more privacy.
This post was contributed by my colleague, Tom Ferent, a.k.a. MrLakefront.