Lakefront Homes vs. Lakeview Homes

We all love a beautiful lake view with a gorgeous sunset!  We sometimes rent a vacation home on the lake.  But, what if we could actually live on the lake all year long?  What are the pros and cons of living on the lake?  What are the costs of lakefront homes vs. lakeview homes?  Would you prefer a modern home or log cabin?  These are all things to consider when you start looking for homes on the lake.

Different Types of Lake Homes

Lakefront Homes – These homes can offer the best lake views, direct access to the water, possibly a private boat dock and more.  These properties almost always carry the highest prices.  However, the lots don’t typically extend to the water because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manage the shoreline and will control the land between your lot and the lake. 

Lakeview Homes – These properties will have a lake view – some better than others.  I’ve gone to many properties where it should have been listed as a ‘lake peek’, or a ‘winter view’.  The listing agent will determine how it’s listed on the MLS data sheet.  Usually, you have to view the homes with your Realtor to make your own determination on the amount of water you can see.   Lakeside communities or subdivisions sometimes offer boat dock space (at additional cost) or a launching ramp that homeowners can use. 

Considerations When Buying a Lakefront Home

When you are considering a lake home, be sure to ask the right questions about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rules and Regulations:

  • If there is a boat dock, does the permit transfer over? What is the cost?
  • What maintenance has been performed on the dock?
  • Is the water deep enough for your boat? Does it have a lift?
  • Will the dock be usable if and when they lower the water level?
  • Where is the boundary line for the Corps of Engineers property?
  • What size trees can be cut down?
  • What personal use is permitted on the Corps property?

Keep in mind that the Corps property is considered for public use!  This means that someone could walk their dog, jog or fish on the shoreline.  This could reduce your privacy level a great deal. 

They usually allow you to keep the grass mowed, but you cannot build a permanent structure on that land.  It seems that in more and more cases, they want the shoreline to stay in its ‘natural’ state.  This could be an issue if underbrush can’t be cleaned and cleared out.  Ask all the questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers.

Life on the Lake

Life on the Lake!  It’s relaxing and naturally beautiful, but that goes both ways.  It is natural!  This means there is a lot of nature around the water.  I’ve noticed that storms seem to like the waterways, so expect stronger wind and rain! 

Wild animals naturally live around the water.  There’s plenty of underbrush for them to live in and plenty of water to drink.  I live near Branson MO, where there are not one, but three gorgeous lakes.  So, lake living is just one of the many benefits of Living in Branson, but expect to deal with the wild critters.  I’ve been on the lake for about a year, and have seen cougars, coyotes and neighbors say there are bears (but I haven’t seen one).  I didn’t expect to see armadillos and scorpions, but they are here.  Don’t forget the usual pests like raccoons and possums.  They all love living on the lake!  And so do I!  It’s great!