Lakefront, Lake View, or Lake Access?
What does it all mean?
looking for a "lake home", you'll come across many different
terms and find they can mean very different things so
different people. the more you know about the options
available prior to actually going out to visit a lake
community, the better. So perhaps a short "primer" will
Lakefront's easy... Let's
The terms lakefront,
waterfront, 'on the lake', and even lakeside, should all mean
one thing: the property's boundary includes a portion of
actual shoreline along a lake, pond, or a river. In other
words, there is no other parcel of property owned by another
person between your property and the water. Some bodies of
water are controlled by entities or communities who provide
an easement for a road, path or just a defined area along the
water for public access to walk or drive along the water.
It is still your property. For simplicity, let's call
these "lakefront" properties. The advantages of
lakefront ownership include, in most cases, the ability to
put your own dock into the water, no homes to block your view
of the water, and proximity to the lake. For these reasons,
there is usually a significant premium on lakefront lots,
since "they aren't building any more lakes".
Lake View or Lakeview?
Even though lakeview comes
up in SpellCheck as being wrong, you'll see both of these
terms used. Also fairly straightforward, they simply mean the
location of your Southwest Michigan
lake home or cottage has a view of the lake from the
house itself. Naturally, you will want to qualify with the
community that the view isn't only available in the Winter
when the leaves are down! Most developers will work with you
on designated lake view lots to trim the existing trees to
improve the sight lines to the water.
Deeded access to a decent
sized body of water is what adds about 30% in value over a
home without it. Therefore, it is important to verify
the property not only has a Summer view of the water, but
actual deeded access to it. This will show up in either
the deed, or in the case of a Planned Unit Development (PUD),
in the bylaw documents. With deeded access, pricing on lake
view lots will also command a premium at purchase, and
resale, though not as much as lakefront lots.
Again, there can be different
uses of this term. One is simply that the property is
located on, or close to, a public path or road to a lake.
Here we need to make sure you clarify with more than the
question and answer, "Can I get the lake from my
property?"... "Oh yes, it's only a 5 minute walk."
While being close may help saleablility, if it isn't specifically "deeded access" and documented to
that effect at sale, it won't add the premium on its
appraised value as a home with deeded access will.
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