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Lake Chapin Shores family cottages and summer homes

Southwest Michigan
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11115 Lake Shore Drive
Berrien Springs,
Michigan 49103


Lake Chapin Shores homes and lakefront properties

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Lakefront, Lake View, or Lake Access?

What does it all mean?

When 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 be helpful.

Lakefront's easy... Let's start there

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.

Lake Access

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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