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Step 1: Determining Your Needs

As with any home, the first and most critical part of the decision is determining what your needs and use of the lake will be.  What are your priorities and what appeals to you about waterfront living.

A few questions that you might want to ask yourself are:

What types of activities are you looking forward to on the lake?  All lakes have different privileges.

  1.     Boating and Watersports – You will need an all sports lake.  The ability to access the lake and ease of putting a dock in the water will be important.  Also the river depth and how weeded it is may be things to consider.
  2.     Fishing – You may even consider a no wake or no-motor lake.  For a greater variety of fish the depth of water may be important to you to support cold water fishing.

    Kayaking/Canoeing/Paddleboarding – For these sports you may be attracted to large or small bodies of water.  The depth won’t matter as much as weather you are looking for a small more intimate lake with less traffic, or a large acreage body of water with varied routes.  You may look for more of a serene feel without all of the boat and jetski traffic.  

How often do you plan to be there?

Many small lake properties were not built for year-round use. Some of the smaller original lake homes in the area were built as seasonal homes and are great from mid-spring to mid-fall, but often lack proper insulation, they have probably been upgraded with heat and air conditioning, in some cases, at this point.

What other lifestyle needs do you have?

In addition to the outdoor sports portion it is important to consider how you will live in the home. Many of the lake homes are built very closely together and do not have much of a yard in some cases.  Do you entertain?  Do you need space for a garden?  Does a very steep incline in the yard pose an issue for your children and elderly parents?

Step 2: The Physical Search

The main attraction to waterfront is the age old adage : location, location, location. Waterfront property is limited and holds its value much better than many other options.  Not all waterfront
properties are the same, just as all lakes have different characteristics. 

Some of the things to consider are: 

1  Sandy Beach Front – If you plan on walking out into the water and playing with your kids and family, a sandy beachfront is a huge plus.  Many properties have a mucky frontage and you will never be able to walk into the lake.  These can be improved, but it can be costly.

2  View – An open lake view vs. a canal front home can drastically change the value of a home.  They also may limit your usage.  It is not always easy to enjoy your waterfront on the canal, but if your goal is to dock your boat and get on to the water at a lower price point, the canal is the perfect place for you.

3  Level lot – Consider whether a backyard is important to you.  Many lake homes are on steep lakefront lots that don’t allow for traditional backyard uses.  If you like a high perched view and don’t have to worry about young children tumbling down steep flights of stairs, that type of lot may be very appealing to you.  In most cases the flatter the lot the better, it is better for resale, and it makes access to the water easier for every day purposes. Proximity to water. Since 1990, all waterfront properties in Maine must be built at least 100 feet from the water, but homes that are closer to the water allow you to be closer to wildlife and to keep an eye on your kids from your home.

When you are considering lakefront property it is very important to do your research and call a real estate professional who is a lake specialist.  If you have any questions at all I would be glad to help you find your perfect waterfront home.  

If you have any questions that you would like me to answer for you in the next edition, please email to

Jennifer Lasco


Your Local Real Estate Expert 

Always with the happiest clients on the block.

waterfront home buying tips

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