By Josh Boyd
For many die-hard outdoorsmen and women, the thought of owning lakefront property is what dreams are made of. Having the ability to rise from bed, and watch as gentle waves wash against the lakeshore carries an indisputable level of appeal. Though many anglers, boaters, and adventurers can identify with these ambitions, a far smaller percentage act on them.
The reasons often cited for this are numerous. However, few are as often voiced as that of a reluctance to spend the money that is required to purchase such property. While few can argue against the fact that lakefront property often comes with an above-average price tag, many times, a piece of paradise can be purchased at a far more affordable price than one might think.
However, there are several factors that one must consider when the prospect of purchasing a lake lot comes to mind. Few individuals know this better than Mary Bess Pedigo of Real Estate Solutions in Scottsville, Kentucky. Pedigo has been in the real estate business for over 30 years and has become known as the “Lake Lady” for her reputation as being one of the premier realtors of lake-based properties in the state of Kentucky.
During her time spent specializing in lakefront real estate, Mary Bess Pedigo has seen many of the obstacles faced by those looking to purchase their own lakeside retreats and offers the following words of wisdom to streamline the process.
Find a Knowledgeable Realtor
Pedigo says that the first item of business that any prospective lake lot owner should tend to, is finding a knowledgeable realtor to guide them through the process. She says that there are a number of considerations that make the purchase of lakefront property different than any other real estate transaction. A working understanding of boundaries, such as that with government-owned lands (red line) and additional easements (yellow line), is crucial.
“You need to find someone who is knowledgeable about the red line and yellow line regulations. If not, you can get in trouble, and buy a lot that you can never build on as you would hope to. Most people are not that familiar with the rules and regulations that are set forth by the Corps of Engineers,” said Pedigo.
“If you are not familiar with lake property, or have not purchased lake property before, you need someone to give you advice and guide you, so that you can, therefore, make an excellent choice,” Pedigo continued.
Find a Starting Point
For most, the biggest obstacle to lake lot ownership is that of the perceived excessive expenditure that such a lot commands. However, like any other type of land, lakefront lots can be found at a wide variety of price points, and your realtor can help you find a lot that fits into your budget.
“I generally begin by referring people to their personal bank where they have a checking or savings account, and have them get a pre-approval letter. That tells them what they can buy, so that they can tell me what price range they are comfortable with,” said Pedigo.
Pedigo also said that in many cases, certain concessions are made by banks in regards to down payments, based upon the particular type of lot that is to be purchased. “If it is in a restricted subdivision, a lot of times, a bank will only require you to pay 10 percent down.”
Finding a Lot That Suits You
After finding a knowledgeable realtor, and specifying a price point at which you feel comfortable, it is time to let your realtor go to work. At this point, the realtor that you have chosen can seek out properties that meet your specifications and assist you in answering any questions that you might have.
“Once a client gets pre-approved, and they tell me the price range that they want to find a property for, I don’t go over that price point. I pull listings that meet your specifications, and once I find a property that interests you, we look at it and I advise you of the pros and cons,” said Pedigo.
Pedigo also says that a realtor that is familiar with lake realty can help you determine whether or not a particular property meets the Army Corps of Engineers’ approval for procurement of a dock slip. A realtor can also advise you on how to proceed regarding the outlining of contingencies within a contract, such as that of a satisfactory perc test, or the inclusion of an updated survey.
Buying Peace of Paradise
In a final piece of advice, Mary Bess Pedigo says that the purchase of a lake lot is sure to be an investment that you will be happy to have made. “It is a whole different aura of living. Every day is relaxing, and opportunities are always available for fishing, swimming, and boating. There is just something special about listening as waves splash up against your boat, and taking in the sun, when spending time at the lake.”