5 Tips For Buying A Vacation Home On The Lake

Buying a vacation home on a lake can be a great investment, but it’s important to do your homework before making the purchase. Here are five quick tips to help you make an informed decision:

1. Location

Research the location carefully. It’s important to choose a location that will:

  • Be attractive to potential renters
  • Offer plenty of recreational opportunities
  • Be close to amenities like restaurants and shopping
  • Have easy access to the water
  • Have a thriving, welcoming community
  • Be clean and well-maintained with good water quality

Additionally, when choosing a lake house, it’s important to consider the climate and weather in the area. A lake house in a location with mild, pleasant weather will likely be more attractive to potential renters and will also provide more opportunities for you to enjoy the property yourself.

2. Size & Type

Consider the size and type of property that will best suit your needs. If you’re planning to use the property yourself, you may want a larger, more luxurious home. But if you’re primarily looking at the property as an investment, a smaller, more modest property may be more practical.

3. Amenities

A lakefront property may come with access to a dock, boat launch, or other water-related amenities. These can add to the value of the property and make it more appealing to potential renters.

  • A dock or boat launch: Access to a dock or boat launch can be a major selling point for a lake house, as it allows renters and owners to easily access the water for activities like boating, fishing, and swimming.
  • Waterfront access: A property with direct waterfront access is highly desirable, as it allows for easy access to the lake and provides stunning views.
  • Beach or swimming area: A property with a private beach or swimming area can be a major attraction for renters, as it provides a convenient and enjoyable place to swim and relax.
  • Boat rentals: If the property is located near a marina or boat rental company, it may be possible to offer boat rentals as an amenity. This can be a major selling point for renters who don’t own their own boat but still want to enjoy water-based activities.
  • Fire pit: A fire pit can provide a fun and relaxing outdoor space for renters to gather and socialize.
  • Outdoor kitchen or grill: An outdoor kitchen or grill can be a great amenity for renters who enjoy cooking and dining outdoors.
  • Hot tub or spa: A hot tub or spa can provide a luxurious and relaxing experience for renters, and can help differentiate your property from others on the market.

Overall, the amenities that are most desirable will depend on the individual preferences of potential renters, so it’s a good idea to research the market and see what amenities are most popular in the area. By offering a range of desirable amenities, you can make your lake house more attractive to potential renters and increase its overall value.

4. Inspection

Before you make an offer on a property, it’s important to have a professional inspector take a look at the home to ensure that it’s in good condition. This will help you identify any potential problems that may need to be addressed, and will give you a better idea of the overall value of the property.

5. Ongoing Expenses

Don’t forget about the ongoing expenses. In addition to the purchase price, you’ll need to consider the ongoing costs of owning a vacation home, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Make sure you have a good understanding of these costs before making a decision to buy.


In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when choosing a lake house, and it’s important to do your research and carefully weigh your options before making a decision. By taking the time to consider the location, size, amenities, and other factors, you can find a lake house that will provide years of enjoyment and potential income.


If Alabama is an option, check out the homes listed on Lewis Smith Lake:

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(all data current as of 12/8/2023)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.