We've probably all had the dream. The dream of looking out of the kitchen window onto the garden and just beyond that the glistening sparkle of the water's edge. In the evening, you'd go for a quick dip in the lake as you watch the sun tie-dye the sky orange and pink pastels. It's a beautiful dream, but it's not always a simple dream to pursue, and you'll want the assistance of a trained real estate professional along the way. To save you from being caught short, here are our top three questions that you should ask yourself before buying a lakefront property in Bergen County.
Why do you want to live in a lakefront property in Bergen County?
There are many reasons to want to live in a lakefront property in Bergen County. For some buyers, it's about the chance to use their boat every single day. For others, it's about the opportunity for lakeside summer fun that includes swimming, taking the kayak out for a spin, or enjoying the exceptional view as you sit around the fire ring in your backyard.
However, not every lake is the same. Some lakes aren't ideal for swimming. With too much algae or plant life below the surface, they can cause swimmer's itch or tickle your legs in an unpleasant manor. Other lakes are too small for larger boats and can only accommodate canoes and kayaks. When you're purchasing a lakefront home, it's important to consider why you want to be close to the water. Your Bergen County real estate professional can ensure that you find a property that has not only your dream house, but your dream lake as well.
Are you willing to do the upkeep?
Although Bergen County is land-locked, lakefront homes in Bergen County aren't exempt from Mother Nature. During instances of exceptional watershed, homeowners may need to take additional measures to prevent basements from flooding and lawns from drowning. Thankfully, it doesn't take a specialist to spot some very basic signs that a potential property is at risk of high waters. Here are some things to watch for:
- Look at the grade surrounding the home.
In a perfect world, the home would be sitting on the highest point of the property, with the ground sloping away from the house. If the slope is going towards the home, water will want to run towards your basement or foundation.
- Check inside.
Once water has touched a surface, it usually shows. Check the home for warped or cracked flooring, water rings on the ceilings or floors and lines across the foundation or basement walls which could indicate previous water damage.
- Use your sense of smell.
If water damage is recent, you may smell a mustiness in the air. If you're concerned, call in a specialist who will be able to perform air quality tests to ensure that the air is pollutant-free.
Do you need to worry about erosion?
Shoreline erosion is an unfortunately common naturally occurring phenomenon that many waterfront properties for sale encounter. The process, often caused by ice, wind, or water is gradual and occurs over decades. There are multiple reasons or causes for this to happen, but they all have the same outcome—the loss of valuable waterfront property.
Thankfully, there are a number of measures that you can employ to prevent it. Planting natural vegetation reduces the amount of runoff into the lake and adds a beautiful touch to your yard. Talk to your neighborhood about limiting the wake from boats and limiting boat traffic in general to decrease how quickly your shore erodes. This will also cut down on noise pollution. Hire a professional land surveyor and pass their notes on to contractors before carrying out any construction. They can create contouring paths that ensure any run-off makes its way to the lake in an "S" shape rather than a more aggressive direct route.
While buying a lakefront property in Bergen County may be more complex than a traditional home purchase, when you're working with the guidance of an experienced real estate professional, you can relax knowing that we'll be there to help you sidestep potential pitfalls. If you're ready to start your search for Bergen County real estate, contact Tarvin REALTORS® to get expert local advice and assistance on your journey to home ownership.