What to Know About Lake Keowee Waterfront Homes
Many of us are drawn to lake life because it seems idyllic. Having your coffee out on the deck overlooking a calm lake, spending all day swimming and boating and hiking and otherwise enjoying all the outdoors has to offer, and topping things off with s’mores around a fire pit. Those types of perfect days are the reason people buy Lake Keowee waterfront homes. They’re sucked in by the promise of perfect summer days and nights in their very own lake house. That’s why so many people look into Lake Keowee property for sale.
Unfortunately, we’re here to burst your bubble. While lots of carefree summer days on the lake go off without a hitch, the truth of the matter is, Lake Keowee waterfront homes are not all fun and games. Finding, buying, and maintaining a lake house right on the water is hard work. Things don’t always go according to plan.
But, as long as you have a plan and you know what to watch out for, you can usually avoid the biggest disasters. That’s why we’re here. In this piece, we’re going to take you through all the different aspects of Lake Keowee waterfront homes that can cause trouble. First, we’ll talk a little bit about what you should look for in Lake Keowee property for sale, and then we’ll get into the kinds of upkeep you need to think about when you own the house.
Before buying Lake Keowee waterfront homes, you should…
Get a good inspection.
While this suggestion isn’t unique to Lake Keowee property for sale (you should get every home you’re going to buy inspected), there are some inspection items to specifically watch out for in lake houses.
You want to know exactly what you’re getting into with any Lake Keowee property for sale that you’re interested in. A good inspection is the start of knowing that you’re making a good investment. Since Lake Keowee waterfront homes can have more unique upkeep needs than other properties (and we’ll detail some of them in a later section), it’s important to know that Lake Keowee property for sale has been maintained properly.
Make sure the inspector looks at all the places where lake houses are vulnerable. The extra moisture and water can cause problems with drainage and mold, so be sure to be on the lookout for that. An inspector in the area should know what to look out for, and they should be well equipped to let you know if a house has issues that weren’t initially apparent.
Check your insurance options.
Some waterfront homes need flood insurance. This is definitely something to do some research into when you’re looking at Lake Keowee property for sale. Flood insurance is often separate and governed by its own specific rules, so you’ll need to do some digging to find what you need.
Know all the costs.
Lake Keowee waterfront homes come with all sorts of costs not included in the listing. You’ll want to look into them at any Lake Keowee property for sale that you’re considering. Check into boat dock and lift fees if you’re going to be bringing a boat with you (and if you’re buying waterfront property, you probably will be). You’ll also have all those special maintenance concerns unique to Lake Keowee waterfront homes that we mentioned earlier. That can include septic tank and well upkeep, as two examples. Just know what kinds of costs you’ll incur and budget accordingly.
Another cost you might not think about is the cost of furnishing your lake house with all the things that you normally keep at home. Many people go into it thinking they’ll just cart their stuff back and forth, but that gets old pretty quickly. Of course, this won’t be an issue if you’re planning on living there full time, but still keep the costs of furnishing the house in mind when you’re looking at Lake Keowee property for sale.
Know that the shoreline might move.
Obviously, the lake level will change with the weather and seasons. However, there are also longer term movements in the shoreline of many lakes. Over time, many Lake Keowee waterfront homes might not be so close to the water.
These kinds of changes take a long time, so they’re nothing to fret about right away. It’s still a good idea to check out the historical movement of the shoreline, though, and inquire as to whether the shore will fluctuate away (or maybe even worse, toward) the Lake Keowee property for sale that you’re interested in.
Where the water starts will obviously dictate a lot about what is possible at that property and how valuable it is. So, these facts are important to keep in mind when you’re shopping for Lake Keowee waterfront property.
Buy at the right time.
The time of year you’re looking at Lake Keowee property for sale will dictate a lot of the details. For lake houses, there tends to be more inventory and demand in the spring and a lull in the cooler months. If you know how to work that cycle to your advantage, sometimes you can get a really good deal on Lake Keowee waterfront homes. Some sellers will take their homes off the market in the fall and winter and relist in the spring. So, if you’re looking at Lake Keowee property for sale in the fall and winter, you have reason to suspect that the seller is highly motivated. Since there tends to be less demand for Lake Keowee waterfront homes during that time of year, you can negotiate a better price a lot of the time.
Some people can’t avoid looking at Lake Keowee property for sale in the spring and summer, though, and you shouldn’t despair if that’s the case. You can definitely find the right lake home for you, you just might have to work a little harder for it. An expert can always help you through the process.
Make a plan.
Nobody’s going to tell you to buy a house willy nilly, so maybe this one’s too obvious. But the thing about Lake Keowee waterfront homes is that many people buy them with the intention of using them as second homes. That’s a planning scenario that people might not be as prepared for. As such, it’ll take some extra thought.
Are you planning on renting out your lake house when you’re not there? If so, you’ll need to figure in all the considerations that goes into that when you’re looking at Lake Keowee property for sale. Look into what the rental market in the area is like. That’ll give you a good idea on how much you can charge renters, and if you plan out how often you’ll be there and how often you’ll be away, you can start getting a fairly accurate estimate on how much money you can earn from using your lake house as a vacation rental.
Then, you can do a lot of thinking about whether that extra cash is worth all the hassle of being a landlord. Know that your lake house will see a lot more wear and tear, and that you’ll be putting considerable constraints on your ability to pop down to your lake house for a random weekend. If a renter is there, they probably won’t want you to join their vacation.
On the other hand, though, you might decide to move to the lake full time, and that will have its own set of considerations. Just know what you’re planning on using your lake house for before you buy.
Once you’ve bought the house…
Living so close to the water has all of those perks we described at the start of this piece, and you should keep them in mind if all this starts to sound overwhelming. But all that water can also cause a whole lot of problems if it goes places it shouldn’t.
The drainage situation is something you should look after in Lake Keowee waterfront homes. Many of them use sump pumps or French drain systems to make sure no water gets into their basements when the lake water is high.
Living in Lake Keowee waterfront homes often means having to worry about erosion. This is a major concern not just because it can damage your property, but also because it’s bad for the riparian zone of the lake. That’s a big, fancy word, but it’s really not that difficult to understand. The riparian zone is just the section of the lake where the land meets the water. Even though the definition is simple, the area itself is pretty complex, and it’s vital to the health of the lake’s ecosystems.
The riparian zone is divided into four different areas: submersed, emergent, emergent/shrub, and terrace. The submersed section is the annual low water level and is continually submerged. The emergent area is usually under water, and it’s between the mean water level and the low water level. The emergent/shrub zone is between the mean water level and the high water level, and the terrace area has soil that is usually saturated but is not usually under water.
That’s probably more technical knowledge than you really need if you’re just looking at Lake Keowee waterfront homes, but it’s important to realize just how large and vital the riparian zone is. All different kinds of wildlife call that area home or use it for important functions like spawning, feeding, and nesting. Plus, the riparian zone filters runoff like sediment, fertilizer, herbicides, oil, and grease. That leads to a cleaner, healthier lake.
What all this means is that you might have to take steps to secure your shoreline if you buy waterfront property. If you already live in one of the many Lake Keowee waterfront homes on the shoreline, then you probably already know that Duke Energy has considerable say over the lake because it uses the lake to produce electricity. They’ll need to okay any construction on the lake, which includes erosion solutions like seawalls.
Keep it green.
You want to keep the environment in mind when you’re designing your shoreline solution. Building a seawall or other type of barrier is not the only way to strengthen the riparian zone. Lots of times, you can plant some native plants to prevent erosion. You can find all kinds of resources with recommendations. Do keep in mind, though, that you’ll want to stick with plants native to the area — introducing invasive species is never a good idea.
If you would rather build a wall, keep in mind the environmental impact of that choice. A seawall can allow your lawn to extend to the edge of the water, and if that’s the case, anything you use on it (like pesticides) will end up in the lake. That can be detrimental to the wildlife living there.
Be careful about Lake Keowee waterfront homes, but don’t get scared off.
We’ve thrown a lot of information at you. We’ve looked at the different aspects of Lake Keowee property for sale that you need to look into before you buy, and we’ve detailed some of the things you need to look after once you become a waterfront home owner. The list of things that can go wrong is long: flooding, erosion, and changing shorelines, just to name a few.
With all that doom and gloom in mind, it might be easy to change your mind and resign yourself to never living out your lake dreams. That would be a mistake. Sure, there are plenty of extra concerns with waterfront living, but there are plenty of extra perks, too. Now that you know how to keep your lake house in tip top shape and how to avoid some common problems that those houses face, you’re better equipped to enjoy all the great things that come with lake life.
Those perfect summer days are absolutely possible. Walking out the back door and right down to the water with the whole family, getting out on the lake and partaking in all kinds of fast-paced, exciting water activities, or just winding down with a good book and a comfy chair out on the back deck — whatever you originally wanted out of Lake Keowee property for sale, you can find it. It’ll just take a little extra work.