<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-W42H854" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe>
📈 Earn 20% More Revenue Per Listing With Hostaway Dynamic Pricing👉Earn 20% More Revenue Per Listing With Hostaway Dynamic Pricing
Learn More >

Guide to Buying a Lakeside Property for Vacation Rentals

Guide to Buying a Lakeside Property for Vacation Rentals

Owning a lakeside property is a dream for many, offering a serene and idyllic lifestyle surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. There is something undeniably captivating about owning a lakeside property. Imagine waking up to the soothing sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

Owning a lakeside property can be a rewarding experience, whether you're looking for a year-round home, an investment, or a vacation rental. The allure of pristine waters, breathtaking views, and the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life make it a dream for many.

Nevertheless, purchasing a lakeside property can be a significant investment that must be carefully considered. To assist you in making an informed decision and finding the perfect lakeside retreat, we will guide you through the essential factors to keep in mind in this comprehensive guide.

Is Buying a Lakeside Property a Good Investment?

There are several factors and individual circumstances determine whether a lakeside property will make a good investment. Although lakeside properties can offer numerous advantages and potential financial benefits, it is important to scrutinize the following factors.

Assess the Location and Demand

Property located near a lake with a high demand and limited supply tends to appreciate in value over time. The location of the lakeside property plays a crucial role in its investment potential. Investment opportunities may be greater for lakeside properties near popular tourist destinations, recreational activities, or growing economies.

Gauge the Rental Income

In addition to providing a peaceful retreat or access to water-based activities, lakeside properties can offer a desirable lifestyle. You can also generate additional income and offset expenses by renting out the property as a vacation rental if you aren't using it year-round.

Pay attention to Changing market conditions

Research the local real estate market trends, historical property values, and forecasts to gauge the market's stability and potential growth.

Consider Maintenance and Expenses

When evaluating the total cost of ownership, keep in mind the cost of property maintenance, insurance, property taxes, utilities, and any association fees associated with owning a lakeside property - all beyond the initial purchase price. Proper budgeting and financial planning are crucial to ensure that investment remains financially sustainable.

Consider Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, including erosion, flooding, and water quality issues, can affect a lakeside property. By consulting with experts and conducting thorough due diligence, you can mitigate these and any potential risks that could affect the property's long-term value.

Long-Term Appreciation

While past performance does not indicate future results, lakeside properties in desirable locations tend to appreciate over time. However, it's important to note that real estate markets can fluctuate, and there are no appreciation guarantees.

Private Use

Additionally, investing in a lakeside property can benefit private use during holiday getaways and provide personal enjoyment and potential financial benefits.

Ultimately, whether buying a lakeside property is a good investment depends on the individual goals, financial circumstances, and the specific property in question. To make an informed decision aligned with your investment objectives and personal aspirations, you must conduct thorough research, seek professional advice, and carefully evaluate all aspects.

What you need to know before buying a lakefront property

Location, Location, Location!

If you are considering purchasing a lakeside property, one of the most critical aspects you should consider is its location. First, decide which region or state you want to live and invest in, taking climate, accessibility, and amenities into account. Check the local regulations, zoning laws, and environmental restrictions that may affect the property — whether you are buying for year-round living, vacationing, or investing. In addition, you should examine the lake itself, including its size, water quality, and potential recreational activities.

Property Assessment

The lakeside property you intend to purchase should be thoroughly evaluated before you finalize the deal. Examine the property's elevation to ensure it is safe from flooding risks. Consider factors such as the lot's size, the shoreline's condition, and the topography. Ensure you have access to essential utilities like water, electricity, and sewage. Aside from assessing the building code compliance and the condition of existing structures, such as the house, dock, and boathouse, examining any existing structures is a good idea.

Financial Considerations

The purchase price of a lakeside property is not the only financial consideration. Find out if there are any additional fees or membership fees associated with living near a lake, such as homeowner's association fees or lake maintenance fees. Ensure your investment aligns with your long-term financial goals by assessing your budget, expected revenue and costs. Consider consulting analytical software like AirDNA, and a qualified financial advisor.

Lifestyle and Amenities

Consider the lifestyle you envision providing with your lakeside property. Would your guests prefer a tranquil retreat or an active waterfront community? Find out what amenities matter most , such as hiking trails, fishing spots, golf courses, and marinas. In addition, check out nearby services such as medical facilities, grocery stores, and entertainment options. Also, consider your travel preferences and the distance from your home.

Environmental Factors

Investigate the property's environmental factors, including any restrictions or regulations imposed to maintain the ecosystem's integrity, and to preserve the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings. Inquire about ongoing conservation efforts and understand the impact of human activities on the lake. Obtain a comprehensive understanding of the lake's sustainability and its potential impact on your property by consulting environmental experts or local organizations.

Engage Professionals

When venturing into purchasing a lakeside property, seeking professional assistance is crucial. Engage a reliable real estate agent with experience in lakefront properties. As well as having local knowledge, they can guide you through the buying process and negotiate on your behalf. If you have any questions or concerns about the property, hire an inspector specializing in waterfront properties. It may also be necessary to obtain legal counsel if any legal complexities or contracts need to be reviewed.

Take a tour and discover

There is nothing like visiting the lakeside property in person. Plan multiple visits throughout the year to experience the changing landscape and weather conditions. Get to know your neighbors, spend time in the community, and know the local culture. Check out the recreational activities available on or near the lake to see if they match your expectations. This will give you valuable insight to guide your decision-making process.


With a lakeside property, you can provide a tranquil and rejuvenating lifestyle. It is possible to make an informed decision if you consider factors such as location, property assessment, financial considerations, amenities, and environmental impact and seek professional assistance.

Trust your instincts, do thorough research, and take your time. With careful guidance and diligent efforts, you can discover the ideal lakeside retreat that fulfills your aspirations and leaves you with cherished memories that will endure for years.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!