Is your dream to own a home by a lake? A lakefront property can be a great investment. Nothing is better than sitting on your front porch in the mornings and enjoying the breeze rippling across the water. Before you jump into buying that cabin by the lake, however, here are some things to consider.

Learn the Lake’s History

Some lakes flood more than others. Be sure to know the type of lake you are thinking about moving to. Depending on the state where you live, the seller may be required by law to disclose whether the property has been flooded before. If not, see if your insurance agent can look up the history of what claims have been filed on the property you’re thinking about buying.

You can also contact a specialist in lake management to provide a report on how deep the water in the lake is and the best way to restore the shore closest to your property.

Have the House Thoroughly Inspected

A home located next to a lake is exposed to a lot of humidity which can cause problems such as wood rot and mold. Flooding can cause damage to the foundation of a home, so make sure the house is thoroughly inspected before you buy it.

Watch for Hidden Costs

Is the home you’re considering part of a homeowner’s association? There will likely be an annual fee involved. You may also have to pay for renting dock space. Your water and sewer costs may also be more expensive, so investigate these hidden costs before buying.

Look at the Market

Before making a bid on that house, check the real estate market in that area. Look at other properties that are for sale nearby. Are there a lot of homes on the market? If so, it might not be wise to buy a home in that area. There may be a decline in employment in the area with families moving away, meaning you’ll have trouble selling your home later.

Walk the Property

Walk the property to make sure the lake looks healthy. Water that isn’t sufficiently aerated will be murky and give off an awful stench. No fish will be able to live in the water, and the plants won’t thrive, so take a close look at the surrounding property before you buy.

Having a home on the lake can be like living a dream, so long as the lake is in good shape and the market is strong.