Blog posts abound if only one takes the time to turn simple questions into useful online information for the masses. Many have known this for some time. I’m just catching up, but catching up I am.
Here was a question I received from a prospective client a few nights ago. I’ll call him Jeff, just for fun:
“So if I tell you that I want lakefront property, ranch-style, for somewhere between $280,000 and $300,000, are you going to tell me I’m crazy?”
Well, Jeff … absolutely not.
My first instinct was finding a home on a lake for less than $300,000 was eminently possible. And that was before jumping into the Arizona Regional MLS and discovering the wide array of options across the Valley – from Garden Lakes and Crystal Gardens in Avondale to Desert Harbor in Peoria to Arrowhead Lakes and Tuscany Pointe in Glendale to my old stomping grounds, Mesa’s Dobson Ranch.
Narrowing the selection can be difficult, particularly electronically. While all of the lakes in the communities mentioned above are man-made, there are lakes and there are lakes. Some are small finger lakes unsuitable for a rubber raft. Others provide some degree of sailing, though the yacht probably will have to remain at Lake Pleasant.
There are fresh-water lakes and lakes filled with recharged, non-potable water. There are some that resemble, well, man-made lakes and others that have a more marshy feel (and this is intentional in Crystal Gardens … reeds are a common feature in the water.)
In discussing the possibilities with my client, other differentiating characteristics were brought to mind:
- Does the property have its own private lake access and/or a dock, or is there a walking trail surrounding the lake and separating home from water? (Garden Lakes, the Dobson Ranch, Desert Harbor and Arrowhead feature lots that reach to the water line. Ventana Lakes and Crystal Gardens are among those with walking paths surrounding the lake.)
- Does the backyard face north or south? If the back half of the house is to the south, the backyard may be a little less functional than if it faces the north as it will be taking the brunt of the summer sun. Not that this isn’t an issue on non-lakefront property, but those wanting life on the lake tend to want to spend more time in their backyard than others.
- What kind of fishing or boating restrictions apply? I’m not touching this one as the rules vary widely from subdivision to subdivision. If you really want to know the particulars for a given area, e-mail me and I’ll pass them along.
One other thing to keep in mind, which ought to be obvious, is you’re paying a premium for life on the water compared to similar landlocked homes in the same development. These premiums could run to six figures or could be less, depending on market conditions and the subdivision you’re in.[ tags]Phoenix real estate, Phoenix lakefront homes[/tags]