Table Of Contents
- The allure of lake life
- How real estate agents find the perfect lake home
- How to find a good real estate agent
- Questions to ask when buying waterfront properties
- Steps to buying Pickwick Lake homes for sale
- The specialized services of Crye-Leike Pickwick Real Estate
- The time to buy your lake home is now
Waterfront and lakefront living may be experiencing a boom at the moment but, truthfully, it never went out of style. And with good reason. After all, living by a lake is nothing short of idyllic, with waterfront and lakefront properties affording homeowners amazing views, while allowing them to spend more time outdoors.
One lake that is fast drawing prospective buyers to its shores is Pickwick Lake in Tennessee.
The 43,100-acre reservoir was created by Pickwick Landing Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s. Pickwick Lake is known for pristine waters teeming with record-size smallmouth bass, black bass, sunfish, and catfish. This makes the lake a popular destination for anglers and fishermen raring to land their next Great Catch.
In addition to fishing and boating, Pickwick Lake – which stretches from Pickwick Landing Dam in Tennessee’s Hardin County to Wilson Dam in the state of Alabama – is also a prime location for water sports, such as water skiing and tubing, with many marinas and other lakefront establishments offering jet skis for rent.
That’s not all. Pickwick Lake also boasts 496 miles of shoreline, giving campers and picnickers ample room to spend an active or leisurely time in the great outdoors.
The allure of lake life
The allure of lake life can be so enthralling, lake houses that are listed at the right price are snapped up within 24 hours of being uploaded.
Before making major investments in a waterfront home, however, potential homebuyers must take strategic steps in order to land the lake home of their dreams. This is where the importance of getting a knowledgeable real estate agent comes in.
Buying a home – especially a waterfront one – can be complicated, especially for first-timers. Not only do you have to factor in market prices and filter listings in your search for the perfect home, you also have to deal with the finicky details of the process such as taxes, house inspections, contracts, and other paperwork.
With plenty of moving parts, buying a house requires the help of a professional real estate agent, who will walk you through the process and guide you every step of the way.
How real estate agents find the perfect lake home
Here are more reasons a real estate agent can help in your search for the perfect waterfront home:
- Real estate agents know the ins and outs of local neighborhoods
Aside from the price and condition of the area’s listings, one other thing that a buyer should look into before sealing the deal on a house is the kind of neighborhood that the property is in. If you have kids, you’ll need to know about the schools that are under the area’s school district. If you’re looking to burnish your career or seek out viable job opportunities, you’ll want to live in a place with promising employment prospects. A real estate agent can offer valuable insight as well as keep you abreast of home values and development plans within the community you’re considering.
A real estate agent can also help you weigh your options, if you’re torn between two properties, for example. Or aid you in arriving at an informed decision about the best offer to make on a lake home. In short, a real estate agent will make your real estate journey a lot easier.
- Real estate agents know how the market works
While buyers looking for homes usually already have a solid idea of the type of properties they want, they may still find the sheer number of listings and the wide range of prices overwhelming.
Real estate agents can help buyers avoid the stress of all of that because they will help you sort through the confusion. They will provide the data that will allow you to make a confident home buying decision.
- Real estate agents have a wide professional network
Problems are an unavoidable part of the house-hunting journey; sometimes, a perfect-looking waterfront house might harbor some structural damage, or an errant seller might have neglected to clear the property titles. It is during these times that you’ll be glad you hired a real estate agent.
They can tap into their network of allied professionals in the real estate industry to provide you with related services, seek out additional information, and generally find the most viable recourse to keep the transaction moving along. Their network includes contractors, home repair professionals, carpenters, landscapers, plumbers, inspectors, real estate lawyers, mortgage professionals, and fellow agents.
- Real estate agents are masters at negotiation
Found a waterfront home you like with a price tag you feel could still be negotiated? It’s time you asked a real estate agent to discuss terms on your behalf.
Real estate agents and Realtors are experts and masters at negotiation, and are thus able to get you the best possible price when it comes to buying properties. Agents will also let you know about the pros and cons of your offer or the counteroffer of a seller.
- Real estate agents can help you with the paperwork
One of the things that people don’t really talk about is the fact that buying homes and other real estate involves a lot of paperwork, as well as complex processes and tight deadlines.
Real estate agents can help buyers, especially first-timers, deal with the entire process, and ensure that everything goes smoothly and that nothing important is missed.
In addition, real estate agents also ensure that your interests remain protected during your real estate journey, from negotiations to closing.
How to find a good real estate agent
Finding a good real estate agent isn’t as easy as looking up “good real estate agents” on Google. It takes diligence to shortlist those who are competent and experienced, in addition to being above reproach when it comes to integrity and ethics. The latter is especially important, as the agent you employ will represent you during the entire process.
Furthermore, while it may seem tempting to go with the first agent you meet or interview, experts recommend accomplishing requirements from your end first. These include:
- Getting yourself preapproved for a mortgage – which will determine how much you can spend on a house
- Creating a list of must-have and nice-to-have features on the lake home you want to buy
Having your prerequisites done tells the agent you’re a serious buyer in need of a seriously competent agent.
Here are tips on how you can get a real estate agent that’s perfect for your needs:
- Ask friends and family if they have real estate agents they can recommend
It may come as a surprise to some, but according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a large number of sellers and buyers get their agent simply by casting a wide net in their personal networks, i.e., through word-of-mouth. This is important because unlike online testimonials, personal referrals can give you a behind-the-scenes look at how an agent works.
- Attend open houses
With the imminent return of open houses, you can join a few house tours to see real estate agents in action. These events will give you a glimpse of how agents treat prospective clients. You can also use this chance to ask questions and establish rapport with the agents you meet. Schedule a meeting with the individuals you feel especially impressed by or are comfortable with.
- Ask bank loan officers, mortgage brokers, and other real estate professionals for possible referrals
No one knows the ins and outs of the real estate market better than those who work with real estate professionals and brokers. So, ask them. Most will be happy to refer you to their associates, especially if you’re looking for specific properties, such as lakeside and other waterfront homes.
Questions to ask when buying waterfront properties
If buying a regular home can be laborious, setting your sights on a waterfront property brings the process to another level.
There are many more factors to consider when buying waterfront properties – from aesthetic concerns like the view, to practical matters such as water access, insurance requirements, restrictions on boats and other water vehicles like jet skis, permits to fish on the lake, and so on.
With that in mind, here are other things you have to consider before you take that plunge and buy a waterfront property:
- What is the body of water like?
More often than not, people buy lakefront properties without doing enough research on the water itself.
According to real estate professionals, buyers have to be fully aware about the body of water that’s a key selling point of the property. This includes knowing the water’s depth and possible changes in its levels, its swimmability, and its clarity.
- Does the property fit for your lifestyle?
Waterfront properties such as Pickwick Lake homes for sale are always pricier than homes inland. You will also have little to no control over the environment your new property is in.
What this means is that you and your family must choose a location that best fits your lifestyle preferences so that you can truly make the most out of your new waterfront property.
For instance, if you are a fan of long walks along the shoreline, you should choose a property that doesn’t have overly rugged terrain. Similarly, if you’re a fan of boating, you have to make sure that the lake is large and deep enough to accommodate your watercraft of choice.
- Are there any wildlife on the property?
Getting a waterfront property like Pickwick Lake homes for sale will bring you in close proximity with nature. This means that it is likely that you will end up sharing your space with some wildlife.
In order to avoid any potential problems in the future, prospective lake house owners are advised to find out all they can about the local wildlife – as well as the necessary steps you can take to protect your property.
- Is there access to high-speed internet and other services?
While most lakeside and waterfront properties such as Pickwick Lake homes for sale are equipped with basics like electricity and potable water, find out about the availability of services like cable, high-speed internet, and the strength of the cell phone signal in the area.
Learn, too, about the lake home’s proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, health facilities, and the nearest towns.
- What can you build in the area?
Part and parcel of owning a waterfront property is the prospect of adding structures like piers, boathouses, or docks along the shoreline fronting your home.
Be aware, though, that regulations set up by the local municipality, county, and even the state, will limit the type of structures you can build, or the improvements you can make on your new property.
- Are you going to be responsible for maintaining the property’s bulkheads?
Waterfront properties are often protected by structures called bulkheads, which are stone barrier walls that separate the properties from the water.
In some areas, homeowners are tasked with maintaining or repairing these structures, which means that prospective buyers will need to factor in the expense of hiring a certified bulkhead specialist to inspect the property.
- What kind of insurance will you need?
Waterfront homes and properties are more prone to flooding, erosion, and other natural disasters, which makes insurance premiums costlier than most. In general, prospective buyers are often expected to buy multiple insurance policies such as wind, flood, and general hazard, in order for their new investments to be sufficiently protected.
Steps to buying Pickwick Lake homes for sale
If you’re planning on buying a waterfront property on the shores of Pickwick Lake in Tennessee, here are some things you have to do in order to ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience:
- Find a good and competent agent or firm with the right experience
Buying waterfront property is a major undertaking, which is why it is incredibly important to have a reliable, local agent experienced in buying and selling waterfront homes. In Pickwick Lake, TN, the Crye-Leike Pickwick real estate team has been in the business since 1977 and has become the third largest privately owned company in the U.S. All point to Crye-Leike Pickwick’s reputation as a trusted market leader. Learn more about the company here.
- Inspect the property thoroughly
Waterfront properties are at a much higher risk of getting damaged by the elements, which means that buyers have to hire a home inspector that knows what to check in waterfront homes.
Inspectors will look for moisture and water damage, electrical issues, and the stability of the foundation. They will also know about local codes and the legality of home extensions and additional structures on the property. Before you purchase, make sure the property is up to local codes. Otherwise, you may have a very hard time reselling the house in the future.
- Explore the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and familiarize yourself with the area
If you’re moving in permanently with your family, you’d like to know where the schools are located. If you’re using it as a vacation home, you’d like to know how crowded the area gets during tourist season. Striking up a casual conversation with locals in a café or a grocery store may yield valuable insights into life in the community.
- Be proactive when it comes to financing and loans
Since waterfront homes are generally more expensive than most, you may need to qualify for a specialty loan to purchase one.
Specialty loan categories often take longer to underwrite, however. Which means that buyers will have to be especially proactive with financing as the length of time it takes for a mortgage to get approved could jeopardize your ability to purchase the property.
The specialized services of Crye-Leike Pickwick Real Estate
To help with this, you have the option to hire a full-service real estate company, such as Crye-Leike Pickwick. We provide homebuyers unparalleled access to specialized services such as home mortgages and insurance, thereby simplifying the process and ensuring a stress-free experience for all parties involved.
Our services go beyond that, however.
Founded in Memphis in 1977, Crye-Leike Pickwick is the third largest privately owned company in the United States, and is currently considered to be the largest real estate company in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi.
With over six decades of experience in the real estate industry, Crye-Leike Pickwick is a trusted market leader and we take great pride in our ability to provide mortgage, closing, insurance, home services, property management, and national relocation services to our clients – all under one roof.
The time to buy your lake home is now
Waterfront and lakefront living is currently enjoying a boom. After all, living by a lake is nothing short of idyllic, with waterfront and lakefront properties giving residents acres upon acres of beautiful sights, as well as access to the great outdoors, and opportunities only lakeside living can provide.
Moreover, waterfront communities – especially rural ones – are often tight-knit, an appealing quality for those who enjoy neighborly camaraderie.
It is worth noting, though, that finding – and buying – lakeside and waterfront properties can be pretty overwhelming with the variety of options available to buyers. Therefore, trusted real estate companies like Crye-Leike Pickwick make sure their clients can find the lakeside home and other waterfront properties that suit their preferences. Lake home buying has never been this easy and stress-free.
Simply come up with a wish list for the lake home of your dreams and allow Crye-Leike Pickwick to provide you with options and resources to make that lake home yours.