8 Lake House Must-Haves | Extra Amenities for Your Waterfront Property
Posted by Dave Kotler on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 at 1:42pm.
The most coveted homes in any real estate market are usually the waterfront properties, and where they're not, it's likely because there isn't a waterfront to speak of. Homes on the water have long been considered prime real estate, and there are several ways to make owning them even more enjoyable. Whether fishing for kokanee or water-skiing behind a power boat, most residents who live along the water have many of the same amenities at their homes, because they're just that wonderful to have available. Keep reading to discover some of the must-have amenities new residents should look for when moving to waterfront homes.
A Boat Trailer & Boat
Swimming, paddleboarding, and boating are a way of life in waterfront communities. Rainbow trout, sockeye salmon, yellow perch, burbot, lake and mountain whitefish, and coastrange sculpin are just a few of the fish species that anglers regularly catch in local lakes. It's not uncommon for residents to spend late spring through early fall enjoying the water on their boat, which usually requires a boat trailer to help access public or private launches.
A Large Garage
For residents that own a boat, a one-car garage is nice to have. An even bigger garage, however, is essential for anyone with a boat and a boat trailer. At a minimum, the boat trailer can be housed in the second slot of a two-car garage—if not the trailer plus the boat. Although some Canadian lakes, like Okanagan Lake, only freeze over in approximately one out of every ten winters since records have been kept, there is a lot less boat traffic in the winter months. Having a place to safely store the boat trailer and boat is important for waterfront residents.
A Private Dock or Boat Ramp
Purchasing a home with a private dock or boat ramp is a fairly high priority for many who want a waterfront home. "Can I build a dock?" is often one of the first questions to ask before buying a waterfront home. Certain areas may be zoned "Black" or "Red." A Black zone means that the area is a critical habitat, and a private dock or boat ramp cannot be built there. A Red zone or high-value habitat may require an extended permitting time to build a ramp or dock. Homes with a pre-existing private dock or boat ramp usually avoid these issues and provide year-round access to the lake for homeowners who want to go boating.
The views from waterfront homes are stunning all year round. Even when residents are not out on the water, they'll want to enjoy the views of tree-lined hillsides and the light shining off the lake. Residents can while away the hours enjoying a bottle from the local world-class wineries and socializing while they gaze at the serene landscape or simply have their day brightened as they go about daily household activities and catch the view in the background.
A Deck or Patio & Outdoor Lighting
A deck or patio allows waterfront residents to enjoy the fresh air, lake breezes, and incredible views from their homes. Newcomers should know that building permits for patios or decks can take an extended period of time to purchase prior to building these amenities. Fortunately, waterfront homes often already have an attached deck or patio. Outdoor lighting is essential for enjoying summer barbecues or simply sitting outside and enjoying the luxurious views after sunset each day.
A Gas Fire Pit
A great way to enjoy barbecues or outdoor fires during the dry months is a gas fire pit. Wood-burning fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are prohibited in some areas, since forested areas especially are sometimes prone to fire danger due to dry conditions, but because a gas fire pit has no sparking materials (like a wood bonfire, wood stove, wood fire pit, etc.), it's a great way to toast marshmallows and have an outdoor fire with minimal risk. Who doesn't love sitting around a cozy fire in the evening?
An Outdoor Shower & Mudroom
Waterfront homes are truly beautiful and an excellent investment, and spending time out on the water is a common pastime for waterfront homeowners. Due to the vast array of outdoor activities that residents can participate in, however, it becomes easy to track mud, sand, lake water, or other debris into the home. Houses equipped with an outdoor shower and mudroom don't have to worry about tracking the results of a fun day outdoors across clean floors. Residents can take a shower after a day of water-skiing, fishing, beach-combing, or other outdoor activities and take off muddy boots in the mudroom.
If you live on a lake, having your own fishing rod and tackle is essential. Fishing is a great way to spend time in the great outdoors and relieve stress, but before you get started, you need to have the right gear. Here is a list basics to get started:
- A valid fishing license
- A rod with a reel
- Bait or lures
- Hook remover (in case a fish swallows a hook)
- A tackle box
- Old rags
- A cooler (if you plan on keeping your catches)
Fishing is a lot of fun, and when you already have the gear on hand, you only need to go into your backyard for a relaxing day on the water. Just remember to check your local fishing regulations before casting your line to ensure you're abiding by the law.
Find a Slice of Lakefront Paradise
Breathtaking waterfront views—and even better, waterfront access—increase the quality of life for any homeowner. Incredible fishing and lakeside activities for the "outdoorsy" types only add to the amazing experience. Thinking about looking for your own slice of paradise? Here are some tips for first-time waterfront property buyers.