Many potential buyers assume lakefront is their best option. But for many buyers, there are other options to consider, specifically lake-view and lake-access properties.

Lakefront property includes shoreline as part of the property, while lake-view property is within sight of the water but doesn’t include shoreline. Lake-access properties may not have a clear view of the lake, but do have guaranteed access to it, through either a dock or path.

What Should You Consider Before Buying?

How do you make the decision on whether to purchase a lake front or lake view home? Most buyers gravitate first toward lakefront because of the convenience and privacy of living right on the water. However, after you factor in location and price, lakefront may not be the best option for you.

First you need to figure out which is most important to you - living right on the waterfront, sticking to your budget, or finding the perfect neighborhood? As you consider these options, you will want to think about how often you will be visiting your lake property and how you envision the time you’ll spend there.


The biggest advantage to purchasing lakefront property is that it is an increasingly scarce resource; there is only a limited amount of shoreline on each lake. A lakefront property will appreciate most quickly, especially if the lake in question has historically low inventory. An advantage to buying lake-view or lake-access property is that typically these properties can offer buyers the majority of the conveniences of lakefront, but often at a fraction of the cost.

If you have your heart set on a certain lake and have a tight budget, lake-view properties may be your best option. Prices will vary greatly from lake to lake, and each lake will have lakefront properties at a wide range of prices, but generally lake-view properties will be considerably less expensive than lakefront lots nearby. If you are open to considering several  different lakes, you can often find lake view property within your budget that is not available on more expensive lakes.

Upkeep is a potential con when considering a lakefront property for purchase. The cost of upkeep from erosion, dock repairs, and other weatherproofing expenses can certainly add up to a great deal more than the upkeep of a property directly on the water. These are costs that you will incur the entire time you own the property, most of them you would avoid with a lake-view or lake-access home.

Whether your best choice is a lakefront, lake-view, or lake-access property depends on your unique needs and circumstance. Considering all of your options and knowing which property types are available in your area are important parts of the buying process.