Thinking of buying lakefront property in Washington State? Here’s what you need to know before making the plunge.
The Advantages of Owning Lakefront Property
One of the main advantages of owning a lakefront home is the lifestyle. Living in and around Lake Chelan gives you direct access to the water, allowing you to enjoy a wide range of water-based activities in your own time.
Spend a quiet afternoon fishing on the lake’s calm surface. Explore the surrounding towns and cities by boat. Go on a leisurely stroll along a sandy beach, and go for a refreshing dip in the cool waters.
There are also plenty of land-based activities to enjoy. Go cross-country skiing at the groomed and interconnected trails in the area. The famed Echo Ridge Nordic Area features well-marked cross country and snowshoe trails that can accommodate skiers of all skill levels.
Other highlights include the Outback Trail, a 4.5-mile loop that brings you to the highest point of the ridge, which, at 4,000 feet, will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Guests can pay for ski rentals and lift tickets during their visit.
Golfers can head over to the Lake Chelan Golf Course, which has a well-stocked pro shop, cart and club rentals, and an on-site restaurant that serves amazing food. The views are incredible, and the layout lends itself well to players of different skill levels.
Homeowners will also find plenty of shopping and dining options at Historic Downtown Chelan. The area is lined with galleries, boutiques, and specialty stores, as well as restaurants that serve delicious food. Special events like Music in the Park and Sip & Stroll take place here throughout the year.
The lakeside village of Manson is also worth visiting – the downtown area is bustling with wineries, cafés, and restaurants that serve handmade pizza and pasta.
Aside from the lifestyle, lakefront home is generally a good investment. Demand is high for prime waterfront properties along Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee, and these homes typically retain their value.
The Disadvantages of Owning Lakefront Property
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of owning a lakefront home is maintenance due to dampness. This means having to shell out more money for upkeep and repairs. It is generally advisable to set aside 2% of the home’s value in cash for annual maintenance costs.
If you intend to rent out your lakefront home, keep in mind that there are regulations that you will need to work with. For instance, only select homes within Chelan’s city limits can be used as short-term vacation rentals. However, rentals are allowed without regulation beyond Chelan’s and Manson’s borders.
If you do rent out your home, you must anticipate wear and tear, as well as broken items. Managing a rental also requires you to establish rules to ensure guests are on their best behavior.
Some sections along Lake Chelan are governed by communities and homeowners associations (HOAs). Before making a purchase, read up on documents and familiarize yourself with rules governing your use of the home. With some HOAs, you need to secure approval before making major exterior changes to your home.
Looking to buy or sell a home in Chelan, Manson, Orondo, Brewster, Pateros, Twisp, or Winthrop, or other nearby communities? Get in touch with Coldwell Banker Lake Chelan Properties at 509-682-7777, or send an email to info(at)cbchelan(dotted)com.