Choosing which type of lake home can be a conundrum, especially when we have over 101 lakes just in Steuben County.  Here's a few ideas as you get started in searching for a lake home. 

  • Price - That's the big one of course. There are a couple of lakes, that are ski lakes that will cost more than some of the smaller or more shallow lakes.  Clear Lake and Lake James are often quoted as being some of the most expensive; but there's about 6 or 8 others that are at the top of the price range.  But you can buy on a smaller lake, like Lake Minifenokee, or Big Otter Lake, where you can tool around on a fishing boat or pontoon, but not ski. 
  • Lake Front or Lake Access - Homes with Lake Frontage will be pricier typically. Lake Access means that you have access to get to the water. But check it out to make sure how it accessed. And is it "deed lake access" or "public lake access." 
  • Pier/Dock - When looking at homes, make sure you are including in the sale the pier or dock. Not all sellers are willing to leave those. Or they may not be willing to include them with the price of the home. Make sure your agent knows and helps you get what you want. 
  • "Ski Lake" or "All Sports Lakes" -- Make sure you have a clear understanding whether or not it IS a ski lake or all sports lake. Some of the lakes you can only ski certain hours, say from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. 
  • Association Dues - Check what the association dues are, when they are due, and what they cover. Most times these will cover the treatment to keep the lakes clean, could include common areas, mowing of certain areas, etc. Some are mandatory and some aren't. But plan on paying your association dues so that you can keep the lakes that you will enjoy, clean and ready for the next generation. 
  • Street sign - Is it Green or Yellow?  On many of the lakes and rural areas around the Steuben County area, and all of the northeastern area, you will find a yellow street sign. Yellow street signs mean that the road is privately owned by the owners of the homes along it. So you will have to pay to keep the roads clear of snow, and keep the road in good, operable condition. When you go to close on a home with a yellow street sign the title company that is closing your loan will most likely need some sort of written agreement stating who pays for what. If you purchase a home with a green street sign, it is governmentally owned and the snow plowing most likely is covered as well as the maintenance of the street. 
  • Choose a home that suits you and what you would like for you and your family. Wooded on a private lake, or smaller homes on a busier lake. They are all good.  It's fun to live around a lake area. Even if you decide to buy on a city lot, you know you have lots of opportunities to enjoy one of the Steuben County's 101 beautiful lakes!  
  • Call Sandi Cather (260) 687-1800 or email at Sandi@SandiCather.com to get started!