Understanding Utility Services at Your Ohio Lakefront Community
For all the potential lake buyers out there who are touring and looking into several different lakefront communities there is an entire list of things they need to check into. Buyers need to look into boat regulations, amenities, costs, market and one of the things that many buyers do not look into are utility services. Of course utilities are one of the most important aspects to owning a house, even a lake house, but utilities also happen to be one of the more boring subjects. So let’s touch on each utility and its challenges so that lakefront buyers can look out for each utility service and how to handle it before they decide on a lakefront community. This is especially important for buyers who are accustomed to the city where utilities are much different.
The water service at each lake community could be different and range from three different options; public water, private water and wells. If the water is public then residents will not have to be concerned with maintaining their water service. If the water is a private system like Choctaw Lake, then residents will need to check on the water system infrastructure since the HOA owns and operates the water plant they may charge a separate assessment fee, and if the system needs upgraded or replaced then residents may be charged a special assessment for the cost. Wells will need filtration and softener systems as well as regular maintenance. Wells will also need to be inspected for water quality before the home is purchased.
Similar to water services, any lakefront buyer used to the city may not be used to a different type of septic service. At some of the lakefront communities, they have public sewer, however at others they have private septic systems. Lakefront buyers will need to check what specific type of private septic system it is as they all vary with what type of maintenance and costs they involve. Certain systems can be harmful to lakes if the system is failing so each lake community will only allow certain types. Private septic systems also need to be inspected before purchasing the home.
TV and Internet
Although not as important as water and sewer, residents will want to understand what type of TV and Internet service they can get at their lake house. Some lake communities will have great service with cable television providers as well as very fast internet, such as Candlewood Lake which is installing fiber optics to the community, providing the quickest internet you can get. At other lake communities that are more remote and rustic such as Piedmont Lake, television is limited to satellite service, and internet may very slow or almost non-existent. If the home is going to be primary or if you plan on doing a lot of work from the lake house when you’re there, you may want to make sure the internet service is enough for you, as most jobs, and primary living, will require some type of connection.
Cell Phone Reception
Although cell phone service isn’t technically a utility, however in today’s world cell phone service can be just as important as the others. In many lakefront communities cell phone service won’t be an issue, such as Hide-a-Way-Hills where they have their own AT&T cell phone tower. However, in many more remote lake communities cell phone service will be a big problem, depending on which provider you use. Make sure to check if your cell phone has reception at the lake community and if its an issue with your family before purchasing at that specific lake community.
Some lake communities will have trash service as part of the HOA that you your HOA fee pays for, and some communities will have providers in the area that you can hire to remove your trash. Some of the public lakefront communities have dumpsters you can use as well. And some of the remote lakes trash service will be limited. However, if the lake house is a secondary home you may consider not paying for trash service instead taking your trash with you when you go home from the weekend to save some money.
Remember that each of the lake communities will have different setups and combinations of utility services. Each community will also have different costs related to the utilities. Make sure to talk to your lakefront specialist about the utilities at the lake communities you are interested in to make sure they fit what you and your family want out of your lake house. And remember Life is Short- Buy the Lake House!
Written By Justin Shelton – Lakefront Consultant.