For many, having a home on the water is a dream. Some residents in metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia have made that dream come true.

Lake living often comes with scenic views and ample outdoor spaces. Like Megan and David Sellers’ lakeside cottage in Jonesboro featured last year in Private Quarters, which has three decks that lead from the lake room to the brick patio.

And while many lake homes go with rustic or outdoorsy decorative styles, others maintain high-end elegance, like this Lake Lanier home featured in Private Quarters in 2016.

We’ve dug through the archives to bring you some of the most dream-worthy lake homes we’ve featured throughout the years. If you’re thinking about taking the leap to lake living, there are some things to keep in mind before jumping in.

Find the right agent

Buying a home on the water can require a different set of knowledge than purchasing a house elsewhere. When looking for a real estate agent to work with in your search, consider finding a realtor with lakefront experience. “This is especially important if you’re new to lake living and aren’t aware of the typical pitfalls that can come with owning a lakefront home,” a blog post from Quicken Loans notes. “An experienced agent will know what questions to ask about the homes you view and what you need to find out about a home you’re considering before you make an offer.”

Take a careful look at the property

Before making a purchase, it’s important to inspect both the home and property closely, according to Lake Home Realty. In a blog post, the realtor notes that “with a waterfront home, you’re also buying the water, so getting it right is crucial.” If you can, get out on the water to see the lake and also see the property from out on the water.

Consider what lake activities you are looking for

When it comes to water activities, not all lakes present the same options. The blog Lake House Livin’ suggests determining what activities you are most interested in before starting your home search to make sure a property meets your needs.

“For example, a 50-acre lake may only permit small boats and restrict motor boat speeds. You can’t enjoy water skiing on those lakes. If you want to fish, check on the fish species mix in the lake you are considering. The species mix and fishing restrictions can vary,” according to the blog.

Keep additional costs in mind

While owning a home always comes with some hidden costs, those can look different when you’re living on a lake.

“The two biggest unexpected and preventable expenses for first-time lake home buyers are repairs to HVAC systems and septic systems. If buyers take proper inspection measures, they can avoid these in almost every case,” Wally Cawthon, a Lake Homes Realty agent in Jackson, Georgia, said in a blog post.

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