Lake Texoma

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Tips for buying a vacation property

Texoma Connect
BJ Kirkpatrick is the publisher of, an online tourism and relocation guide for the Lake Texoma Area. She lives in the hills surrounding Lake Texoma with her husband, their daughter and three grandchildren. BJ is the marketing coordinator for a local mortgage company and Blog post author You can reach BJ by email

You love Lake Texoma, have a great time here, don’t live very far away and come to the lake often. Perhaps you have a friend with a boat in a slip at one of the marinas or a lake house, and every time you come you think about how great it would be to have a weekend home on Lake Texoma that could someday be your retirement home.

That’s how most of us got here! It didn’t actually start out as a determination to have a weekend home, or a retirement home. It all started with a great weekend get away with friends full of fishing, water sports, a fish fry and beautiful sunsets. A few more great weekends and you begin to dream about having your own weekend getaway home.

Is a vacation property right for you?
Think about how you will use your vacation home – as a place to bring your kids or grandkids to enjoy all of the water sports the lake has to offer, as a home away from home where you can entertain friends and family, or simply to use as a quiet respite where you can come to relax and unwind from hectic corporate life. Consider how often you will be able to enjoy your lake home and will it be worth the expense.

Financing the purchase 
Most lenders will require a 20% down payment plus closing costs and setting up your escrow account. Credit scores will need to be higher than they would be for a permanently occupied home. Insurance costs maybe a little higher because the home is vacant for huge chunks of time or is in a rural area where emergency services are limited. Talk to a local lender first. In addition to helping you determine how much home you can afford, they know the local market as well as taxes and insurance rates in the area

Realistic Expectations
Lake Texoma is a Corps of Engineers lake which means the shoreline is owned by the Federal government. Lakefront, waterfront or lake view homes can not only be hard to find but somewhat pricey. Make sure your expectations are realistic. You may not be able to have a home with a boat slip, but you can find a home close to a marina with slip rentals.  A local Realtor can help you find hidden jewels around Lake Texoma that you would never find on your own.

As an Investment
If you are planning to use your vacation home as a rental, be realistic about occupancy. Lake Texoma is a four season resort area but it will be difficult to keep it fully rented every month. Talk to local vacation rental owners about how many weeks of the year you can realistically expect demand. Find out what rents are in the area and do the math. Will the income you expect cover your cost? Investment property has both tax advantages and disadvantages.

If you are going to rent out the property, you will need to pay income taxes on the rental income you receive. Talk to your accountant about what you can expect and find a bookkeeping system to keep track of income and expenses separately from your personal banking accounts. Keep in mind that to keep that occupancy level you desire, you will also have marketing cost and maybe even a property manager. The Bigger Pockets Blog has some great ideas for marketing your property for maximum bookings. 

The Lake Texoma Real Estate Market
Lake Texoma properties are an eclectic mix of everything from million dollar homes to cabins nestled in the woods, mobile homes on land leased from the Corps of Engineers and homes high on cliffs overlooking the big waters of Lake Texoma. You can even find homes floating on the water – talk about lake view! Gated communities, condos and timeshares are very good choices for weekend homes. Golf course and resort communities offer extra amenities such as restaurants, swimming pools, spas and fitness centers.

The Lake Texoma real estate market has been fairly stable over the years. Historically, when there is a downturn in the economy, there has been a reduction of inventory rather than a reduction in value.

The decision to purchase vacation property should be more about enjoyment than investment potential. 

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Lake Texoma Weather Forecast


Partly Sunny

Hi: 61

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

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Wednesday Night

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Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)

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Lake Texoma Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 14)

Water lightly stained; 57–60 degrees; 0.89’ high. Black bass are good on Texas rigged craws, medium crankbaits and shakyhead worms. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs on brush piles. Striped bass are good on slabs. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

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