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epnault
01-12-2012, 02:36 PM
Hello All,
We purchased our first boat a couple years ago and we have been loving it (average a little over 100 hrs a season). What we are starting really not like is the trailering part. We have some great lakes close to our home but it is just getting old. Another problem is my parents live on a lake and we understand how nice this is. We tried selling our house to do the same but have not has much luck. So, my idea was to get a cabin instead but keep the purchase price close to the incremental spend would have had on a lake home.

Cabin Critriera
Needs to be four season
Minimum of 1000 acres lake - crystal clear water all season
Minimum of 2 bedroom and 1 bath
Boat to restaurant/bar
Purchase price under $175k

Here's where I hope some of you can share your experience, since we found a couple.

Obviously at that price point things come with compromises.

Cabin 1 comromises (2 bed, 1 bath, .7acreas)
-there is a 2 lane minimum use road between cabin and lake, the road basically serves the cabins on the lake

Cabin 2 compromises (2 bed, 1/4 bath, 4.5 acres)
-it is rustic and needs some tlc and needs a tub put in (only sink and toilet)
-steep elevation to lake-steps are ok shape
-taxes are 1k higher than other cabin
-heavy tree cover and lakeview is facing north-limited sunlight

Any advice would be really helpful. I don't want to get in a place I regret.
Thanks,
Eric

gocougs
01-12-2012, 02:56 PM
I don't understand the compromise on Cabin #1, which sounds great according to your description. We have property on a lake and the less you have to upkeep with cabin and property, the better as far as I'm concerned.

mikeg205
01-12-2012, 03:24 PM
Trailer-ing can be a pain... but cabin up keep can be even more of a pain. $175K plus upkeep plus taxes.... I live 25 minutes from water...would love to have a place...but I hate cutting grass and raking leaves so I can't even think of having to do it in 2 places... as for taxes I would rather put that cash in the tank and or boat upgrades. Just my personal opinion.

Is there a place where you can rent a dry slip or a regular slip with a cover and lift? $175K can buy a bunch of rental time. my .02... my in-laws have a cabin and I have lost precious ski time due to repairs and upkeep.

epnault
01-12-2012, 04:57 PM
The disadvantage is that the 150' of frontage is separated by a road. You know, cars driving by while you are looking at the lake.

I get the up keep thing for sure. That is a good point. Where I live there are options like that but there are on a river. The lakes around me that we use don't have options like this. This isn't only going to be place for summer fun. We like to snowshoe, snowmobile, and ice fish. It would be a year round thing for us.

Sorry for the broken sentences and misspellings. I am in northen China suffering from some major jet lag and no internet to use my laptop (IPhone only) :)

bobx1
01-12-2012, 05:15 PM
......

Cabin 1 comromises (2 bed, 1 bath, .7acreas)
-there is a 2 lane minimum use road between cabin and lake, the road basically serves the cabins on the lake



Is there direct access to the lake from your cabin or do you have to trailer from the cabin to the lake (i.e. your own pier, your own boat house/slip/lift)?

TRBenj
01-12-2012, 05:43 PM
You cant go wrong with a waterfront purchase. Last I checked, theyre not making any more!

Upkeep on 2 places can be a pain, but totally worth it for the enjoyment you'll get out of being lakeside in the summer. 100+ hrs a year is a real accomplishment- you'll get even more water time if you arent loading and unloading every trip. Winter activities are a bonus as well. Now is a great time to buy with property values and interest rates low- I say get the nicest place you can comfortably afford.

I can see the attraction for waterfront dining, etc- that is a very cool option to have... but I cant say I understand the 1000+ acre requirement. Big lakes offer better accommodations if youre trailering in... which becomes a negative once you have a place of your own there. Same goes for skiable water. The more people the lake attracts, the less left for those who live there. I like visiting larger lakes, but own a cottage on a tiny one (180 acres)... and I wouldnt have it any other way.

Just my 2 cents.

epnault
01-12-2012, 06:13 PM
Good comments TRB.

It is not lake access-I would own 150' of shoreline across the road. Yes, same rights anyone else have with 150' of frontage. Think of a square piece of land but with a road going through it near the lake shore. So I could 3 docks a boat lift. The view is awesome but think about this-you are watching a sunset from the front of your cabin and then a car rolls by. Wonder if I will end up hating this.

mikeg205
01-12-2012, 06:26 PM
You cant go wrong with a waterfront purchase. Last I checked, theyre not making any more!

Upkeep on 2 places can be a pain, but totally worth it for the enjoyment you'll get out of being lakeside in the summer. 100+ hrs a year is a real accomplishment- you'll get even more water time if you arent loading and unloading every trip. Winter activities are a bonus as well. Now is a great time to buy with property values and interest rates low- I say get the nicest place you can comfortably afford.

I can see the attraction for waterfront dining, etc- that is a very cool option to have... but I cant say I understand the 1000+ acre requirement. Big lakes offer better accommodations if youre trailering in... which becomes a negative once you have a place of your own there. Same goes for skiable water. The more people the lake attracts, the less left for those who live there. I like visiting larger lakes, but own a cottage on a tiny one (180 acres)... and I wouldnt have it any other way.

Just my 2 cents.

I agree with the enjoyment... I just wouldn't have the time for upkeep on two places... I could do 100 hours on the water only if I didn't have to take care of two places... now living on the lake and paying more on a mortgage - now that I could live with.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-12-2012, 07:24 PM
How much traffic is on the road? How close is the road to the lake?

We have a lake home and much of the time we spend enjoying the lake is done from the dock during the summer. If you don't have to deal with a lot of traffic right next to the lake, you could likely enjoy the waterfront from your new dock or better yet from out in the boat rather than look at it from the house.

While a road isn't an issue for us, it might be easier to deal with than the steep hill you mention on the other property. From experience, you'll end up making quite a few trips from the dock to the house. I'd think that hauling gear up and down a steep hill could turn into a real PITA.

jrhollow
01-12-2012, 08:09 PM
Are they on comparable lakes? If you plan on owning it for the long haul, the lake and property is most important.

epnault
01-12-2012, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the help guys. Great things to think about

peason
01-12-2012, 11:38 PM
Eric,
How far are the lakes from home? are your kids into any summer sports? Luckily we were able to sell our home 5 years ago and move onto a lake in the twin cities. We love it, every day! I agree on up keep - I hear a lot of people who complain about thier cabins because once they get there they spend a lot of time mowing the lawn etc.. My wife and I actually miss some of the days we used to pack a cooler, all the gear and all the kids and spent the day on the lake - now when they are done with thier turn behind the boat - the kids want to back in and hang out. But, some of the best evenings are when my wife and I go out in the evenings and enjoy time together by ourselves. Good luck with your decision, I don't think you can go wrong - there are quite a bit of places for sale and maybe some patience will pay off.

onewheat
01-13-2012, 12:28 AM
Watching A car go by is nothing. Watching tractor trailers drive down the interstate is a problem. We are building a lake house now - making it as maintenance free as possible, but having your own place on the lake can NOT be beat. We have friends with houses around and have been staying with them and renting for about 17 years and this summer will be ours. I would (and am) give pretty much anything to realize this dream. I say pick the one that seems to suit your use the best and go for it. This type of property seldom loses. If this is what you and your family are into, you will love it. That's my $0.02.

epnault
01-13-2012, 12:49 AM
Thanks again. Lots of good info.

Yes, we love the water. The thing the kids hate is being trapped on the boat all day. I don't blame them. They always say that like boating better at grandmas. Kids like to play on the shore to and none of the lakes we go to have any beaches or resting so it makes it hard for them sometimes.

I agree, living at the lake would be the ultimate. I just don't want to take too much of hit on our home. I have some sweat, tears, and a lot of cash into it. Also, the kids like the neighborhood and schools etc.

Thanks a lot guys. You are helping me think about new things to consider

epnault
01-13-2012, 12:57 AM
The cabins are all within an hour away. Our thoughts were that anything closer we would feel like we could run home for stuff, or if get invited to something on a beautiful summer weekend we could say "sorry we are at the cabin and can't make it"

Current situation - We have 3 great lakes within 10 to 15 minutes that we trailer to now from the house.

TRBenj
01-13-2012, 10:19 AM
A few more notes...

-While selling in a down market stinks, you'd also be buying in a down market if you were to move to the lake full time... so the 2 sort of wash each other out. Around here, lake property values havent taken the same hit that non-lake properties have- but prior to this lull, values had been steadily climbing (for a long time), which has momentarily ceased.

-I have no qualms about telling friends "sorry we're at the lake, we cant make it". They all are starting to realize that its hard to tear us away from the water on a weekend in the summer- at least if the weather is nice. If you like the area youre in now, Id consider looking closer to your principal residence. Trust me, you wont be tempted to "swing home" even if its 20-30 min away! It is a lot more convenient if you realize you forgot something that you "need", though.

- Both steep hills and a road between the house and lake are compromises, as you noted. They'll affect resale, just like they affect the current purchase price. I'll reiterate my recommendation to buy the nicest place you can comfortably afford. If you can sell your primary house and transition to lake living full time, even better- it just increases your buying power that much more.

shepherd
01-13-2012, 04:22 PM
The cabins are all within an hour away. Our thoughts were that anything closer we would feel like we could run home for stuff, or if get invited to something on a beautiful summer weekend we could say "sorry we are at the cabin and can't make it"


Funny, that's one reason why we picked our second house to be only 15 miles away (at the beach, not the lake). We can run home if we forgot something, visit our friends if they have a party, and even commute to work if we decide to stay through the week. :)

Jerseydave
01-13-2012, 04:39 PM
Hello All,
We purchased our first boat a couple years ago and we have been loving it (average a little over 100 hrs a season). What we are starting really not like is the trailering part. We have some great lakes close to our home but it is just getting old. Another problem is my parents live on a lake and we understand how nice this is. We tried selling our house to do the same but have not has much luck. So, my idea was to get a cabin instead but keep the purchase price close to the incremental spend would have had on a lake home.

Cabin Critriera
Needs to be four season
Minimum of 1000 acres lake - crystal clear water all season
Minimum of 2 bedroom and 1 bath
Boat to restaurant/bar
Purchase price under $175k
Here's where I hope some of you can share your experience, since we found a couple.

Obviously at that price point things come with compromises.

Cabin 1 comromises (2 bed, 1 bath, .7acreas)
-there is a 2 lane minimum use road between cabin and lake, the road basically serves the cabins on the lake

Cabin 2 compromises (2 bed, 1/4 bath, 4.5 acres)
-it is rustic and needs some tlc and needs a tub put in (only sink and toilet)
-steep elevation to lake-steps are ok shape
-taxes are 1k higher than other cabin
-heavy tree cover and lakeview is facing north-limited sunlight

Any advice would be really helpful. I don't want to get in a place I regret.
Thanks,
Eric

You're lucky you have this price option. There is nothing in NJ that's lakefront under
$400K.....and the taxes make it impossible for most average families.
We'll be looking in central PA or MD in the future.

Cabin 1 sounds good.
Cabin 2, I'd stay away from steep slopes, high taxes and northern exposure (cold,dark)
Shower stall in the bathroom would make more sense than a tub in my opinion.

corey
01-13-2012, 04:46 PM
Epnault,

What area are you guys looking at WI/MN? My parents have a place (not on a lake) around the Sturgeon Lake area. It's pretty rural but TONS on ATV and snowmobile trails, public hunting land and local bars. Cabins are pretty reasonable around that part of town and we have some customers that love Sturgeon Lake (I have never been on it myself).

PS195
01-13-2012, 05:35 PM
here's my 2 cents:
my parents bought a place like cabin #1 36 yrs ago, it was 275miles from home, we all loved it, when my wife and I had children we took them up, they loved the water, learned to waterski behind a fishing boat, then I bought a 16ft runabout, we ski'd a lot, burned out 2 outboards, bought a 4 winns, both my sons are amazing skiers and bare footers, as kids became older teenagers we went less frequently but still went a number of weekends every year, crossing the road was not a big deal, we could dock our boat and spend the whole day by the water
6 years ago my wife and I bought our own place like cabin 2 but no steep hill and 120 miles from home, amazing lake 2 miles long, 13 cottages, first thing I did was buy a mastercraft, my boys are in late 20's now, 1 married and they all come a lot, they bring friends, have their own weekends, etc.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is it doesn't matter which one you buy, IT will probably be the best decision you ever made for yourself and your family. Sure its extra work, taxes, etc but my boys learned how to cut down trees, chop wood, build a fire, do some plumbing, etc which are all good skills some they actually enjoy!
cabin #1 that my parents own is going up for sale this summer Dad is 90 and he says this is the last year, they 've started coming to our place

epnault
01-13-2012, 06:38 PM
Ps195. Your statements are exactly what I dream about :). Thanks

Hey Corey. The closest major town is Rice Lake I think. Our realetor has a few others to. I just want a place to park my boat but I need to balance Kelly's expectations too. Looking forward to seeing you at the show. We will probably be there on Thursday night.

corey
01-14-2012, 11:21 AM
NICE! A buddy of mine has a place in Chetek, he's the guy that shot the snowmobile video I sent you.

Thrall
01-16-2012, 04:09 PM
If you get to Rice Lake or farther North or East I think $175k will go alot farther.

$175k, Sawyer, Price, Rusk, Ashland counties should find a decent place although the min lake size and required restaurant on the lake may be limiting.

I have a place in Park Falls that I am now renting out, year 'round. It's lakefront on a beautiful lake (not 1000ac and no boat to the bar), 2ac and not a "cabin" by any means.
Price wise I looked pretty hard at selling it recently and think I'd be lucky to get $250k on a good day.

Couple pics to show you what places are going for farther east. Still only 4hrs from the twin cities.

Thrall
01-16-2012, 04:10 PM
pics................

epnault
01-16-2012, 05:14 PM
Wow-that place is beautiful. That is a long ways off from the cabins we are looking at. Based on all the looking we have done over the last year I would have guessed that to be a 300+ $$ place.

Finnsdad
01-16-2012, 11:24 PM
Make sure the lake has no recreation restrictions. A lake assoc that has ski hours in place would be a deal breaker for me. What good is early morning glass if you can't tear it up?

Thrall
01-17-2012, 05:32 PM
Wow-that place is beautiful. That is a long ways off from the cabins we are looking at. Based on all the looking we have done over the last year I would have guessed that to be a 300+ $$ place.

Thanks!
So would I and so does the tax man, unfortunately.
I only put that up to give you my take on the market up there. I talked to a realtor becasue I was considering selling it and was told, rough numbers, I could get around $250k on a 90-120day sale. It's 11years old, 2200+sf + 1600sf unfinished walkout basement, 2.5cg, shed, dock, 2ac, 150' frontage on a small public lake, paved road 10mi from town, no restrictions on the lake.
So $175k can buy you quite a bit in that area. It's very depressed right now. 2 Weathershield plants and a veneer mill closed in the area recently. Unless the mine up by Mellen goes forward it will be that way for the forseeable future.

Wish I could spend time there. Kinda tough living 2000mi away.

epnault
01-17-2012, 08:12 PM
You bet. My inlaws have a place in Whitewater that has those restrictions. No wake from 7pm to 9am. There also have bouys around the entire shoreline showing to remind people how far from shore you need to be in no wake operation. It is the worst thing I have every seen.

epnault
01-17-2012, 08:17 PM
Thrall,
Could you recommend some nice lakes above 400 acres up there? It is hard to search lakes unless some knows about them. My realitor is from the twin cities area so she hasnt been up that far north. Nice thing about that area is they get good snow every year.

I felt bad for you on your last reply when I looked at your cabin and then your current location :(

LaRue
01-17-2012, 09:34 PM
Epnault....sent you a pm

Iskidaily
01-17-2012, 09:54 PM
My $.02: Once you find houses that are OK, the water is everything. I like having great water right in front of the house where we can play, swim, ski and fish right in front of the dock. Before we bought, I took the whole family out on Labor day Saturday on a pontoon boat and dropped anchor across from the place we were considering to see what it was like. It was important for me to know what we'd be in for. Since then, we've spent a lot more Saturday afternoons. Best. Decision. Ever.

rd1900
01-18-2012, 02:31 PM
Why are you not considering moving to a lake (as your primary, only house)?
We looked at cottages in northern Michigan a few years ago, and eventually decided that two houses to maintain, plus all the travel time wasn't so appealing. Instead, we found a lake house 5 miles away and moved there. Absolutely the best decision for us. If you think weekends at the cottage are nice, a nice, calm Tuesday evening is fantastic.

MIskier
01-18-2012, 05:50 PM
With option one, if the lakefront part of the property will allow it build a small shed sized building with 360 windows that you can sit in and watch the water/sunset my grandpartents own two lots split by a road in our subdivision and that is what they did, and love it.

I would also agree that no matter what house you choose, a lake house will be the best decision and investment that you will ever make. Growing up on a lake has influenced every aspect of my life right down to the career that I have choosen, and I know that I will live on the water the rest of my life. Too many good things happen on the water not to maximize the time that you spend there.

TRBenj
01-18-2012, 06:11 PM
Why are you not considering moving to a lake (as your primary, only house)?
I agree with the rationale... but the OP said:

I agree, living at the lake would be the ultimate. I just don't want to take too much of hit on our home. I have some sweat, tears, and a lot of cash into it. Also, the kids like the neighborhood and schools etc.

epnault
08-09-2012, 10:39 AM
Hi All,
I can't beleive I forgot to update this post with pictures and notes. Along with big thanks to all of you.

We closed on a place in March and have been enjoying the heck out of it. I can tell you all of your posts really helped with the decision. We moved out there for the summer.

1. We bought a place that was only 15 mintues from our primary residence.
2. The lake is only 200 acres but is 1.2 miles long. Kind of shaped like a beer bottle. I asked the owner for references and found out it was an awesome slalom ski lake.
3. Included in sale 3 bedroom, 1 bath, boat house, L shaped dock, 4 season with forced air, conventional well, 2 car garage to store boat, 110' of frontage, south facing, brand new 4000# electric lift w/25' canopy (bought the place from a guy that owns a boat lift and dock business)

Attached is a picture of our place from the water. It is smaller place but it was 100% updated with all the comforts of home and turn key. Thanks again for all the advice and wisdom.

thatsmrmastercraft
08-09-2012, 10:50 AM
Hi All,
I can't beleive I forgot to update this post with pictures and notes. Along with big thanks to all of you.

We closed on a place in March and have been enjoying the heck out of it. I can tell you all of your posts really helped with the decision. We moved out there for the summer.

1. We bought a place that was only 15 mintues from our primary residence.
2. The lake is only 200 acres but is 1.2 miles long. Kind of shaped like a beer bottle. I asked the owner for references and found out it was an awesome slalom ski lake.
3. Included in sale 3 bedroom, 1 bath, boat house, L shaped dock, 4 season with forced air, conventional well, 2 car garage to store boat, 110' of frontage, south facing, brand new 4000# electric lift w/25' canopy (bought the place from a guy that owns a boat lift and dock business)

Attached is a picture of our place from the water. It is smaller place but it was 100% updated with all the comforts of home and turn key. Thanks again for all the advice and wisdom.

Congrats...........looks like a great place!

atthelake
08-09-2012, 11:58 AM
Very nice! Please don't tell me you got that for under 300K. The lot alone would cost >200K up here.

76S&S
08-09-2012, 12:27 PM
Looks great, enjoy!

gid
08-13-2012, 12:23 PM
After reading the posts on here I am glad to live where we do. Never heard of boat restrictions on a lake (heard of trolling motors only on small lakes / ponds).