Blog : Gordy's

465 Outing

465 Outing

When David Bowie died, it was hard to scroll through Twitter and find someone who had not, at some point, met him. In line at McDonald’s. Rushing through Heathrow. Buying shrimp to soak under the Anna Maria fishing dock.  Well wishers wrote RIP, I’ll never forget that time I saw Bowie buying eggs at the Mobile in SuchandSuch, NY. This is what happens when famous people die. In the same way, everyone has a story about a lake house.  A friend’s lake house. The weekends there in high school. An uncle’s lake house. The August fishing trips.  The grandparents’ cottage, so far up north that it was just one long weekend every summer. No matter the duration of the exposure, no matter the quality of the water or the size of the fish, a lake house weekend imprints a permanent memory.

But what of that lake house.  What does it need to be? Does it need to be 5500 square feet,  with a four car garage and a three slip pier?  Does it need to be all shine and polish, large and kept, perfect? Or does it just need to be on a lake? Is this the only real requirement of a lake house? Is this why families with lake houses on obscure awful lakes still make the pilgrimage to their terrible water every summer?  We pretend to know why we seek out and buy these homes. It’s because we want to make memories. We want our kids to love us when they’re older. We want to experience weekends in a different way. We want something else, something different, something that we know other people have. These are the motivators that begin the search, but once the search is underway, these tend to fall by the wayside in favor of appliance make and bathroom material.

There was a little house at 465 Outing Drive in Williams Bay. This house is a few doors West of George Williams College, where Music By The Lake strums each summer. The cottage wasn’t big. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t clean. In fact, it wasn’t habitable. But it was lakefront, and that’s what caused an investor to buy it and begin a thorough and significant renovation. New this and new that. New everything, almost. New hardwood floors, new windows, siding, roof. Insulation. Trim, appliances. Kitchen, baths. Marble. Patio. Parking. Everything new. The process took several months, and when the home was completed it represented the finest of blends. A lakefront home with vintage cottage charm, outfitted with modern conveniences and luxury appointments.

The home came to market this past summer for a few dollars less than $2MM. The property was, after all, a perfect example of lakefront charm. Still, the market pushed back, and the price was forced to adjust. Today, I’ve brought this property back to market for $1.699MM. A price that fits into the entry level segment of our market without requiring anything of the new buyer. Purchase this home and change something if you wish, but there’s nothing required. Just purchase, move, and enjoy your weekends in an entirely different way.  There’s a private pier, beautiful wide water views of Fontana Bay, and an easy shore path walk to Chuck’s, Gordy’s, and the Fontana lakefront scene. You could buy a cottage on the lake and renovate it yourself. You could. Or you could just buy this place and save yourself the frustration, expense, and delays that accompany such a significant project.

New Fontana Lakefront Listing

New Fontana Lakefront Listing

It’s no particular secret that buyers like Fontana. If I have 100 lakefront buyers call me this year, there’s a strong chance that 75 of them may specifically ask to be in Fontana. Why this is I cannot be certain. I grew up in Williams Bay, to the north of Conference Point, to the south of Gage Marine. I pumped gas at Mel’s Gas Pumps. I pumped gas and forgot money, a condition that I only discovered once the last drop of gas was pumped into my father’s Boston Whaler.  Mel was forgiving, so long as I hurried home and hurried back with the few dollars I owed him. I explored the wild woods of Conference Point, and climbed the bent and broken willow that sticks out at a difficult angle from the very tip of that point. Because of this I am familiar with Williams Bay and that familiarity has blossomed into nostalgia and that nostalgia means I would be more inclined to buy real estate in Williams Bay than in neighboring towns.

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Fontana has, for eons, been home to many cottages. Glenwood Springs, Country Club Estates, Buena Vista, Indian Hills- these associations are loaded with homes, many of which used to be rental cottages.  As a result of this, many would be buyers were first introduced to the Lake Geneva scene by way of Fontana. Chuck’s and Gordy’s played a role as well, with many first beers consumed at Chuck’s, and many first boats bought at Gordy’s. This prior familiarity is possibly a reason why people love Fontana. Or it might be the new streets, the new lights, the new beach house, the quaint and tidy nature of it all. For whatever reason, Fontana is king.

 

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976 South Lakeshore Drive is just East of Fontana, just East of the original Westgate property, in fact, on the original Westgate property. The tell is the old (but fantastically and beautifully remodeled) cut granite boathouse tucked into the hillside at the water’s edge.  The entry gate is of the same cut granite. The home that resides there is not old, rather it’s somewhat new in the context of lakefront homes on Geneva. It has four bedrooms,  high end bathrooms, an upscale kitchen, a huge lakeside deck, a screened in porch, and a most remarkable view of the lake. A view so remarkable, that upon deciding to list the home with me this week, the owner questioned her own sanity.  Are we crazy to sell this?

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Today, 976 South Lakeshore is on the market for $3,395,000. The home is fresh, clean, updated and ready for summer. The boathouse is at home among the finest on the entire lake, perhaps the finest? The pictures prove the statement.  The pier is large, two slips worth, and the frontage is wide, 142 feet of meandering flagstone shore path providing a clue as to the beginning and the end of it.  Four bedrooms, four baths, a full boathouse with living area and storage, that huge wooden pier, that Fontana location, it’s all unique and rare, but that view, that view is the extra special bit. Elevated just enough, but not too much, this home is, as I mentioned, positioned adjacent the original Westgate home which means the homes to the immediate West are set back, far out of view. The result is a view that extends over that manicured lawn and all the way to the Fontana beach, then again back to the East all the way past Cedar Point to Black Point and beyond. Yerke’s and Conference Point fall in between. Now that’s a view.

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The home won’t be on the MLS until later this week, but today you know about it. You know about it because you have the good sense to read this blog, because you know by doing so you’ll know what the market is doing before the rest of the market does. I’m showing this home today, and I’ll be showing it this weekend as well. If you’d like to have the opportunity to own this piece of the lake, you’d do well to let me know. Here you can walk to Gordy’s for a lazy Sunday lunch, or walk to the Lake Geneva Yacht Club for fish fry.  You could do those things, or you could just sit on that couch and quietly take it all in.