Sometimes that constant itch that is a symptom of our biggest, boldest dreams simply cannot be scratched by the designs of other people. There are times, like the times that I just went through, that an architectural design sticks in your head and refuses to leave. Ask it politely, it doesn’t budge. Demand that it leave you alone, and it only itches more and begs to be scratched. When a design concept is cemented in our heads and the desire to see it take shape overtakes the regular desires of our heart, well, then there’s not much else we can do. Except build.
Vacation homes are emotional things. The pursuit of a home is emotional, the implementation of it emotional, and then finally, the rewards that manifest only after a lifetime of dedication to that home and to that ideal are equally as emotional. Most times, the homes that are built and listed for sale with signs in the yards and hyperbolic commentary on a website, those homes will work. One of those homes will likely speak to a vacation home buyer, and whether they buy it and use it as is, or they buy it and remodel it to their own liking, the typical case is that a built home will fulfill that gaping hole that we aim to fill with a weekend place.
Other times, nothing fits. We have rectangular vision and inventory of only circles, and this is when we must turn our eye towards new construction, and if we’re looking towards that new construction then we must first cast our eye to some delicious vacant land. Vacant land has not been plentiful around Geneva Lake since forever, and as our desires find us on the shores of a lake that was discovered so long ago we either then must look for a suitable lot with a home that we might tear down, or we have to sort through 150 years of built inventory in hopes of finding one lot that slipped through the cracks of mass gentrification.
If we’re looking for lakefront to build on, then the price structure is such that we are already only paying land value for the few delapidated or otherwise worn out homes that exist on Geneva, so we needn’t pursue solely vacant land offerings if we’re looking to build on the lake itself. But what if we’re looking just off the water? What if we can’t justify the lakefront itself, but we’re seeking a home with reasonable proximity to the water and a transferable boatslip? If that’s our goal, then we’re generally going to be working with built inventory that might traditionally be available in the $500-$600k range. Consider the home that sold last year in the $500k range in Oak Shores. Then look towards the home for $599k that’s pending in Trinke’s. These are generally the sort of offerings that we can find if we’re looking for an older, sort of lame house, on a decent lot with a slip and a casual saunter to the lakefront.
The MLS this morning has one vacant lot with boatslip available priced under $2.6MM. There are lots available in the South Shore Club, even though my Lot 3 on Forest Hill Circle listed at $399k is pending sale, there are still a few others remaining, including lot 27, which is likely the absolute best lot remaining in the South Shore Club. It should be noted now that it hasn’t made sense to build in the South Shore Club pretty much since its inception, until now. We finally have sold comps that support value, and those sold comps suggest that a buyer with an eye towards building can do so and create immediate equity. Outside of the SSC, there is but one offering of a vacant lot with a boatslip- that being a lot in Brookwood, on Fontana’s southern shore. That lot is large, and it’s nice, but it’s forever and a ways away from the lake. That’s why it’s pretty nice that I listed lot 5 in Geneva Oaks this week for $399k. It’s level, it’s wooded, it’s close to the lake, and it has a transferable boatslip.
Best of all, I’m pricing this lot based on actual market statistics. In 2004, lot 15 in Geneva Oaks sold for $349k. This lot was sloped, and it wasn’t nearly as large as my lot 5. I’m now on the hunt for a buyer who would like to see their own vision play out near this big blue lake. Why buy the dream of someone else when there’s a nice patch of dirt ready and willing to accept the foundation of your own?