I like the Lake Geneva Club. I like it better than its neighbors, but I like the neighbors plenty, too. The Lake Geneva Club has always been a nice mix of old and new, rarely pausing from the gentrification that has been a steady there for the past decade. The piers are nicely configured now, the road newish, the tennis court well maintained, the fundamentals well cared for and updated. I’ve sold many homes on this street, and have had many more listed. The street is comfortable without being shabby, it’s quiet without being dull, it’s cute without being a caricature.
In the fall of 2006, a ranch home came to market. The home was well kept, if boring, and it sat a long enough ways from the lake to not have a view, but not so far that it wasn’t somewhat desirable. The price for this ranchy mediocrity was $829k. It was a lofty price, sure, one that made no sense then just as it wouldn’t make sense now, but I was somewhat to blame for the price, even though the listing was not my own. In August of that year, I sold a cottage in the Lake Geneva Club for $790k, a price that was owed to its location within the club; it was just one home from the lake with rather dazzling views. That sale set in motion a race to capitalize on fleeting momentum, and so when this ranch was listed for $829k there was little doubt that the goal was to crush a home run, rather than to string together a few singles, maybe also a walk, and drive home a run.
That property sat on the market at $829k for some time. Then it was reduced to seven something, the exact number not mattering at all then and certainly not mattering today. Then it was six something, maybe for a while, then five something. When it was five something I took notice on behalf of customers, and I routinely chauffered buyers down that favorite lake access lane of mine, pulling into the large asphalt parking lot and showing the mediocrity that was this ranch. The home had an easy lay out, three bedrooms and two baths, a large double lot, and a boat slip. It was a nice candidate for a renovation, and I often suggested that a $120k remodel would make this boring ranch come alive as an exciting lake cottage. No one listened, and the home sat and sat, even as I tried my best to convince my buyers of the value of finding vacation home satisfaction on this street where it came easily.
From the time that this ranch was first listed until the date last week when it sold, six other MLS listed homes in the LGC came to market and sold. I sold four of those six, yet for some reason listings on the street have recently eluded me. That’s a curious point, as it drives home the real estate agent choosing method most favored by the consumer: List with the lady who’s the sister of the lady who does your mother’s hair, or succumb to the listing pressure of those agents that hawk down expired and For Sale By Owner listings. Either way, six buyers looked at the Lake Geneva Club listings, and six buyers chose anything but the small ranch on the big lot with the three bedrooms.
There was at least one false start, one contract that came together and failed to close. But mostly, nonchalance and a market that looked past this home and towards anything but. Until this spring, when the lake access market between $500k and $750k enjoyed a generous spurt of activity and a buyer was brought to those humble steps of that unassuming ranch. That home finally closed last week, for $500k, making it a quality print for the association and a victory for the seller who finally, mercifully, found his buyer.
Today, there are two homes for sale in the LGC. Both are near the lake, one has a slip of somewhat difficult access. The street, and those available homes, should breath a sigh of satisfied relief. The ranch home that was first listed nearly nine years ago has sold, and there’s another new owner about to realize that their weekends were completely and utterly awful before now.
(This was not my listing and I didn’t bring in the buyer.)