I see the world in black and white. I see it in wrong and right. I see the people who dwell in the gray and I wonder why. Packers fans see Bears fans and wonder why. Bears fans feel the same. Some people saw that dress as being gold and some saw it as blue. Some think the President is good and some think he’s bad. These are binary situations with predictable outcomes. It’s one or the other. Black or white. Blue or Gold. Orange and Blue or Green and Gold. Capitalism or Socialism. Two choices, nothing in the middle. No gray to be found, anywhere.
My lack of gray awareness extends to the Lake Geneva lakefront, as do most things in my life. In this case, there are once again two sorts of people. Two types of buyers. Two positions that can be adopted, each a religion, one of conviction and one of ignorance. There are really only two types of buyers on this lake. An easy play here would be to assume that I’m talking about the smart buyers who work with me, and the other buyers that don’t. But this is the low hanging fruit and we’re not seeking the easy way out. That’s for the other group, the group that we don’t belong to. The two groups? Those who understand that the water adjacent their would-be-lakefront-home is important, and those who are wrong.
It’s true that all of Geneva Lake is divine. While the lakefront homes themselves can vary by make and model, many subscribe to the belief that the lake is the lake. If they’ve found their way here, they know they’ve already eschewed the bad lakes in favor of this, the good lake, and in that they feel as though they have made the correct decision. They would be correct, in a way. But if we dig deeper we can find that not all of Geneva Lake was created equal. This is a lake of good and better, and ultimately best, but there is a misunderstood part of this lake, one that can only be considered to be nothing but bad.
Sacrilege, you say? Heresy? Or is it just the truth, the sort that can only be discovered after a lifetime of walking this path and swimming these waves and casting from these piers? Should it be any surprise that there are good spots on this lake and bad spots? And what exactly does that mean? After all, if you’re a buyer looking for lakefront you’ve certainly already identified that this is the only lake worth buying on, which means you’ve already gained membership into a most exclusive, enlightened group. This is where many buyers stop. This is where they assume the decisions from here on must all be relatively equal. And this is where they are wrong. It’s not nuanced, it’s as binary as anything has ever been. It’s one or the other, either the water matters or it doesn’t, and it does.
The lake is deep. We know this. 150′, give or take. But this isn’t the unique aspect of Geneva Lake that keeps it so remarkable and shimmery. It’s the volume that does that. 70% of Geneva is 70′ or deeper. So this isn’t some spread out mud-puddle in Texas, the sort with swimming tarantulas and brain eating amoebas, this is a sparkling, natural, spring-fed lake of royal proportions. In spite of this magnificent volume, the lake still has its edges, and by default, those edges feature shallow water. It would be forgivable if you viewed a home in the winter without the assistance of an informed agent and you weren’t aware of the quality of the water adjacent that home. But in the summer? In the spring? The fall? With piers in and lawns mowed, this shouldn’t be difficult to figure out.
A proper pier on Geneva should feature end of pier water depth in the 5-8′ range. If you are on Black Point, you might be in 20′ range. But if you’re in a shallow corner of the lake, the sort of corner that might have been a straight up swamp before the property owners of the 1800s filled those corners in with rocks and dirt and tree stumps, then you very well might be in trouble. Full sections of the lake suffer from this shallow-water concern, and I’m positive that the owners of such homes no longer find themselves concerned with the lack of water at the end of their pier. But if you’re a buyer you have a choice, and the choice is simple. If you’re considering a lakefront home on Geneva, be sure you’re buying at a price point that matches the quality of the water. If you’re considering a home search and you’re uncertain what sort of water might be good or bad, don’t sweat that detail. Just ask me.