Meet Lakewood Estates

Vacation home seekers that find themselves in Walworth County, due to blind luck or strong recent discernment or long ago instilled nostalgia, generally find that lakefront on Geneva Lake is the goal. This is not just true for those vacation home owners that occupy the summer homes found off the water, near Geneva Lake. This is true for those owners on other lakes, those Delavan and Mary or maybe Elizabeth and Buelah. They wish for this lake. They won’t admit to it, mind you, but if given the choice, price considerations rendered completely unimportant, they’d find themselves in a large lakefront home on this lake, front and center. If they say this isn’t true, and they say that they love their lake, they aren’t be entirely genuine. Lakefront on Geneva is the goal, and if it weren’t for the value considerations, everyone would be clamoring for a house of their own.


But the reality of lakefront on Geneva Lake is that it’s expensive. Whether your aim is an entry level $1.2MM house or a lavish $8MM spread, this is still expensive. You’ll never find me saying that the expense isn’t worth the transformative qualities that accompany such a purchase, but still, expensive. This is why buyers seek other options, on these other lakes or in far away fields. They say Denny is attempting to hide from his shame at his home in Wisconsin. He’s not in Lake Geneva. He’s in Crawford County, that Driftless region where one can buy most of the county for the price of a 50′ sliver of lakefront here. Buyers buy where they can afford, and over time, they convince themselves that the Lake Geneva scene isn’t for them, never was for them. They tell themselves that Geneva is too rough, too big, too crowded, too polished, too nice. What if we could engineer property that was beautiful and expensive, but inexpensive compared to the lakefront and lake access values? What if we could find a property that was part of the Lake Geneva vacation home market, indeed just a couple of miles from the water, but one that doesn’t command we pay the retail price for admission?

Enter Lakewood Estates. The name is generic sounding, but the property is anything but. I’ve often talked developers out of large scale developments here. The reason for my denial of my own future business is because our market is famously unable and unwilling to absorb heavy doses of new inventory. This is why Geneva National is stuck in the mud. This is why it was a blessing that the city of Lake Geneva didn’t allow that large development on the Huml property just South of town. This is why Mirbeau and friends being denied the development rights to the Yerke’s property was a win for everyone. Lake Geneva does most things very well, but large scale development is usually a disaster here. The developer considering the re-development of the Hilmoor Golf Course should pay close attention to this, and then dwell on these words: Don’t do it, unless bankruptcy is indeed the development goal.


Lakewood Estates is a 330 acre property just East of the lake. It’s off Bloomfield Road, which is a road that most will never have cause to wander down. There has, for decades, existed a full 18 hole golf course that only those connected to the owner through business or clout have had the pleasure of playing. There is a 75 acre lake, a pittance when compared to the bountiful waters of Geneva but an unexpectedly large treat when dropped in the middle of a 330 wooded oasis. This has been, up until now, a retreat for a Chicago executive and his family. Now, it’s an exclusive 18 lot development ready to compete for the hearts and weekends of vacation loving city-dwellers. Of the 18 lots, 2 are already occupied by lavish existing homes. A third is under contract. A fourth will be sold shortly to allow for a new spec home. This leaves 14 vacant lots, priced from the mid $400s, giving the market some inventory to absorb but not so much that we defeat the intended exclusivity.

The magic of this community is that we don’t need any one particular sort of buyer. We have horse stables and pastures on property, so if you’re a horse-lover and you’ve always wished for the ability to ride a horse on the weekends, through the ample trails of the property and onto the 1000+ acres of adjacent DNR land, then you’re in luck. Bring your horses, or if you’ve spent your life horse-less, buy one and ship it here. Did I mention we have an indoor riding arena? Unlike other Chicago area brokerages, these are not Getty images that have little to do with the target property, these are real live horses, on the property that I’m talking to you about. Look at how happy these horses are.


But this isn’t just a horse development, because if it were, we’d be searching for a very elusive buyer, one that values horses and nothing else. That’s why this 75 acre lake is here. Is it Geneva? Of course not. Can you boat on it for a whole afternoon? Don’t be absurd. Can your kids practice their sailing here, on our small Opti’s and Lasers? Of course they can. That’s why being here doesn’t mean not being at the lake, it means being at the lake some of the time, and honing your water skills here in the mean time. I love Geneva more than anything, but only a fool would send a 9 year old in an Opti into the wave fest that is a Saturday on Geneva. If you think it’s a nice idea to lounge on your lakeside patio while your son or daughter tacks back and forth on your own private lake, that’s what Lakewood does best.

Maybe sailing isn’t your thing, maybe fishing is. This lake is stocked with bass and pike, and panfish abound. Practice your fly-casting, slowly retrieving poppers on a calm weekend afternoon. Bring your kids out in a small row-boat, let them soak worms under bobbers. There won’t be any boats throwing wakes at you, maybe just a sailboat or two fluttering in the distance. It’s rather ideal, as you can imagine. We’re looking into adding a dedicated ski boat to the property, and allowing only a small daily window where that boat can be operated. The lake appears perfect for a slalom course, so if you’ve ever cursed weekend waves on Geneva as you try your darndest to get in a few runs, Lakewood has you covered.

You can do lots of things in Lincoln Park. For instance, you can do shopping. But you can’t shoot shotguns, or at least you really can’t shoot one more than once. We have plans at Lakewood to add a trapshooting course to the property, so your grandfather’s 20 gauge will no longer need to reside in a locked cabinet in your basement. Bring it to the lake, and shoot it on weekends with your friends, with your dad, with your kids. Teach them the sorts of things they can’t learn in the city. We have horses, riding/walking trails, pastures, that private lake for sailing and fishing and probably water skiing, and SUP cruising, we have trap shooting and that adjacent DNR property to do all sorts of outdoorsy things on, and we haven’t even talked about the golf. That’s because it’s not THE thing here, it’s just one of the things.


The 18 hole golf course is quite nice, as is the new Scott Lowell built clubhouse. It’s fancy, really, and if you like the idea of all of those aforementioned weekend activities combined with your own private 18 hole golf course, well, then it’s time to visit. The golf course is beautiful, but so are local private/public courses. Geneva National is very nice, and there are 54 holes there compared to our 18. The difference? If you wanted to take your wife and kids out for a Saturday round on Geneva National, you’d need to make a tee-time. Then, you’d need to keep up the pace of play so as not to make those groups in front of you and behind you ornery. Then, you’d need to make sure you completed all 18 holes, because you’d be paying a lot for the privilege. Geneva National is a wonderful course, but it’s not exactly the place to teach a novice golfer to love the game. Big Foot Country Club is also a great course, but don’t break the dress code or you’ll be faced with sanctions. Lakewood has no such stuffiness to accompany our course. It’s just your private course, to play as you wish, and if you’d like to motor on your cart out to the course to play your favorite three holes after dinner, be our guest. We won’t chastise you.


Where else could this vast array of activities exist? Where else could you do all of that and still be five minutes to downtown Lake Geneva, where you can still be part of this entire vacation home scene? To help you understand the property, I’m happy to provide private tours, and they’ll be unlike most property tours. Unless, of course, most of your property tours involve me taking you around the property, while we play a few holes of golf, and then lounge at the private clubhouse (above) to discuss the details. We have a spec home scheduled to be underway by the end of this month, and the plan is a Jason Bernard masterpiece. And that brings us to why you’d be here and not on the lake. These homes will be absolutely beautiful, with high end finishes and lakefront settings. They’ll be stylish, and high end, and when the dust settles you’ll be able to have your brand new vacation home, nestled against that private lake and behind our new granite-gated entrance, beyond the pastures where the horses spend their days munching grass and swishing their tails, for an all-in price between $1.5MM and $1.9MM.


To consider the market context, look to the off-water homes that have sold in recent years. Consider properties on Stearns in Fontana selling north of a million. Consider the home up the road from the lake in Academy Estates listed at nearly $1.5MM, which is already pending sale. Consider your options, sure, but consider them and then let me introduce you to Lakewood Estates, because it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.

About the Author

I'm David Curry. I write this blog to educate and entertain those who subscribe to the theory that Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is indeed the center of the real estate universe. When I started selling real estate 27 years ago I did so of a desire to one day dominate the activity in the Lake Geneva vacation home market. With over $800,000,000 in sales since January of 2010, that goal is within reach. If I can help you with your Lake Geneva real estate needs, please consider me at your service. Thanks for reading.

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