Oak Shores

Oak Shores

Earlier this summer, I spent a few days calling and emailing, telling customers and clients about a lake access cottage that I wanted at least one of them to buy. The cottage was classic and enjoyed a large corner lot in the Oak Shores association on the South shore of Geneva. The house was relatively limited, in the way that most older homes are- small kitchen, small baths, that sort of thing. Nothing too difficult to overcome, particularly in a weekend home. The property was all the way off the lake in Oak Shores, sharing a border with Oak Shores Boulevard to the West, and South Lakeshore Drive to the South. It wasn’t the best of locations, but it was an impeccable classic home in an association that provides public offerings on an average of one every four or five years. That home was listed for $685k and sold for $627,500 less than two weeks later, selling quickly and correctly as I tried to tell you it would.

That sale was the first public sale since that very same home sold nearly nine years prior. Oak Shores is not generous with its public inventory. It is a tight association, one where homes are sold to friends of neighbors through whispers and winks. It is an association that lies on the grounds that were once filled with Apple and Pear trees that provided fruit for the owner of the original Oak Shores estate that still guards most of the original lakefront ($4.295MM). The boulevard access to the association is unique, and I count it as the only lakefront association on Geneva with such a non-typical entrance. The homes have slips, and the pier is both ample and rarely crowded. The issue with the cottage style home that closed in June was in the location. It was all the way at the southern tip of the association, too many steps away from the water to allow for a leisurely amble to and from the water. With that being a problem I set about to find a solution, and with that I offer my newest listing on Oak Shores Lane.


This ranch ($710k) will not charm you from the onset as the listing up the street did. It will not inspire you with little bits of trim and awning that make a person feel like the perfect lake home has finally been discovered. The emotional reaction will not be as strong, but the level headed among us will find the location and condition of the home to be a draw far more powerful than a fresh paint job and aloof awnings. This home has been well maintained by the current owners, and headaches for the new owners should be limited to the endless color cards that will all but cover your dining room table as you debate just which shade of white the interior should be sprayed. The current wood siding and ceilings are nice, they are quality, but they could be painted to transform this home from campy cabin to chic cottage faster than you can hang up your new “Welcome to the lake” sign.

If I’m a buyer for a lake access home with a big, fat, deep water boat slip, I’m looking first to the slip but second, perhaps equally, I want proximity. I do not want a slip that I cannot easily walk to. Thankfully, this newest Oak Shores offering has both a slip and easy proximity. I plan on shooting a video of this breezy, level walk at some point today, so check back early and often (I can always use the page views to make me feel wanted) and I’ll hopefully have a video up by noon. I can make this nicely sized ranch charming. I can paint this and trim that, I can put in wood floors (though the carpet is new as is the roof and air conditioner), and change the stone around the fireplace to make it reflect my own desires. I can do these things as my time and my budget affords, but what I could not do is take the charming home from up the lake and will it to be closer to the water. I can spend and spend and spend, but I cannot take a home with average proximity to the lake and buy it outstanding proximity. It’s in this knowledge that I would personally look for my slip, yes, but then I’d hunt down proximity and I would grab it and hoard it and make sure it was always and forever mine.

If you’re game to come see this new listing, I’m around all week. I’ll be here in Lake Geneva, sweating. That and swimming. Sweating and then swimming, and repeating the cycle as needed. But more on that tomorrow. Stay cool.

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