Other Lakes Market Update

I made a pretty big mistake last week. If it was a mistake or an omission, who could tell? But it was a mistake, of sorts, either that or a calculated decision that presented as something of a mistake but was, as a point of fact, not. I received a call from someone wishing to have me maybe list something on Delavan Lake. Delavan Lake, for those unaware, is a lake to the West and a bit to the North of Geneva Lake. It’s an okay lake, I suppose, as long as we’re not being too picky about things. The call itself was not my mistake. When I did not return the call, that’s likely where I erred, because I did what Realtors don’t like to do: I turned down potential business. This is a cardinal sin in our business, as agents scrape together whatever they can find and hope that things work out okay. I used to do this, but now I don’t.

I liken the dismissal of this other-lake business to someone receiving tickets to a baseball game. These people, the ones who received the tickets, they’re huge Red Sox fans. Huge. They don’t love the sport of baseball, rather, just those Red Sox. They love the Sox so much they once bid on the blood-red sock, only to become excited at the prospect of owning such a piece of red socked lore before bowing out at $1125. These are the people that received the tickets. The tickets are to a Brewers game in April, and they’re playing the Rays, or the Devil Rays, whichever the team from Tampa is now called, depending on whether or not this team is still in Tampa. They have daytime tickets to the Brewers and the Rays, on a Wednesday. In April. They decline.

Can we blame them? After all, they love the Red Sox, not the sport. I am in real estate as they are in baseball, and so, other lakes sometimes don’t count. But count they must, so let’s count them. It’s a good exercise to now and then review the sales on neighboring lakes, to either see how well they’re faring or how poorly they’re faring, and also to remind ourselves that some people view lakes as big collections of water, and if this is the defining criteria then a lake is a lake is a lake. Delavan is as Whitewater, which is just like Mary and her friend Elizabeth, which is not to say that they are different than old Beulah, perhaps Brown, though we can all agree that a lake named “Brown” cannot be anything like a lake named “Whitewater”. Still, the lakes.

I mentioned this is an exercise, and it really is. Me at this keyboard, the one where my fingers type out GENEVA without even thinking about it, plunking in, instead, the names of other lakes as soon as my mind registers them. And so it went, just now, me listing names in my head, my fingers corresponding those thoughts to the MLS, where we’re checking the overall, early season health of those lakefront markets. First, Delavan. How many sales on the lake so far in 2015? None. Zero. Onward. The next name I thought of, the aforementioned Whitewater, where one property has so far sold for the tidy sum of $309k. I have never seen Whitewater Lake, though once I did show a home in the woods somewhere near there, before the days of GPS and texting, and before I turned down the sort of business that I didn’t want to define me.

Lauderdale is an easy guess, and that lake system has had two sales so far. One of note is Kirk Hinrich’s house. The Bull’s hustle player, the one whom I wish would have been a better three point shooter even though is percentages show me he isn’t a bad one, he bought this lakefront house in 2005 for $1.25MM. The rumor that I like to relay as truth is that a friend of mine was working a carpentry job several years ago at a neighboring house to his, and noticed some guy outside shooting hoops. He was very good, this basketball shooter guy, so my friend took close notice. It turned out to be Kirk Hinrich, or so the story went and still goes. Somewhat astonishing to me, the house that he paid $1.25MM for at nearly the market peak just sold to a new buyer for $1.28MM. Either the home was remarkably special, or the property was rare, or perhaps someone wanted to shoot hoops on Kirk’s old hoop. Either way, I don’t know the details because Lauderdale, remember? The other sale was for $399,500, proof that Lauderdale is a strange bird with lakefront housing prices varying wildly depending on the specific bay, or the specific stretch of lake you’re looking at. Onward.

The next name was Powers, and that lake to the East of here hasn’t had a sale in 2015. I checked Comus, because I wanted to, and it’s no surprise nothing has sold there, perhaps because nothing is truly on Comus. It’s a small lake North and West of Delavan, and some lady caught a big musky there while fishing for panfish a few years ago. You pass it on your way to the Dam Road Gun Shop, which has a neat business card if you’d like to pick one up next time you’re there. Browns lake came next, that small lake in Burlington, and there hasn’t been a sale in 2015 on that oddly named body of water. To be fair, that lake may be partially in Racine County, and I’m only searching Walworth County, but I don’t exactly know because Brown’s.

Geneva has had two lakefront sales so far this year, so it looks as though we’re on pace with the Lauderdale’s of the world. But we’re 5400 acres of delicious clear depths and they’re 850 acres of weedy shoreline, so who’s keeping pace with who?

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.

1 thought on “Other Lakes Market Update”

  1. Would love for you to come visit our home on Lauderdale Lake! We are on Green Lake….a few homes down from Kirk Hinrich’s former home. There isn’t a weed to be found in our pebble bottom swim area in front of our home. We can see right down to our toes in five feet of water. There are many beautiful homes on the lake. Yes, they do range in price….keeping a great amount of character on the lake. We have small, little cottages to mansions. We are grateful for the beauty of Wisconsin, in all seasons!!


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