The first thing we must do is agree that private lakefront is the goal. If the means are present and the motivation is high, then lakefront on Geneva is the most obvious goal. But if the means are not present, as for most they are not, or the motivation is not that high, which is shameful but it does occur, then what is the next best thing? This is the question that plagues would be vacation home buyers here and everywhere. If I can’t have exactly what I want, what can I have?
For some the answer to that aged question is to find something with a view. If I can just sit and see the lake, I’ll be happy, they say. If glimmers of blue are visible through my windows, then I’ll always know I’m at the lake and I’ll always feel relaxed because of those blue streaks. This is what drives people to homes that hang off of the hills of Country Club Estates, and others to the heights of homes in the Highlands. But this is a replacement for what those buyers really want, if we still assume they want to be on the lake.
For others a simple boat slip can bridge the gap between lakefront and lake rights. If a buyer can find a home, even if the home is a half mile from the lake, and that home has a slip where they might moor their boat, then this can be enough. There’s nothing more lakefront than having a pier to use and a slip for your boat, right? I think a pier is probably half of the lakefront living equation, and a view is usually the other half. The problem with the view and slip is that in order to find a home with both a view and a slip, one must look long and hard and be prepared to never find that lake style salvation.
While slips and views are delightful, the reality of the Lake Geneva lakefront dream is that it is most easily duplicated through neither slip nor view. It is most easily replicated by proximity. Nothing says lakefront like the ability to leave a wood porch and walk over grass and path before next walking on the warmed white boards of a proper Lake Geneva pier. Proximity, above a view and a slip is indeed king. But it’s only king if you know what true lakefront living is actually like, and more than sitting and looking at the lake, and more than walking on a pier and untying a boat, it’s about the walk from the house to the pier. The lakefront experience is not in that living room with the huge wide view, it’s in the walk from that living room to that pier.
So if proximity is the answer for those seeking a lakefront lifestyle on a different budget, then it’s important to know where your dollar will buy the closest proximity. As I scan the MLS today I see proximity, and I see it for a reasonable ransom. I just put 68 Upper Loch Vista back on the market at a better price- $439k. This home is just six homes from the water and while residents at the top of Upper Loch Vista (where a cottage sold for $380k last year) have to contend with two hills, my listing has only one to deal with. The walk from the lake is quick and it is easy, and a cascade of vacation home owners on a Saturday morning walking from home to lake is a sight that fits my eye just perfectly.
Not that I want you to think that only my listings possess proximity, but it is also true that my listing in Belvidere Park possesses unrivaled proximity for a $559k home. This five bedroom cottage has not only lakeviews and access to a boat mooring (likely a buoy to start), but there is nothing from cottage porch to wooden pier but a private driveway turnaround and a swath of green grass. Belvidere Park, for those seeking proximity first, is the best option on the market today. My Harvard Club sales in recent years possess stellar proximity as well, and when I bring back one listing in there next month in the low $500ks, that listing will be the best available option on the market for a buyer seeking both proximity and a slip bundled with a vintage cottage.
Continuing the Dave Curry listing parade, my listing in Oak Shores just returned to market for $675k. You’ll notice all of my listings that come to market after having gone unsold for some portion of last year will return at lower prices. Thank me for that later. The Oak Shores home is also six homes from the lake and features a level walk from home to lakefront where your short meander will be rewarded with your boat resting in your private, transferable slip. This is proximity with a slip at its very best. 619 Aweogon in Fontana is almost right across the street from the Indian Hills park entrance, so the proximity there doesn’t necessarily need to be explained any further. It’s right on top of the park, and it has a view ($659k).
There are other offerings as well, some in Cedar Point Park, others elsewhere, but what you should know is that $500k buyers have proximity options that border on the divine. If a lakefront home is the goal but not a presently achievable one, then proximity should be the next criteria that guides your search. There are options today, and every one of those options will afford some lucky buyer the chance to spend the Friday 105 days from today in a much different way than every Friday before. If proximity is your chosen goal, then I’m your Sherpa.