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Getting a Lake House

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18 minutes ago, cjm13905 said:

Maintenance is a big issue. 

We get to our Lake House about 4 weeks out of the year, so I need to cram a lot of house maintenance in those 4 weeks. We have someone to take care of the lawn, but the gardens always need work. The trees on the lot need trimming because they grow so fast. My house is ten years old, so that doesn't need much, but the southern sun is brutal on decking and it needs a lot of maintenance.

Funny, I brought up the maintenance item because our neighbors across the street own lake property on Lake Jackson here in Ga. They bought two water front lots on a small  lake across from us to "Get Away". Why you have to get away from your home lake front property with horses and docks, etc I don't know.

They come every few months and spend their whole time here doing maintenance on the two lots, buildings, etc and their part of the waterfront. They take care of the property and make renovations and improvements. Ole Don (the neighbor) gets bent if a leaf falls in the wrong spot on the lawn. But that is their thing. He is retired military and does not know how to relax.

Us, we did not buy a "Lake House" for the reasons oft stated here. We moved here to die for lack of a better way to put it. When forced out of the working world we found a place that we liked and a place that had an excellent chance of NOT changing or overgrowing in our projected lifetime. We moved here to enjoy the best parts of our lives without concern for future property values or status or basically anything beyond my last breath. All of our children have lives and their own children and grandchildren. Our children are scattered from Mississippi to Pa. and back. Since my physical condition will not allow me to travel more than 50 miles it does not matter where we live. It is upon our grown children to visit us. They know it and understand and have no issues.

One of my major concerns when purchasing the property was would I be able to take care of my own property for as long as possible. 

Joe

 

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22 minutes ago, Guzzi said:

Funny, I brought up the maintenance item because our neighbors across the street own lake property on Lake Jackson here in Ga. They bought two water front lots on a small  lake across from us to "Get Away". Why you have to get away from your home lake front property with horses and docks, etc I don't know.

They come every few months and spend their whole time here doing maintenance on the two lots, buildings, etc and their part of the waterfront. They take care of the property and make renovations and improvements. Ole Don (the neighbor) gets bent if a leaf falls in the wrong spot on the lawn. But that is their thing. He is retired military and does not know how to relax.

Us, we did not buy a "Lake House" for the reasons oft stated here. We moved here to die for lack of a better way to put it. When forced out of the working world we found a place that we liked and a place that had an excellent chance of NOT changing or overgrowing in our projected lifetime. We moved here to enjoy the best parts of our lives without concern for future property values or status or basically anything beyond my last breath. All of our children have lives and their own children and grandchildren. Our children are scattered from Mississippi to Pa. and back. Since my physical condition will not allow me to travel more than 50 miles it does not matter where we live. It is upon our grown children to visit us. They know it and understand and have no issues.

One of my major concerns when purchasing the property was would I be able to take care of my own property for as long as possible. 

Joe

 

#%^$&%$ Joe that post bummed me out, I hope you continue to enjoy lake life for a long time, seriously.

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26 minutes ago, phills fan said:

#%^$&%$ Joe that post bummed me out, I hope you continue to enjoy lake life for a long time, seriously.

Oh Man sorry, no intent to bum anyone out. We are as happy as a pig in S---.

We love our life and look forward to many more years here. 

Believe it or not Mamma was right. You can break your fool neck boy.

I was forced into retirement and into a "Sedate" lifestyle by my injuries and the associated doctors. 

We simply downsized to a level where we could lead a "Normal" life. We are happier now than we have ever been. Once we adjusted our lifestyle to the new location and restrictions we have found a new happiness I never dreamed of.

I would not go back into the fray even if I had a chance. Lovin The Lake Life!!!!

Joe

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We bought a lake house a couple of years ago. The amount of memories that it makes for the kids and friends alike is priceless. It gives your kids the ability to spend time with family and friends as well. On a boat, the main thing is talking with friends and family. This is great for making childhood memories. No regrets and wouldn't sell it for double what we paid. One necessity for us though was a big lake. I am glad we bought on a big lake. Big lake prevents getting "bored." It is nice being able to still explore new parts for a while. 

 

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Buying a lake house is a leap of faith.  You will never be rich enough or find the right time to do it.  Just pick a place and start enjoying life. Unless of course you are getting younger and can live your life over.  

A0FE71AD-9C28-4A28-A6FB-52C9E7A4DA59_zps

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35 minutes ago, Big Fun said:

Buying a lake house is a leap of faith.  You will never be rich enough or find the right time to do it.  Just pick a place and start enjoying life. Unless of course you are getting younger and can live your life over.  

A0FE71AD-9C28-4A28-A6FB-52C9E7A4DA59_zps

Nice pic BigFun. Beautiful property. Looks like a nice big lake. 

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11 hours ago, Chaparral Rider said:

Only one of our garages is heated but that's the one for the smaller toys that's connected to the main house and was built so the home HVAC system is part of the garage.  I forgot, there is a creek on the property too that leads to the lake.  You can fish right out of the creek.  

Nice!

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19 hours ago, cjm13905 said:

We own a house on LKG in Virginia (North West Quad).  We are on the main lake Near mile marker 17. Near Poplar Pointe Marina. We live in NY, and it is a 8.5 hr drive so we don't get there as much as we want. We bought the land in 2001 and built in 2007. Kids were 11 and 13 when we built. Kids always bring a friend with them, and we always have a great time. The thing with LKG is that there isn't much on the lake or near the lake to do. Pretty much water sports and that's it. In the 20 or so years we have been going there it really has not developed. If you know LKG, then you know of Eatons Ferry which is now Morningstar Marina. They tried building condo's near there, and I think were originally listed at low 300's. Sales were poor, price dropped, and the development stalled.  

We love the lake and going there, and the wife and I plan on retiring there in 4 to 6 years. Glad we bought when we did, couldn't afford it now. Main Lake lots today are mid to upper 300's for a .7 acre lot. If you have any questions about the area, drop me a line.

Thanks, BTW I'm originally from Long Island (Valley Stream) and got relocated to Richmond in 2003. We keep our boat at Mornigstar Marina, I never trailer it. It's a fun lake but to your point with only about 3 places to eat on the lake. The pizza place off the lake is very good, especially with the new ownership. Funny as we tend to go to marker 17 as it's less crowded and we can get to marker 14 to then go up the channel to Shady Shack to eat. I might go next weekend to look at some property. Happy Thanksgiving!

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One last reason: there is nothing better than walking out your back door, turning the key and your gone. No boat ramp funny business, no trailer lights to deal with, no boat ramp idiots, just walk to the boat and go. That is the BEST part in my opinion

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31 minutes ago, BoatingSam said:

One last reason: there is nothing better than walking out your back door, turning the key and your gone. No boat ramp funny business, no trailer lights to deal with, no boat ramp idiots, just walk to the boat and go. That is the BEST part in my opinion

Yep, we don't have that. We have to trailer to one of the public ramps less than a mile away and we don't need no stinking lights (or tags for that matter as long as we stay in this area).

The police and wildlife officers here know everyone by sight and really don't care what you do as long as you are not on their chit list. They really are abnormal in that they are not sticklers for all the little rules as long as you generally behave and don't endanger anyone. On the plus side when I drop a tool while puttzing around on the boat I just climb out and pick it up.

When we purchased three years ago we did not expect to buy a boat. Funny that we would buy lake property with no plans to buy a boat but we bought here for a hundred other reasons. We purchased one street over from waterfront for several reasons. If we had anticipated buying a boat we may have made a different purchase.

Joe

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10 hours ago, Guzzi said:

Yep, we don't have that. We have to trailer to one of the public ramps less than a mile away and we don't need no stinking lights (or tags for that matter as long as we stay in this area).

The police and wildlife officers here know everyone by sight and really don't care what you do as long as you are not on their chit list. They really are abnormal in that they are not sticklers for all the little rules as long as you generally behave and don't endanger anyone. On the plus side when I drop a tool while puttzing around on the boat I just climb out and pick it up.

When we purchased three years ago we did not expect to buy a boat. Funny that we would buy lake property with no plans to buy a boat but we bought here for a hundred other reasons. We purchased one street over from waterfront for several reasons. If we had anticipated buying a boat we may have made a different purchase.

Joe

Ok, but still one street over from waterfront is different than having your own private dock. 

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One day launching my boat will be pushing a button to lower it into the water, and nothing to do with a trailer.  ;)

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11 hours ago, BoatingSam said:

Ok, but still one street over from waterfront is different than having your own private dock. 

Duh

Joe

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Fgeo, I'm on sml  I can't compare it to the other lake. I think / hope property values are about as low as they are going to go since the recession.  We bought a fixer upper last year.  Kids did not like going to do work of coarse.  We are less than an hour away so a little different situation than yours perhaps.   Nice lake. No negatives other than cost, but as others have implied, you only get one shot at this and none of us are getting any younger. Pm me if you want more details. 

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Ahh - my favorite topic.

Two years ago, our financial adviser asked us the same question he had asked for the previous 5 + years.  "What do you want in life?"  after the standard answers of college for the kids, retirement security etc. he stopped and said yeah but what about now.  we said our dream was a lake home but didn't think it was the smartest move and said we would wait.  he simply said, "Wait for what? your kids to be grown, out of the house"  Memories with your kids go by really fast, we used to spend weekends on the boat only via trailering.  that was and is great but limited us due to lift lines, weather, etc.  then we gave in a rented a slip for a few seasons.  loved it, increased our time on the water by 2x.  My boys are 16, 14 and 11.  I can say that our boating is 100% secondary to just being on the lake.  If you worry that your kids will not want to be at the lake over the weekend my response is just don't worry.  My kids beg to go and so do I - my wife and kids spend more time than i do because of work.  The things they found to do while i am away makes me jealous and happy.  they are all in sailing lessons, take their bikes trail riding, fishing and occasionally bring friends.  Expensive yes, and may result in delaying my retirement however, i have found the place i will move to when I retire and lakefront property typically doesn't lose value.  It was a complete stretch but we are on year two and imagine that my boys will always want to come to the lake and hopefully someday with kids of their own to enjoy.

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The thing about the whole lake house situation is... as fantastic as it is being 30 feet off the water, with your boat on a lift that you press a button on the key fob on your boat keychain to lower you into the water and you fall asleep to waves crashing on beach from your master bedroom where you can't even see the shore, just the water, is a sort of camaraderie among all of the people who also have a house on the lake. You wave at every boat that puts past your place while you admire a 600hp pontoon that never sees 15mph, or one of the other Chaparrals as you sit and watch the wakeboarders or skiers while you relax on the dock, maybe boat up one of the rivers and do some fishing in a nice hidden spot with the kids.  Jump on the waverunner for a zero to seventy rush of adrenaline, then jump in the canoe with your wife for an evening canoe ride into some areas that aren't accessible to large boats while you talk about life and the kids.

 In addition, it's not just the lake activities, it's the 4 wheeling and walks in the woods, and the local little shops and the other attractions, maybe some ice fishing in the winter and of course snowmobiling across the lake to have a bite to eat and hit the trails for 40 or 50 miles.  It's heading to the closest big town that's 40 minutes away and exploring and buying cabin related things like log furniture and sconce lighting and ceiling fans that are cabin themed etc.  It's a lifestyle which is vastly and different than owning a boat that you keep in your garage or storage barn that you pull out 20 or 30 times a season as we have discovered these past years.  We even spread my father in laws ashes in the lake.  

We have now built our lives in the spring and summer around the lake lifestyle.  Our lives are more fulfilled I believe because of this as our our kids.  

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+1 - even the fall maint. is not a chore for me.  it is relaxing.  

One cost saving tip that has saved me is I am a big fan of the Nest Thermostat.  I changed that out after our 1st year and my heating and cooling costs have dropped easily by 1/2.

I keep the heat on 50 deg for the winter and only close the valves to sinks and fridge in case of hose blow out.  (changed any plastic compression fitting to SS threaded)  bought a case of the foam insulation and rented a thermal camera for a day during the winter.  found cold spots and kids and i had fun adding insulation behind walls.  makes a big difference.

there is always something, but what a great way to stay busy.  

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8 minutes ago, delaney said:

+1 - even the fall maint. is not a chore for me.  it is relaxing.  

One cost saving tip that has saved me is I am a big fan of the Nest Thermostat.  I changed that out after our 1st year and my heating and cooling costs have dropped easily by 1/2.

I keep the heat on 50 deg for the winter and only close the valves to sinks and fridge in case of hose blow out.  (changed any plastic compression fitting to SS threaded)  bought a case of the foam insulation and rented a thermal camera for a day during the winter.  found cold spots and kids and i had fun adding insulation behind walls.  makes a big difference.

there is always something, but what a great way to stay busy.  

This for us is the one issue we haven't overcome.  We don't have any internet up there and use our phones when we are there meaning we can't utilize the wifi features of our thermostat to monitor the actual temp or increase it when we are on the way up in the winter.  I do a 80% winterization every time we leave in the winter and pray the furnace doesn't go down.  

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3 hours ago, Chaparral Rider said:

This for us is the one issue we haven't overcome.  We don't have any internet up there and use our phones when we are there meaning we can't utilize the wifi features of our thermostat to monitor the actual temp or increase it when we are on the way up in the winter.  I do a 80% winterization every time we leave in the winter and pray the furnace doesn't go down.  

yeah - that is a hard one, the world is quickly becoming linked to everything.  maybe service isn't too far from getting to your area.  I also purchased 2 of the Nest cameras as well. highly recommend.   one focused on the dock and the other inside the home and front door.  you can even talk live to people , webcam style.  very nice feature keeping an eye on the boat and home while away.

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7 hours ago, Chaparral Rider said:

This for us is the one issue we haven't overcome.  We don't have any internet up there and use our phones when we are there meaning we can't utilize the wifi features of our thermostat to monitor the actual temp or increase it when we are on the way up in the winter.  I do a 80% winterization every time we leave in the winter and pray the furnace doesn't go down.  

Checkout the Hughes net to solve your internet problem.  I have used it and it works great.

 

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I'll respond as someone who grew up with a lake house that our family went to every summer, and weekends out of the summer. For anyone here who knows me reasonably well, you'll also know that I love the water, and everything about it, so my point of view may be somewhat biased.

As a kid, my parents would take my brother, sister and me to the cottage as soon as school ended, and we'd head back "home" a few days before school started. We did this for about 8 years, or so, and I would never in my life trade those wonderful memories for anything, ever. I consider myself to have had the best childhood a kid could ever have, and we were not rich by any means. Our cottage was a tiny little house on Lamoka Lake (a 3 mile long lake in the southern Finger Lakes) about 45 minutes from home, in Corning. My dad worked his butt off on the place, added on, and made it a wonderful summer place. We had a row boat, a little old Starcraft power boat (that's still in the family) and little Honda motorcycles. My summer life consisted of getting up around sunrise, heading out in one of the boats or off into the woods on the Honda, and not coming home til 6, or earlier, if the boat was full of fish and I had a lot of cleaning to do. When we weren't fishing, or swinging off the rope swing on the cliff at the island, we were water skiing behind the Starcraft.  In the winter, we'd go up, dig the place out of the snow, and ice fish or skate on the lake.  I learned to boat there, and learned to sail. I learned to fish, swim, water ski, shoot, and live life.

When I was in college, my parents upgraded to a nicer, bigger place down the lake, and it made a wonderful retreat to come get out of the city for a weekend and enjoy the beauty of the water and the hills. I'm beyond thankful for that lake during my childhood, and it has stayed with me all my life.

To this day, I need to be on the water, and have managed to keep my home on one body of water or another for a long time now. I share my life now with my two girls, and while my younger isn't as drawn to the lake as I was at her age, my older daughter is, and she is extremely appreciative of the fact that we're able to fish off the dock and enjoy the peace and nature that come from having water in your back yard.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you have kids, and can swing a place on the water, even if it means sacrifices for you in other areas, it's probably worth it. There is so much in today's world that is so awfully distracting and not good for kids. There is nothing more heartwarming that looking out my back window and seeing my daughter down on the dock, quietly fishing by herself, with nothing but her and the beauty of the water and creation around her. That's the good stuff, and that's what matters most.

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18 hours ago, Chaparral Rider said:

This for us is the one issue we haven't overcome.  We don't have any internet up there and use our phones when we are there meaning we can't utilize the wifi features of our thermostat to monitor the actual temp or increase it when we are on the way up in the winter.  I do a 80% winterization every time we leave in the winter and pray the furnace doesn't go down.  

If you've got cell service, get a wifi hotspot from you cell provider and have the thermostat connect to that.  

Also, check out the Ecobee thermostats in addition to Nest. They have remote sensors which makes them more effective in my opinion.

 

 

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3 hours ago, newboat2016 said:

If you've got cell service, get a wifi hotspot from you cell provider and have the thermostat connect to that.  

Also, check out the Ecobee thermostats in addition to Nest. They have remote sensors which makes them more effective in my opinion.

 

 

So we have a Comfortnet redlink enabled thermostat which is a step or two up from the ecobee and about 3 times the cost for just the base thermostat without the single sensor that you get in the Ecobee 3 box.  It is a sort of commercial grade unit (not the same as the Honeywell retail unit that looks similar) that is technically for HVAC pros only though of course anybody can get one on the internet anyway.  You can add all kinds of wireless sensors and controllers onto it via the redlink communication protocall but my understanding is that it won't work well with a hot spot but I could just be wrong on that.  I researched it a while back and that was the conclusion I had come to.  My thinking was I would get a hotspot and just use it as the wifi for just the thermostat if I can confirm that it will work.   Basically, I pray that the furnace won't stop working because I don't drain the waterheater, winterize the washing machine or drain the well pressure tank.  I have a back up oil heater near the well pressure tank connected to an outlet that turns on when the temp drops below 40 degrees or thereabout but no backup for the washing machine or the waterheater.  Waterheater takes forever to drain and to refill when you do drain it.  

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13 hours ago, jmiska said:

I'll respond as someone who grew up with a lake house that our family went to every summer, and weekends out of the summer. For anyone here who knows me reasonably well, you'll also know that I love the water, and everything about it, so my point of view may be somewhat biased.

As a kid, my parents would take my brother, sister and me to the cottage as soon as school ended, and we'd head back "home" a few days before school started. We did this for about 8 years, or so, and I would never in my life trade those wonderful memories for anything, ever. I consider myself to have had the best childhood a kid could ever have, and we were not rich by any means. Our cottage was a tiny little house on Lamoka Lake (a 3 mile long lake in the southern Finger Lakes) about 45 minutes from home, in Corning. My dad worked his butt off on the place, added on, and made it a wonderful summer place. We had a row boat, a little old Starcraft power boat (that's still in the family) and little Honda motorcycles. My summer life consisted of getting up around sunrise, heading out in one of the boats or off into the woods on the Honda, and not coming home til 6, or earlier, if the boat was full of fish and I had a lot of cleaning to do. When we weren't fishing, or swinging off the rope swing on the cliff at the island, we were water skiing behind the Starcraft.  In the winter, we'd go up, dig the place out of the snow, and ice fish or skate on the lake.  I learned to boat there, and learned to sail. I learned to fish, swim, water ski, shoot, and live life.

When I was in college, my parents upgraded to a nicer, bigger place down the lake, and it made a wonderful retreat to come get out of the city for a weekend and enjoy the beauty of the water and the hills. I'm beyond thankful for that lake during my childhood, and it has stayed with me all my life.

To this day, I need to be on the water, and have managed to keep my home on one body of water or another for a long time now. I share my life now with my two girls, and while my younger isn't as drawn to the lake as I was at her age, my older daughter is, and she is extremely appreciative of the fact that we're able to fish off the dock and enjoy the peace and nature that come from having water in your back yard.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you have kids, and can swing a place on the water, even if it means sacrifices for you in other areas, it's probably worth it. There is so much in today's world that is so awfully distracting and not good for kids. There is nothing more heartwarming that looking out my back window and seeing my daughter down on the dock, quietly fishing by herself, with nothing but her and the beauty of the water and creation around her. That's the good stuff, and that's what matters most.

I will second all of this as someone who lived on a lake every summer.  Heck I even started scuba diving when I was ten years old with a small sized tank that would get me maybe 45 minutes under water if I wasn't too cold and didn't breath too fast. All of us kids on the lake had our own boat and used it like you would ride your bike to go and visit and explore.  Then they came out with 4 wheelers as well.  When I hear a country song such as Chattahoochee, it reminds me of my childhood somewhat.

Like I said above though, it is terribly expensive to own and maintain a place along with all of the accompanying equipment that goes along with it.  My outflow each year is very high and that is without any debt payments of any kind and is why 1% of the state owns a second home on a lake.  

 

 

 

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