We’re still young. But someday it would be great to have a place up at the lake.

In all the years I’ve been in this business, no one has ever told me they wish they’d waited another ten or fifteen years to buy their lake home or cabin.

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Sure, it’s good to be prudent. And hard-working couples, especially those with with young children, may not have a lot of extra time or money. Someday, after they’re retired and their children are grown and gone, they’ll have plenty of both.

But instead of waiting for someday, right now is a great time to begin building memories at your cabin or lake home. And at this stage of your life, there’s no need to skip directly to the luxury lake home where you plan to live out your retirement.

If you’re ready, I’d be glad to show you a couple of those dream lake homes; I’m listing a few of them right now. But I can also show you some surprisingly affordable alternatives. You might call them “starter cabins.”

Sure, you may need to make a few compromises. But when your kids grow up, they won’t remember that the kitchen in your cabin didn’t feature high-end stainless steel appliances. They’ll remember roasting marshmallows and making s’mores down at the campfire. They won’t remember that your cabin wasn’t on the biggest lake with the biggest muskies. They’ll remember all the four-inch bluegills they caught from the end of your dock.

Maybe someday is today. If you’re ready to turn those up-north cabin dreams into reality, give me a call now.  To get started right now, give me a call at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Buyers closed on their Trego WI lake home. Welcome to the lake.

Welcome to your Up North Wisconsin lake home. Represented buyers on their recent South Twin Lake home purchase. They found a great lake and a lovely home.

Ready to make NW Wisconsin your home or up north getaway? Start your lake home search at www.JeanHedren.com. Learn more about the clear NW Wisconsin lakes at www.JeanHedrenRealtor.com. Call Jean Hedren, your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor at 218-590-6634.

About Jean Hedren Realtor. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, specializes in lake homes, cabins, and waterfront real estate in NW Wisconsin. View all posts by Jean.

Septic Systems Simplified

Septic Systems Simplified

I’d like to address a topic that may not be very glamorous. But it’s one that’s important to know about when you’re buying a home or cabin in NW Wisconsin.

If you’re living in town, then you probably have city water and sewer. All you need to worry about now is paying a small bill every month. But once you move to the country, you’re on your own. Don’t worry though. Most of the time these systems work just fine.

septic-system

Still, before you buy a home or cabin, it’s important to know about its septic system. Repairs and upgrades can be expensive. Here’s a quick overview; to really understand septic systems thoroughly, you may wan to do an online search on some of these terms and read further.

The first question you should ask is what type of system a particular home or cabin has. There are three main types: conventional, mound, and holding. You may also hear about something called a “separate gray water system.” One other term I’ll explain briefly is “perc test.” You’ll want to know what it is and why it’s important.

A conventional septic system runs waste water and solids into a large concrete septic tank where bacteria digest the solids. Liquids run out the other end into a drain field that’s made of perforated pipe buried in a gravel-filled trench. Solds that don’t digest settle out into a sludge at the bottom of the septic tank. Every two or three years, you’ll need to have this sludge pumped out. It’s not expensive, and it’s no big deal. It’s just part of owning a home or cabin that’s outside the city limits.

A mound system is similar, except that the drain field is above ground level inside a large mound of gravel and dirt. It’s used in certain special conditions – most often when the soil isn’t permeable enough, there isn’t enough soil before you reach bedrock, or the water table is too close to the surface. Although the mound can be landscaped in a way that makes it less noticeable, it’s still going to be there. Another negative is that mound systems often require a pumping system in between the septic tank and the drain field. Otherwise, these systems work just like a conventional septic system.

A holding tank is just what it sounds like – a hold tank that needs to be pumped out a soon as it’s full. I see them most often at older lakeshore cabins. They’re usually only used for sites that are unsuitable for either a conventional or a mound system. Sometimes, however, they were installed because they were a less expensive alternative.

As you’d expect, a larger tank is better. But it still needs to be pumped out eventually. And when it is, a large tank will cost more to empty.

You may be able to upgrade a holding tank to conventional or mound system. But even if you can, it will be a fairly expensive undertaking. Meanwhile, pumping out the holding tank will be a regular expense. If the system serves a small cabin that’s only used on a dozen weekends every year, that’s less of an issue. But if that cabin becomes a full-time, year-round home for a family of six, then you’re going to have a monthly pumping bill.

To help with that problem, some homes and cabins have a separate “gray water system.” (You’ll also see them used on conjunction with conventional and mound systems.) Gray water, as opposed to “black water,” is all the waste water that hasn’t come from a toilet. Depending on local codes and regulations, your gray water can sometimes be released with little or no processing; you could even use it to water your lawn or garden. Just be careful about what soaps you use, and avoid pouring too many household chemicals down the drain (probably a good idea anyway).

Finally, here’s one more term you should know about. If you’re building a new home or cabin, you may hear about something called a “perch test.” That’s short of “percolation test,” and it’s a measure of how permeable your soil is. If your building site is on clay soil that’s relatively impermeable, it could mean you’ll need a mound system or holding tank. It it’s on relatively sandy soil, you can relax. You’ll probably pass your perch test with flying colors.

This was an important topic, but maybe not a very fun one. If you read all the way to here, then perhaps you are ready to start shopping for your country or lake home or cabin – www.JeanHedren.com

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About Jean Hedren Realtor. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, specializes in lake homes, cabins, and waterfront real estate in NW Wisconsin. View all posts by Jean.

Sold lovely 3 BR home on McKinley Lake. N7610 Island Lake Rd, Spooner WI.

Just Sold this lovely 3 bedroom year round home. More than 2300 sq ft of living space, large kitchen, main level laundry, main level master suite, huge lakeside windows for great lake and wildlife viewing, attached and detached garages. McKinley Lake is a great fishing and boating lake. This home offers 225′ of sand bottom lake frontage and easy elevation. Minutes from Spooner and Trego, WI.

Thinking of selling in Spooner or NW Wisconsin? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor. 218-590-6634. Or, email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com

Search homes and cabins for sale in Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Barnes, WI.

Homes and cabins for sale in Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Barnes, WI.

You’ll find a variety of lake, town, and country homes available in Barnes and Gordon Wisconsin in all price ranges.

Start your search here: Homes for sale in Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Barnes, Wisconsin

More about the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes.

Buying your dream lake cabin – a quick start guide

Getting started 

Purchasing a lake home or cabin is different than buying a primary residence in a town or city. Whether the lake home will be your main residence or a second vacation home, there are other considerations to understand. This series Buying your dream lake cabin will provide you with some basics about the type of lake, the type of home or cabin, and other information you need to know to make the best decision, and a good investment, about purchasing a lake home or cabin.

Just as in buying any home or property, here are the first steps to take:

  • Visit with your loan officer and get pre-approved, or have proof of cash funds
  • Know your budget– what the bank will loan you.
  • Know the area you want to cover. The most efficient use of your time and the Realtor’s time will be an area of not more than 50 miles radius of a specific town, or, in general, the county, if you know that.
  • Do your initial research online. Have a general idea of what the market is doing; you can ask your Realtor good questions to confirm.
  • Find a knowledgeable Realtor. Someone that knows the local area well, the lakes, towns, and information about the area.
  • Meet first to begin a good relationship. Ask lots of questions. Your Realtor will be doing the same to get to know you and begin the process of finding the properties most appropriate to your needs and life style.

Curious to learn more about cabins and lake homes for sale in NW Wisconsin? As your NW Wisconsin Realtor, I’ll be glad to help you find the lake home, cabin, or waterfront property of your dreams. To get started right now, give me a call at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Nancy Lake fishing headquarters sold by Jean Hedren NW Wisconsin Realtor. N12741 Three Mile Rd, Minong, WI

This sunny, spacious Nancy Lake home is the perfect up north fishing headquarters. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, 1278 sq ft with 150′ of level lake frontage on this popular, full recreation lake.

Buying or selling real estate in Minong WI or other NW Wisconsin community? Call Jean Hedren, Your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, at 218-590-6634. Or, email Jean: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com

Sold Bond Lake cedar home with amazing view. Wascott, WI

8088 E Matthias Rd, Wascott, WI. Sold by Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor. This 3 bedroom home boasts the best view of Bond Lake, one of NW Wisconsin’s clearest lakes. Incredible 20′ Secchi Disk clarity.

Spacious cedar home with master suite, amazing views from most rooms, sauna, plus bunk room over the garage. Recently the seller painted the deck and stairs to the lake. Yes, there is some elevation here. That’s why the view is so great. The stairs are sturdy and there are a couple of log benches to rest and soak in the view. 

And, if this isn’t enough, there is a navigable channel between Bond and Leader Lake. Although each has its own character, both of these deep, clear lakes are often mentioned together as one hyphenated name. There’s even a Bond Leader Lake Road in the neighborhood.

Leader Lake is a limited-access lake; its only public access is by canoe or kayak from a carry-in landing just off Bass Lake Road. Or, you can launch your boat on Bond Lake and follow the channel that connects the two lakes.

What are the three most important features of your dream lake cabin?

We all think differently. The property that’s perfect for you might not be perfect for me or for anyone else.

Those three most important items might be the type or size of lake, the perfect swimming beach, other recreation activities, the cabin style that best fits your lifestyle, the number of bedrooms, the garage size, distance from home, and certainly your budget.

Make a list of what’s most important. Trade-offs may be necessary within a particular price range. If you find the cabin and lake of your dreams, what are you willing to trade off in your price range? Keep in mind that even if money is no object, you’ll still need to make choices and trade-offs.  For example:  a quiet lake that’s good for paddling and wildlife watching may not be the type lake good for waterskiing and jetskiing.  It’s tough to find both in the same lake.

Start your lake home search at my website www.JeanHedren.com Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, NW Wisconsin. Or give me a call at 218-590-6634. 

It would be my pleasure to help you find the lake, home or cabin, or lakeshore lot of your dreams. Northwest Wisconsin including Douglas, Bayfield, Washburn, and Sawyer Counties. Communities: Gordon, Wascott, Minong, Barnes, Solon Springs, Trego, Spooner, and others.

Sold beautiful Lower Eau Claire Lake home. 14088 E Sunny Shores Dr, Gordon, WI

Welcome to the sunny shores of Lower Eau Claire Lake. Beautiful, fully remodeled 2 bedroom lake home in a private 3+ acre wooded and landscaped setting with 175′ of lake frontage on this crystal clear lake. Includes restored mid-century guest cabin, boat house, 2-car garage with workshop. Sold. Full property details: 14088 E Sunny Shores, Drive, Gordon, WI

Curious about this NW Wisconsin lake home or other Gordon WI real estate? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty. 218-590-6634. Or, email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.