Someday it would be great to have a place up at the lake. Someday…

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.

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 the four-inch bluegills they caught from the end of your dock.

Maybe someday is today. And if this year is the year, it’s not too early to get started right now. Here’s why: It may take us a while to find the lake and the cabin that are just right for you. Figure a little negotiating before you have an accepted offer, and then typically about another 60 days until the actual closing can take place. This means that if you’d like to start enjoying weekends at your new cabin this summer, it may not make sense to launch your search in May or June.

To learn more about the cabins and lake homes for sale in NW Wisconsin, call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin  at 218-590-6634.

Buying a lake cabin – deciding where in NW Wisconsin?

Deciding where to buy a vacation home or retirement home in NW Wisconsin?  What you can learn from our dashes back to Minneapolis/St Paul, MN.

My husband and I moved to Northwest Wisconsin 16 years ago, when we were nowhere near ready to retire (we’re still not).  Our work has required both of us to make occasional trips back to the Twin Cities for meetings.  We also get down to the Cities now and then to visit relatives.  Even if your situation is different, there’s a lot you can learn from our dashes back to the city.

Elsewhere on my website, I’ve shared many great reasons to consider Northwest Wisconsin.  We have lots of great lakes, streams, trails, public land, and more.

To get here from Minneapolis/St Paul, we can head north on I-35, hang a right at Hinckley, and be in Minong before we know it.  From there, we’re almost home.  From the Twin Cities, it’s an easy 2.5 hours.

So if you’re looking for a vacation home or retirement home, then what do these occasional dashes to the city have to do with you?  Everything.  The same thresholds will still be there.  But they’ll instead determine how much enjoyment you get from your new cabin or lake home.  If your drive time is beyond a certain threshold, then there will probably be fewer weekends when you get away to your weekend getaway.

Planning to move up here for good when you retire?  Welcome to the neighborhood!

If places like Minong, Wascott, and Gordon aren’t yet on your radar, they should be.  Same with the Minong Flowage, St Croix Flowage, Whitefish Lake, and many other small to large lakes. Barnes and Solon Springs is just a bit farther and offer Upper St Croix Lake, and the Eau Claire chain of lakes. Under the lakes and rivers tab above, you can find out more about these lakes.

Please take a moment to explore my website and find out more about the lakes and rivers of Northwest Wisconsin.  Then drop me an email or give me a call at 218-590-6634.  I’d be glad to show you what’s available in our neighborhood.

Shoreland zoning protects your property values

If you’re shopping for waterfront property, you should know about shoreland zoning and the rules that go with it. No one likes rules. But the first thing you should know is that these rules don’t just benefit fish, birds, and wildlife, they benefit you

By preserving the up north qualities of our lakes and streams, these rules also preserve your property values. Even up here in NW Wisconsin, some lakes have a more urban feel. Other lakes, however, still have a relatively undeveloped feel – even though most of their shoreline is developed. Views are preserved, privacy is preserved, and so are property values.

Second, it’s important to know that certain minimum standards are in place in Wisconsin. In some counties, and even on certain lakes and streams, the rules are more strict. Existing homes, of course, are grandfathered in. But if you’re building on shoreland anywhere in Wisconsin, you’ll need to meet these minimum standards:

  • Lot size. Lots served by a public sanitary sewer must have a minimum average width of 65 feet and a minimum area of 10,000 square feet. “Unsewered” lots must have a minimum average width of 100 feet and minimum area of 20,000 square feet.
  • Buffer strip. Clear-cutting of trees and shrubs isn’t allowed in the strip of land from the ordinary high-water mark to 35′ inland. One exception is for a 30′ wide path, for every 100′ of shoreline, down to the water. That allows you to reach the water, have a great view from your living room, and still protect your privacy. (And also, by the way, preserve the view of whoever lives across the lake.)
  • Setbacks. All buildings and structures must be set back at least 75′ from the ordinary high-water mark. Exceptions include piers and boat-hoists. And, if an existing pattern of development exists, some counties may have a “setback averaging” system that allow homes to be built closer to the water. On certain bodies of water, though, setbacks are increased to 125′ – or, in rare cases, up to 300′.

This is just an overview; for details on these and other shoreland zoning provisions, contact the DNR or county officials. Keep in mind, too, that existing homes are grandfathered in. When you buy one, you obviously can’t do much to change the lot size or setback. You can, however, take steps to restore the buffer of natural vegetation along your home’s waterfront.

But don’t try shoreline restoration just because it’s good for the environment. Do it if you’d like to increase your privacy, see more birds and wildlife, and catch mroe fish. (And also, by the way, spend less time mowing your lawn.)

Buying or selling in NW Wisconsin? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor. 218-590-6634. Or visit www.JeanHedren.com.

 

Economic geography of real estate

This New York Times article grabbed by attention this morning, This Real Estate Columnist is Also a Geographer. Author Julie Lasky thinks up a number, like $250,000 or $600,000, and looks at what sort of home a buyer can get for that price in various cities across the country. She has examined homes in cities like San Diego, Philadelphia, and Cedar Rapids, IA.

Of course, this is all about urban real estate. What can a buyer expect to pay for a home in San Diego or Philadelphia or Cedar Rapids? Obviously geography can make a huge economic difference in housing affordability.

The same economic geography applies to rural areas and resort areas of the country. What does $250,000 or $600,000 buy in the predominantly second home market of NW Wisconsin lakes country?

This charming rural 3 bedroom home on 10 acres sold for $230,000

This gorgeous 3 bedroom luxury lake home with pending offer is listed at $550,000.

9450 E Boulder Dr, Solon Springs

Find out what your home will sell for in our current local market. Call Jean Hedren, your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, at 218-590-6634. Visit www.JeanHedren.com

Sold Lake Nebagamon Home. 6977 Graves Rd, Lake Nebagamon, WI.

 6977 S Graves Rd, Lake Nebagamon, WI. 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms. Master suite, rec room, gorgeous lake views. 173′ of level lake frontage on premier Lake Nebagamon. Half hour to Superior/Duluth.

Photos of this lovely home and lake by Al Cambronne.

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

Sold beautiful log home on Middle Kimball Lake

N13748 Coyote Dr, Minong, WI

Sold by Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin.

The Kimball Chain of Lakes is located in northwest Wisconsin, west of Minong and not far from Nancy Lake, Gilmore Lake, and the Minong Flowage.) This lake home was custom-built on 3.07 private acres with 200’ of sand bottom lake frontage. It features two fireplaces, an indoor grill, a four-season sunroom, newer appliances, a rec room with a wet bar, and a two-car garage.


This classic up-north lake home has some unique special touches.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you step inside: The custom hand-made stained-glass panels that run the full length of the main-level great room and dining room. Another unique touch, this one in the lower-level family room: a built-in indoor gas grill right next to the second fireplace. Perfect for grilling on a rainy October evening or a sunny January afternoon. To learn more, and to schedule a showing, just give me a call at (218) 590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

The Kimball chain of lakes is located in northwestern Washburn County, in between Nancy Lake and the Minong Flowage.  These three lakes have a combined area of around 270 acres, and each has its own character.  These vital stats are a clue:

  • Upper Kimball Lake covers 44 acres, with a shoreline of 1.2 miles, a maximum depth of 11 feet, a mean depth of 5 feet, and secchi disk readings that exceed its maximum depth.
  • Middle Kimball Lake covers 98 acres, with a shoreline of 1.5 miles, a maximum depth of 77 feet, a mean depth of 31 feet, and secchi disk readings of around 19 feet.
  • Lower Kimball Lake covers 129 acres, with a shoreline of 2.5 miles, a maximum depth of 6 feet, a mean depth of 4 feet, and secchi disk readings of around 4 feet.

As you might guess, Upper and Lower Kimball Lakes are both relatively shalow and weedy.  Middle Kimball Lake, however, is one of the deepest and coldest lakes in the area.  In all three lakes, you’ll find northerns, largemouth bass, and panfish.  Middle Kimball Lake also has a few walleyes. Most years the connecting channels allow a medium-size boat to access all three lakes.

Thinking of buying or selling in Minong or NW Wisconsin? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, 218-590-6634. www.JeanHedren.com

Sold Upper Eau Claire Lake home. 50300 Peninsula Rd, Barnes, WI

Beautiful, move-in ready 3 bedroom 4 bath home on premier Upper Eau Claire Lake, one of NW Wisconsin’s clearest and deepest lakes. While the elevation to the lake front is high, the lake view is gorgeous and the setting is private and wooded.

Sold by Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor.  $394,000. 

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