July 7 – 13, 2017Vol. 19, No. 5

Buying the Dream: A Place On a Lake

by Esther J. Perne

There's movement on the lakes this summer — real estate movement — and although there is always a strong ebb and flow of lake property ownership, this season it is being described as busy, crazy, awesome and good news for everyone.

Cabin, camp or castle, there's something magical almost mythical about a place — a family place, your own place — on a lake. That's where, it seems, babies sleep more peacefully, where children are raised and absolutely blossom, where teens are influenced to seek summer jobs and later select a college nearby, where the temptation for working away from the office can be a reality and definitely where retirement beckons.

A place on a lake is also where relatives and acquaintances suddenly want to visit, where it's cool to bring young adult friends home, where simple shenanigans provide memories throughout the other seasons and where serious proposals seal the fate of future generations who will dream of a place on a lake.

Of course, lakeside property is a purchase of love and there are true stories of offers accepted before properties were seriously looked at, and happiness still prevailed. But, love aside, there are factors about lakes that must be considered.

First, fishing. Fish, or rather men — there were yet to be women — who fished and talked are what put the lakes of Maine on the map. Fish are still a main attraction and there is nothing as rewarding as stepping out the front door, gear in hand, and into your ready and waiting boat . . . as long as your fish type of preference is also ready and waiting. That's easy enough to check out lake by lake; fishermen still talk.

Next, children. Children are a huge input to buying lake property. Historically, locations with good swimming, safe boating, nearby trails, and understanding neighbors were selected to help work off that young energy, often complemented with an area youth camp connection to channel more energy. Today, ditto swimming, boating, trails and neighbors; add in a wealth of day camp and sports camp resources in the region. Other parents and grandparents will happily share the details. Children still have energy.

Finally, all other: View of sunrise vs sunset? One season (summer-only, rustic), three season (summer, spring and fall, somewhat heatable), or four season (year-round ready) structure? Guest(s) space or lack of? Electronics reception or lack of? Proximity to town or remoteness? Rentable? Renovate-able? Retirement feasible?

Most important, every pond is a golden pond when the sun shimmers across the water and another fun day is done and every cabin, camp or castle on a lake, pond or stream is a dream.