Lakehomes and waterfront cabins are the most sought-after type of real estate in the Hayward vacation region. Its no wonder, since the northwest area of Wisconsin is home to some of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the Midwest.
Hayward has several premier lakes. These large, deep lakes with clear water and sandy bottoms offer exceptional boating, recreation, fishing and swimming. Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO), Round, Grindstone and Whitefish, demand higher prices, especially for low elevation frontage.
Those who desire a peaceful, wilderness setting may like Hayward’s chain of ‘quiet (no wake) lakes: Lost Land, Teal and Ghost. Located east of Hayward, near the Chequamegon National Forest, these lakes promote great fishing, kayaking, canoeing and pleasure boating.
The famous Chippewa Flowage with its over 17,000 acres of never-ending bays, islands, bogs and undeveloped shoreline is a popular destination. Moose Lake, to the far east, has almost a Canadian wilderness feel to it.
Minnesota buyers are often attracted to lakes west of the Hayward area: Long Lake is southwest of Hayward and boasts clear water for excellent fishing and boating. West of Hwy 53, from Gordon, Minong, Trego, Webb Lake, Spooner and down to the Cumberland areas, the landscape is dotted with many medium to smaller sized lakes, flowages and rivers.
North of Hayward, Nelson Lake is a great recreation area with its ATV/snowmobile-friendly routes. The crystal-clear Eau Claire chain of lakes is popular, and so are the many smaller lakes around Barnes and up to Solon Springs. Up near Cable, you’ll find lakes Owen and Namekagon, tucked in among the sharply-varied terrain characteristic of the Telemark area.
The southeast corner of Sawyer county offers Lake Winter, deep Connors Lake and several smaller lakes and rivers.
The most important advice I can give you is to first select a waterbody that is best-suited for the water activities you enjoy, then buy the best lakeshore on it that you can afford. You can always change the home or cabin if it isn’t quite what you want, but you cannot change the waterbody or lakeshore you are buying!
Our vacation area has both 3-season and 4-season lake cabins. The 3-season cabins were designed to be summer lake cottages and are ‘winterized’ or shut down, after the summer season. A cabin can be called ‘3-season’ for many reasons: lake of insulation, exposed water pipes, single-pane windows and more. Some can be easily converted to year round use, and others just can’t, at least not for a reasonable cost. If you only plan to use your cabin during the warmer months, a 3-season is a more affordable choice than a 4-season.
Some intend to use their cabins all year long – in addition to summer lake activities, they enjoy ice-fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, skiing and other winter sports. These buyers need to make sure the cabin they buy is designed for year-round use, and most also want extra garages or buildings for their ‘toy’ storage.
Financing a 3-season cottage can be tricky – most often, these purchases will not qualify for conventional, fixed-rate loans because they lack a; heat source, foundation, or year-round water supply. Options for 3-season cabin buyers include paying cash, taking out a home equity loan from their main home, or going with an in-house or adjustable-rate loan.
Privacy is always a concern. Most buyers don’t want a cabin with neighbors right next door. For the most part, it is unrealistic to find total privacy, unless you have lots of money to spend! For the rest of us, its a matter of finding a cabin situated on a lot in such a way that it doesn’t point you right towards your neighbor’s cabin. Many think that a larger lot or more acreage will give them privacy, but what I usually find is someone driving through 8 acres of private woods to arrive at the lakeshore clustered with cabins, each on 100 feet of frontage. If you want more privacy, you are better off searching for more lake frontage – more frontage will usually guarantee your privacy better than more land. Of course, the more frontage, the higher the price tag too.
Prices for lake cabins in the Hayward area have been slowly rising over the past few years. In general, its difficult to find a simple but nice, single-family cabin on a decent lake for under $200,000 anymore. The $200-$300K price range seems to be the most popular – and a modest cabin with fair frontage in this price range is usually sold quickly.
The most desirable waterfront property seems to be the newer, yet rustic chalet, with level elevation, sandy beach frontage on a larger, clear-water lake. If this is what you want – be realistic on pricing – you will pay more for this type of property. Expect to pay upwards of $250K+ on a smaller lake, to $350K+ on a larger lake, with many in the $400K-$800K+ range on premier lakes.
You can find lower priced waterfront cabins and homes – as long as you keep an open mind while searching. Typically, a lower price means a property has some features that are not so ideal. You’ll have to pick a cabin with unfavorable features that you can live with if you can’t change them. Think about resale value when considering a cabin that has features you can’t change, such as location, elevation, shoreline, etc. You might be ok with climbing 75 stairs from the lake to the cabin, but resale-wise, you could struggle to sell it later.
Some buyers look for ‘fixer-uppers’ or cabins that need some TLC. Such a cabin can be a good investment if you are willing to put some sweat equity into it, or are resourceful. Always inspect such a cabin thoroughly so you know what you are getting in to. You don’t want to be surprised later by big ticket items that you didn’t account for.
Buying a waterfront property is a big investment; helping buyers choose and successfully purchase the right property is my area of expertise. With a simple phone call, you can put my experience and knowledge to work for you. I hope to hear from you soon!
Below are helpful links and other info on this subject. Stop back often as I plan to add more to this list as my website grows…. enjoy!