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asawilliams's avatar

What is the best lake to put a house on?

Asked by asawilliams (368points) September 16th, 2009

I want to build a lake house, but I don’t know which lake to put it on. It can be anywhere in the US. Most of the activities would involve a ski boat though. Some of the things that are important to me are: calm water, not over crowded, not too big, and relatively cheap (compared to other lake front property) to buy tons of land.

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26 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

No such animal. All beautiful lakes and lakefront property are hugely expensive.. And if you want calm waters, you should canoe rather than waterski.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Let me know when you find that place. I’m moving in.
In my experience, cheap lakefront property with tons of land only exists in fantasy.

Axemusica's avatar

Pewaukee, WI. is pretty nice. Green, calm, you can have a dock. I enjoyed the time I was there.

dpworkin's avatar

Maybe somewhere in Minnesota.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Where the summers are three weeks long. We had a house on Lake Placid and by mid-August we were wearing mittens and parkas in the boat. (No road, so we did all business by boat.)

dpworkin's avatar

well, yeah, but it has lakes.

SeventhSense's avatar

There is some beautiful quiet lakefront property upstate NY Adirondack Mountains very reasonable but the cheaper you get the further you will be from certain amenities. A little ways off from Lake George but there are many choices.

gailcalled's avatar

@pdworkin:You’re right. @asawilliams did not specify balmy climes.

@SeventhSense: See my comments about freezing during the summer on Lake Placid. We were more concerned about wood supply than bathing suits. If the water got up to 69˚. we were hysterical with joy.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I’d advise against doing it in somewhere in Whitestone, Queens, cause it smells like shiiiittt

peedub's avatar

Lake Winnipesaukee. You can totally hang out with Bob and sport a tee that reads “DON’T HASSLE ME I’M LOCAL!”

aprilsimnel's avatar

There’s a good 6,000 lakes in Wisconsin that might suit your purpose, or you could try out one of the Finger Lakes in northern New York State. Minnesota’s nice. Northern Michigan, perhaps. I reckon any one of the Great Lakes states or provinces would have suitable places for you to build, not just at the shores of those big lakes, but also other inland lakes where there’s lots of moraines and other geological whatnots left over from the last ice age.

Darwin's avatar

Lake LBJ, Lake Mathis or Choke Canyon, all in Texas. You never have to worry about snow there, cost of living is low, the water is calm, and it isn’t real crowded.

OTOH, there is never any ice fishing, javalinas can make a ruckus just when you want quiet, most folks live in trailers but you can get a used double-wide cheap, and sometimes during major droughts the lake goes away for a while but it always comes back and so do the snakes.

gailcalled's avatar

@peedub: Check out the real estate prices on Lake W. Bob got to mooch, of course, and the lake would certainly not be calm.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes, Lake Mead it’s not but I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. There are thousands of suitable lakes in this country but none are going to be Lake Como for cheap.

Aethelwine's avatar

Largest chain of freshwater lakes in the world. It’s my favorite vacation spot. I hope to move there some day myself.

gailcalled's avatar

@SeventhSense : And you are right about the amenities. To get to town (L Placid) we had to take a boat for 15 minutes, moor it in a slip we paid for, transfer everything into a car, whose parking space we paid for, drive to town, park and then start our errands.

Usually, on the way home in an open boat with 8 bags of groceries, we got caught in a monsoon.

YARNLADY's avatar

How about riverfront? Arkadelphia, Arkansas – $32, 700 for a one-acre lot on the Ouachita River; Des Arc, Arkansas – $35,000 for a home on the banks of the White River with lot’s of fishing and duck hunting opportunities in the area. These were found by entering a search on “cheap lakefront property”. Most anyplace in Arkansas, really. Any state that has a lot of islands is bound to have a lot of choices.

chyna's avatar

Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia is beautiful but not cheap. I don’t think you’ll find a lake that meets all your qualifications.

mramsey's avatar

Piedmont, Salt Fork, or Seneca Lake ..all in Ohio

SeventhSense's avatar

Lakefront Neighbors in some of these places

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense Those people ARE NOT from WV, no matter what you may think.

SeventhSense's avatar

No I meant it towards no particular locale. Rednecks are found north, south, east and west.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Any one other than Crystal Lake.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Alaska’s got a lot of lakes. Look at the Mat-Su valley – there are so many lakes there that you can’t walk in a straight line for more than a few miles without getting wet. It’s not too remote (depending) and usually very adorable. Lakefront in the Mat-Su is probably way cheaper than anywhere in the lower 48. (Good old Wasilla is located in the Mat-Su, actually. Lakefront on Lucille, where Sarah Palin lives, is probably not getting cheaper… But that’s one of the grosser lakes in the Mat-Su anyhow!)

Axemusica's avatar

@fireinthepiory didn’t even think of AK. Though it Probably is cheaper, not a lot of people consider AK for lakefront housing. Although I grew up in anchorage & went camping often & a glacier lake is the best thing on a hot summer day, lol.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Axemusica Nice. I’ve never lived there permanently, but I’ve spent two summers trapping fish in AK. We were based in Anchorage but did most of our trapping in the Mat-Su and went down to the Kenai as well (Anchor Point is so gorgeous!). I’ve trapped at more than 100 locations, so I’ve seen a lot of Alaskan lakes. So few people in the lower 48 realize that it does get warm enough in the summer to swim!

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