It's the end of the 4th of July weekend. Over the past couple of days, I've been around a lot of the lakes here, both showing property and just visiting. They're such happy places in summer, especially the 'older' lakes, with lake houses and cottages on little postage stamp lots.
The newer lake communities (those developed in the past 20 years) all prioritize 'privacy', with features like 5 acre minimum lot sizes, covenants that limit tree cutting to preserve buffers between houses, and careful placement of houses so nobody is on top of each other. Those lake communities (Timber, Black, York, Chapin, Elko and Kenoza) are beautiful, but they don't quite have the same summer vibe as Wanaksink, White, Masten, Yankee, Wolf or Tennanah. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for the times in my own childhood at the family cabin on Sebago Lake in Maine.
Yesterday, I was at a home inspection at a little lake cottage on Hunter Lake. It's a tiny house on a 50 foot wide lot. When you sit on the dock, you can visit with the neighbors on their docks, and next door to the cottage is one of the community beach areas at Hunter for non-lakefront home owners. There were about a dozen people, including a bunch of kids plus a few dogs, laughing and swimming and playing and having a great time. (OK, the dogs weren't laughing, but if they could they would.) It felt like a summer party on the lake.
Later, I dropped by Yankee Lake. At Yankee, most of the houses are closely set, often with swaths of open area along the shoreline where kids can run from house to house — and they were doing just that. Then I swung by Wanaksink, another older lake community, for a quick showing. It had that same happy summer lake vibe — kids playing, families visiting, people barbequeing. Was it pin-dropping quiet? No. Kids make noise when they're having a good time. Was it fun? Sure looked like it to me.
I understand the appeal of privacy and not being on top of youir neighbors. But the older lake communities have a lot of appeal as well.