For outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy ATVing, hunting, snowmobiling, fishing, canoeing, hiking … well, you get the gist … a house in one of the hunting and fishing clubs here can be an ideal option. The older established hunting clubs here, like Excelsior, Iroquois and Indian Fields, own vast swaths of acreage, usually a thousand or more. Over the years, many of the clubs have permitted members to build cabins and houses on their property and today some are like little communities with a dozen or more homes. Occasionally (actually, very occasionally) one of these houses becomes available on the public market, like this lakefront home at Indian Fields, a 1,000 acre hunting and fishing club in Bethel not far from Lake Superior State Park.
The cost of a house in a hunting club is usually much less than a house in a more traditional lake community, like Wolf or Merriewold, that also have large acreage holdings for owner/member recreation. But there’s a catch. In a hunting club, the land underneath your house is owned by the club; you don’t own your individual parcel. What you’re buying is a share in the club along with title to the house as ‘personal property’. It’s not unlike a coop apartment in the city, with one big difference. Coop apartments in the city are easily mortgageable; these hunting club houses aren’t. They have to be bought with cash. The reason is that transfers are so rare, that there aren’t enough comps for underwriting. Another great thing about these hunting club “coop” houses is that property taxes tend to be much lower than a comparable house on its own parcel at Wolf or Merriewold, because of how they’re assessed.
The clubs also require approval for a new member, and the criteria vary. At Excelsior, for example, you have to be a hunter to even be considered. Indian Field is probably more relaxed on this.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great outdoor playground within a couple of hours of NYC and can swing a cash deal, this house at Indian Field could be a great option. To check out the listing, just click on the photo.