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Seeking Lake Housing Recommendations anywhere in Central US

Seeking Lake Housing Recommendations anywhere in Central US

Old Jun 30th, 2005, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Seeking Lake Housing Recommendations anywhere in Central US

My husband and I are looking to purchase a lakehouse somewhere in the Central US. The only location requirement is that it needs to be within 2 hours of a major airport.

Have just started browsing around - looked on the internet at Lake Livingston and Lake Conroe outside of Houston, also considered Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley in KY/TN.
Unfortunately, we don't know these (and other) Central US lakes at all.

If anyone has a large lake they love that has waterfront property - please point us in that direction. It's a tough thing to do when you've got such a huge geographical area to cover!!

Ultimately, we're seeking a 2-3BR waterfront home that's a fixer upper (needs updating, not demolishing). Hoping to spend $120-$185K.

Oh - also we like warmer weather for the lakes. Primary interest is to jet ski and water ski.

Jennni is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2005, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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You might want to check out Carlyle Lake in southern Illinois. It's the largest manmade lake in Illinois. Carlyle is 50 miles east of St.Louis, so would meet your airport requirements. Check carlylelake.com
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 05:28 AM
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There are LOTS of lakes within 2-3 hours from an airport in North Texas that have many houses on them. Gosh, just a few: Runaway Bay, Texoma, Ray Roberts, Tawakoni, Leon, etc. Friends of mine have houses at Tawakoni and Leon, and they both bought them for very affordable prices, too.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 01:01 PM
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My friend investigated a summer house around KY Lake and the realtor commented to them about a lot of water snakes. I'm not sure if it's any worse at KY Lake than at others - but it was enough to cause them to stop looking in that area.
Lake of the Ozarks, in Missouri is very popular. I don't care for it much - but there must be some "magic" I'm missing. I know many who absolutely love it. Maybe someone else would have more specific feedback on that area.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 01:10 PM
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I too was going to mention Lake of the Ozarks. Its a large lake in a beautiful setting. Check out http://www.funlake.com/ for more info.

I live not too far from Carlyle Lake and while I find it pleasant, I personally wouldn't want to invest in property in the area. There is not really much to do outside the lake, and there are more scenic lakes in Missouri or southern Illinois (Kinkaid Lake, etc).

Good luck!

tcreath is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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Hi all - thanks for the replies. I've conisdered Lake of the Ozarks, but I'm not sold on it.
The Texas area is of interest to us, we were checking out Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston.
Does anyone have comments on either of those?
We'll be in Dallas at the end of the month and will tour some of those North TX lakes over that weekend while we're there.

Thanks again!
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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ChristieP - where is Lake Leon? I looked on the map and couldn't find it. Did a cursory search for Lake Leon Real Estate on the internet and came up with nothing relevant.

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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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Read your post and thought of my town immediately. I live in Hot Springs, Arkanasas, which is located partially in a national park, Hot Springs National Park. You might know the area because former President Bill Clinton is from here. We have gorgeous lakes, breath taking mountains and a very neat town. The lakes here (Hamilton and Catherine to name just a couple) are beautiful and ready to ski, swim and just relax in. We are about a 45 minute drive from Little Rock and the airport. It is absolutely beautiful here. Weather in Arkansas runs the gamut from cold winters (although mild compared to up north) and very hot and humid in the summer. Our population is mixed between retired and new families moving in. We are in the middle of a growth spurt and new houses are going up everywhere. I wouldn't think that lake property would be hard to find, accept that it might be well over what you might want to spend. We travel a lot and Hot Springs is pretty centrally located. My family goes to Dallas about three times a year (it is about 5 hours away, Nashville is 8 as is St. Louis.
We are a resort town with a colorful and old history. We have horse racing in the late winter and early spring. It's a great place to live and raise a family or place to settle down in your later years. I have lived in Europe, Japan and from San Fransico, to Miami, and I choose to settle here. Give us a look!
Spent some years in Texas, too, and they have great lakes, too.
Good luck on your search!
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 05:58 PM
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Come down to Hot Springs and take a look at Hot Springs Village. It's a gated community of 13,000 about 15 miles from HS, towards Little Rock. We have 9 golf courses and 7 lakes, varying in size from very small to 900 acres. HSV is unincorporated but has community water and sewer; our monthly fees are $32, which pays for all of the infrastructure and gives you access to 8 of the 9 golf courses (one is private) for very low fees. This is a perfect place for a second home because there is NO crime and thus no risk in leaving your home vacant for much of the year. Many people turn their properties over to realtors for vacation rentals to earn some extra income.

House prices are low but lake properties are definitely the most expensive, followed by golf course lots, mountain view lots, and interior lots. New construction is about $120sf and older homes (none older than 1974) are about $50-70sf. It's hard to build right now because we are in a building boom and contractors are booked but there are still some good buys on the market.

We retired here from Texas and have been very pleased with the Little Rock airport. We had to use DFW before and American Airlines has kept ticket costs high there, so LR was a great bonus for us as we travel a lot.

You can email me at [email protected] if you would like a tour. (They won't let you into the village without a gate pass. As I said, we're gated, and it's tight!) I also can recommend an excellent realtor who is extremely patient--we looked at 50 houses--and also really works for you.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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Have you looked in Lake Tenkiller in Eastern Oklahoma? It's within 2 hours of Tulsa (about 2 and a half to 3 from Oklahoma City)
I know people who live on Lake Conroe and I wish I could live there, myself!
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Thanks again for more feedback. We had never actually considered Arkansas but I'm going to pull the atlas out and take a look - along with checking some realty sites. Same goes for OK.

We went to the Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend and are still considering that area. Pretty overwhelming with all those "branches". Can anyone tell us what the nicer areas are vs. the areas you'd want to stay away from?

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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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In my area, that $$$ will not get you lakefront -2 hours from an airport.

But I have bought lake property and know how to look for these properties. You need to narrow your area before you can make valid judgments.

I second the Arkansas posts. My sister's mother-in-law has upgraded 3 different times in Arkansas after 70 years of age. Lakes are good quality and pricing is rising.

IMHO, I would only go spring-fed, good water quality, good paved access road, and also consider property taxes, myself.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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You should consider Grand Lake O'The Cherokees in NE Oklahoma. Within two hours of Tulsa easy. You should be able to find a fixer-upper as the housing on the lake ranges from relativly new million dollar homes to nice gated PUD communities to condos to trailer homes. There are plenty of older "lake cabins" that could be renovated you'd just need to find the one right for you. There was an article in this Sunday's Oklahoma City newspaper about the boomtown in Grove on Grand Lake. Grove also shows up on many searches as a popular place to retire. The newspaper article said 500 Californians were issued Oklahoma drivers licenses in Grove last year.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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happy tourist is right about the security in Hot Springs Village. The lakes are nice, the golf courses are beautiful and it is closer to Little Rock. And security would be better. When we lived on Lake Hamilton, we didn't have problems, but we lived out all year long. When you have a second home, you need to consider security when you are away. We are considering buying a second home in Virginia and keep thinking about leaving our house unattended. I believe property may be a little more resonable there too. Right now houses in my neighborhood are selling for 275,000-300,000 and up and I'm not on the lake!! And it's not just for retirees. I know several younger families that have moved out there. Give Arkansas a try!
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Well, I can't believe no one has said,
Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Mo. This lake is huge. It has huge million dollar mansions on it and nice cabins for modest incomes. Many Branson stars have homes here.

Springfield/Branson airport (SGF) won't fly you to Paris direct, but does fly direct to Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Memphis...

The cost of living is going up in MO, but not as fast as other areas. Lots of resturants around Branson, plus shows. Lake of the Ozarks does not have what Branson does.

Come visit!
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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I would like to recommend Lake Cumberland in southern Kentucky. Iíve live here for almost 40 years. It is located 1-Ĺ hours from Lexington, 2 hours from Knoxville, and 2-Ĺ hours from both Louisville and Nashville. Southwest flies out of Nashville and Louisville, so airfares are usually good out of those two cities.

This website (http://www.kyphilom.com/www/lakecumb.html) has some basic info about the area. The largest town on the lake is Somerset with a population of about 12,000.

This website has info on several Kentucky lakes (http://www.kylakes.com/).

unbridled is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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I live in Little Elm and our house, resting on 5 acres, is 2 miles from Lake Lewisville. In fact, we are exactly two miles from the Dallas Corinthian Yacht club, which anyone can join and there are launching pads, Sailboats, a pool,etc. However, our house is on 5 acres and is in the middle of other horse acreage. It is a higher price than what you wanted to pay, though. We are one hour from DFW airport and they are building a bridge close to us which will make it only 30 minutes. We are in the country ,but enjoy city locations because we are between Frisco and Fort Worth.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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I also think Beaver Lake in Arkansas is one of the most beautiful lakes I have been to- its close to Eureka Springs
Arkansas is a beautiful state!
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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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unbridled -
my family used to live in Monticello when I was young (ran the Wayne Co airport).
I was under the impression that you couldn't have a house right on the lake there - that it had to be away from the shoreline quite a bit. Is this correct? Maybe it is different by Somerset.
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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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PaigeS, I was just replying on another thread about Grand Lake. It's water quality has become quite a sorry issue. Here's an article from The Joplin Globe.


If you search the Globe's archives, you'll find several more detailing the trouble in the water. Even if it wasn't for the pollution, the water clarity has always been quite muddy, as one of the main rivers that feed the lake, is the Neosho which travels through the Kansas farm land. We often boated on Grand Lake and the first time I saw Beaver Lake I could not believe how crystal clear the water was
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