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Living part time on the lake


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For those of you who live directly on the water (and keep your boat in your own dock) or live within five minutes of a ramp, what do you wish you had known going into it? 

 

I'm starting to get a bit serious about living closer to or on the water, even if it is just for two or three days a week.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, slonezp said:

What specifically are you asking? 

Mostly "I wish I had known" kind of stuff. The idea of being minutes from fishing and being able to just wander out back and hop in the boat seems great. But maybe you can't really leave the boat rigged up, you have to lock it down hard and take the electronics off because even with an enclosed dock some knucklehead will swim under. Or, there's no difference between five minutes away and 20 minutes away - by the time you hook up the boat, get it there, launch it, etc it doesn't really matter, you are either on the lake or not on the lake. 

Or "I got a little bored because my lake was big but has mostly the same features around the whole lake and I ended up towing my boat to other lakes half the time."

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36 minutes ago, txchaser said:

 

Mostly "I wish I had known" kind of stuff. The idea of being minutes from fishing and being able to just wander out back and hop in the boat seems great. But maybe you can't really leave the boat rigged up, you have to lock it down hard and take the electronics off because even with an enclosed dock some knucklehead will swim under. Or, there's no difference between five minutes away and 20 minutes away - by the time you hook up the boat, get it there, launch it, etc it doesn't really matter, you are either on the lake or not on the lake. 

Or "I got a little bored because my lake was big but has mostly the same features around the whole lake and I ended up towing my boat to other lakes half the time."

My kid lives on a small lake. 80 or so acres.  My sister's backyard is Lake Michigan. I'd move to lakefront property in a heartbeat if I could. 

 

Literally yesterday, I'm in the boat ***ting with my son, who's on shore. I'm on vacation waiting for dad to show up at my kids house to go fishing.  Kid is home waiting to leave for work. Dad showed up.thumbnail(1).jpeg.b5005795eaed2c684211294b79386e24.jpeg

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Silt survey or just using common sense when you evaluate a property in a creek.  Look at the runoff, look at the composition of bottom in front of the area where you'd launch a boat.  

 

Look at the flood history of the lake, look at the effects and high water marks in relation to your property.   

 

At the end of the day, there is no better place on earth than living on or within throwing distance of a lake/river.

 

The ocean is a totally different story though.  Just my 2cents.  

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45 minutes ago, txchaser said:

 

Mostly "I wish I had known" kind of stuff. The idea of being minutes from fishing and being able to just wander out back and hop in the boat seems great. But maybe you can't really leave the boat rigged up, you have to lock it down hard and take the electronics off because even with an enclosed dock some knucklehead will swim under. Or, there's no difference between five minutes away and 20 minutes away - by the time you hook up the boat, get it there, launch it, etc it doesn't really matter, you are either on the lake or not on the lake. 

Or "I got a little bored because my lake was big but has mostly the same features around the whole lake and I ended up towing my boat to other lakes half the time."

  I couldn't agree more with what your saying.  I do get bored fishing the same waters all the time.  Would rather be close to a group of lakes with decent ramps, then go out every day from the same location.  A must would be a centrally located house off the lake with a good free standing garage with room to pull it in, lock it secure, and pull out easy.  Prices would be much better off the lake then waterfront property.  Waterfront also demands more maintenance expenses, and wildlife problems.

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I might be the guy to answer this one. I live right near the river in downtown Knox and spend weekends at a lakehouse 45 minutes south. The problem i have leaving the boat at the dock is not theft because there are 100k wake boats at all the other docks so nobody seems to mess with my little

jon boat . I think my parents did have a battery stolen off a pontoon in the early 90s but that’s when we were the only dock in there. 
 

what I do have is lots of spiders but they don’t really bother me. Also constant water sports/waves will beat your boat to death, you’ll need whips or a lift to keep it from banging 

 

also we’ve had the boat sitting on dry mud/rocks  a few times because the lake goes up and down daily. I can solve

that one by just tying off out in front of the dock instead of in the shallow slip.

 

Having the boat in the driveway is nice for pulling drain plug and cleaning as well as going to Different launch sites, truck gas is cheaper than boat gas almost every single time 

 

fire away with some more questions ! 

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Never been on the water, but within 5 minutes of the ramp for many years. Only negative is the convenience of a quick trip gets mighty comfortable, and you might find yourself rarely wanting to pull the boat somewhere else. After a few years, the same lake can become a bit boring if patterns repeat consistently - same old, same old. But that convenience to go on short notice or even for just an hour or two with boat mobility 😎

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^ Brian and I share this - about 1 mile to the closest ramp on Tonka, all on backstreets....been here for 38 years (bought the place I'm in back in 1986)

 

Mainly, convenience trumps many other considerations.

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I used to think that living on the water would be heaven.

 

My views have changed over the years.  Property taxes are certainly higher and you likely need flood insurance (depending on state laws and zoning).  I might still end up doing it when I retire though.  Right now I wouldn't be able to afford it, at least around here.

 

I have lived close to access points on various lakes most of the time I've lived here, including now.  That's the great part about living in the land of 10,000 lakes.  Convenience is also a factor for me.  I often encounter better fishing if I'm willing to drive a little further than 10 minutes from the house though.  45 minutes away, there are lakes that receive almost zero bass fishing pressure.

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my neighborhood has its own boat ramp and dock. My house is less than 1/2 mile from the ramp. I've kept my boat at the dock for a week to see what it was like and honestly I prefer to pull it back to the house.

 

-easier to do maintenance

-easier to charge batteries and not leave hatches open to public

-I can rig/organize without really "leaving" the house

-boat stays cleaner

-boat isnt beat up by wakes (no lifts on our community dock)

-dont have to remove all electronics that can walk away

-no sun damage (no cover over our docks)

-no stress if the bilge is working during a rain storm

-no stress over rapid changing water levels (ours can swing wildly either way)

 

if the convenience of having our own boat ramp wasnt there I'd prefer leaving the boat at the dock.

 

As for the house itself (aside from normal house things)...

 

-Cost can be significantly less. The one house on the water with a dock in our neighborhood is double the price of the average house on our street

-If the house is on the water and no dock built yet you need to make sure you can actually build one. Sometimes old docks are grandfathered in and the governing body no longer allows dock permits. Sometimes the ground is not stable enough for a stick built and youll need a floating dock, etc.

-Snakes. We looked at a lot of water properties before buying our house and everything we heard from potential neighbors on multiple bodies of water were the presence of snakes making their way into the garage or around the house. 

-flood plane. This will be huge in insurance and your own personal risk assessment.

-Check to see what the water level fluctuates between. Our lake typically can swing +/- 2ft and during a drought can go low enough my boat would be in the dirt at the dock.

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1 hour ago, gimruis said:

I used to think that living on the water would be heaven.

 

My views have changed over the years.  Property taxes are certainly higher and you likely need flood insurance (depending on state laws and zoning).  I might still end up doing it when I retire though.  Right now I wouldn't be able to afford it, at least around here.

 

I have lived close to access points on various lakes most of the time I've lived here, including now.  That's the great part about living in the land of 10,000 lakes.  Convenience is also a factor for me.  I often encounter better fishing if I'm willing to drive a little further than 10 minutes from the house though.  45 minutes away, there are lakes that receive almost zero bass fishing pressure.

Our property tax is around $1500/yr at the lake. 

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If its a smaller lake then thats not the best idea, theres been a few lakes near me (under 100 acres) that the fishing is either amazing or non existent every few years.

Imagine buying a place near a lake just to have bad fishing. And a lake can go bad at any time, whether thats due to nature or the people (spraying, chemicals, draining it to remove the bass to stock more trout (Its a PA thing).

Larger lakes dont seem to be as sensitive to those types of changes.

 

Also leaving your boat fully rigged, theres still people that steal, everywhere, everyplace, a lake isnt any different.

 

Some lakes have hoa or something like that as well, i dont think ive ever met anyone that loved being in a hoa. Some lakes also have maintenance or use fees, and depending on where you are at the taxes can either be a little more, or alot.

 

A thing most people dont think about is, the insects and reptiles that really like being near the water. Tons of ticks (from deer and other creatures going for a swim or drink, mosquitoes, and snakes, while some like insects and reptiles i dont.

 

And then theres the cost, nearby the lake houses either are millions of dollars, or on the bottom end are several hundred thousands, and are usually junk. Unpleasant on the inside and outside, barely livable, and probably will cost alot to fix. And all usually have no acreage.

 

Try finding some land, or a house nearby a few different lakes/ponds. I live within 5-15 minutes of a river, creek, 5 lakes and 2 decent sized big bass ponds. I couldnt imagine only fishing 1 lake.

 

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The views are nice easy access to the water is nice, but fishing the same water over and over gets old (to me anyway). The lake I lived on was a private probably 50 acre lake. It would probably be a different story if it were a huge lake where you could run miles and miles to a spot.

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If you live on a lake, that doesn’t mean you have to fish only that lake. Your truck still works guys!!! And so does your boat trailer

 

also I can run to the Gulf of Mexico on the water from my dock if I so pleased, the people with cruisers do it all the time 

 

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When we're in GA my boat is in my buddy's dock, a 3 minute drive from our house.  Love it.  I can be fishing anytime in 5 minutes on a 38K acre lake or drive 5 minutes to 3 different ramps and trailer the boat anywhere.  I'm also 30 minutes from river fishing for several different species of bass that I do in my kayak.  In the winter time in FL I'm less than 30 minutes to 2 rivers, 5 lakes and the gulf takes 40 minutes.  I have the best of all worlds if my old body can take it.

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