If you live on the North Shore, then you know that living on the lake is the ultimate luxury. Our four seasons are exquisitely represented on the water from mildly lapping waves, to pounding surf, to ice floes. It's always beautiful, but more importantly, it's calming, almost mythical.
There is a steep price to pay for those views. In fact, a few of our North Shore homes only have views, with limited or no beach access. These homes are, of course, priced lower than those with private beaches.
If you live on the lake in Wilmette you will get a gentle walk to the water, over a few sand dunes and sea grass. But going north into Kenilworth the land rises and the bluff is formed - it continues into Winnetka, Glencoe, and Highland Park. These homes have fairly steep inclines to the water with long staircases and flat "rest" areas on the way down. Other homes have installed motorized trams to zip up and down the bluff.
Some homes have long shorelines, some have narrow beaches. A bluff that has been well maintained by the owners is a big plus when selling. We have a local "bluff" engineer who consults with homeowners on how to properly care for their bluffs.
But size and condition are the driving factors in the pricing of riparian (riparian = on the water) properties. One spectacular Winnetka home, which was completely gutted and rebuilt between 2005-07, recently closed for $12,250,000. It had the most incredible views - but did not have beach access.
I looked up homes for sale in various California communities with homes that had beach access or views. I found a four-bedroom and four-bath Oceanside home, right on the sand, listed for $3,495,000. Another one in La Jolla with sweeping ocean vistas for $9,750,000. Expensive to be sure, but not close to the Winnetka home recently listed for $15,975,000 (1 1/2 acres, and 15,000 sq. ft. of house.)
Here is a round up of the current lakefront homes - these are all in Winnetka since there are currently no lakefront homes for sale in Wilmette, Kenilworth, or Glencoe.
Filed under: Real Estate