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Old 01-14-2019, 09:38 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,556 times
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I'm in the early stages of looking for a lakefront vacation home and was wondering if anyone can suggest some good WI lakes to start my search.

I am looking for someplace that is within 2 hours of Highland Park, IL (or Chicago)
Clean swimming lakes without a lot of water sports.
Price of lakefront homes around $100-$250K...distressed properties okay.
Prefer woodsey areas with some land.

Any comments on Brussels, WI?
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
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Yeah, its longer than 2 hrs from you! More like 3.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
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If you're looking as far as Brussels in Door County, I would also look in the Northwoods of Vilas and Oneida counties. I like Trout Lake, High Lake, and Fishtrap Lake in Vilas, but very spendy in terms of real estate prices, but more reasonable for non lakefront. The advantage is hundreds of miles of trails nearby and nice national forest and state forest trails around.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:34 PM
 
4,016 posts, read 3,281,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoulihan View Post
I'm in the early stages of looking for a lakefront vacation home and was wondering if anyone can suggest some good WI lakes to start my search.

I am looking for someplace that is within 2 hours of Highland Park, IL (or Chicago)
Clean swimming lakes without a lot of water sports.
Price of lakefront homes around $100-$250K...distressed properties okay.
Prefer woodsey areas with some land.

Any comments on Brussels, WI?
Your budget is too low for the good areas with the highest density of lakes/properties up north around Vilas/Oneida counties. There everything on your bucket list is possible except price/distance. Expect a minimum of 3 hours for *anything* remotely decent (except price).

Here is an example of what 250K buys-
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/8...88561344_zpid/

Last edited by damba; 01-15-2019 at 10:41 PM.. Reason: Added info
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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As a former Illinoisan, two-hours is not far enough North to find what you are looking for. Additionally, gasoline powered water sports tend to foul pristine waters, so many pristine lakes ban the use of gasoline powered engines.

What I found in my search for clean water when looking was that Wisconsin (along with most other states) have fouled their waters with industry in the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s. To find clean water these days, you have to get far North and far away from industrialized areas. Two hours north of Chicago just is not far enough to get out of the industrial, mining, logging, and farm areas.

Given those issues and the need to keep it close, most other Illinoisans looking for a Northern Escape look along the shores of Delavan Lake, Geneva Lake, or Lake Koshkonong.

Being a little over two hours further north of you, people here, when looking for a Northern Escape, head to Shawano Lake or a cabin along Green Bay (Lake Michigan.) You could also look around Mountain, WI if you are looking that far North.

Minocqua is a nice area, touristy, with lots of options but they tend to be expensive as someone else pointed out. There are lots of little lakes in that area.

In Illinois, there is Lake Summerset, NW of Rockford, IL, that might be worth looking into. It's in your 2hr range and you are on interstate for a lot of the trip.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:03 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
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And remember, the 2 hrs on google/mapquest, etc on a day like today, is going to be different than 2 hrs on a Thursday or Friday afternoon during the summer, nevermind a holiday weekend.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:41 AM
 
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Just throwing this out there for your consideration: Lake Poygan/ Lake Winneconne. You'd be able to buy a lot more for your money in that area. I lived in Poygan for a couple of years right on the lake. It was beautiful... my neighbors built a gorgeous home next-door. They were from Illinois and would come up every other week or so.
You're close to Oshkosh, Neenah, and Appleton for conveniences, although Winneconne does have a grocery store, ShopKo, Kwik Trip, Subway, a few bars and restaurants such as The Fin n' Feather, etc.

Winneconne is a homey, small village, but it does have its charm. It's surrounded by water, the home prices are fairly low, and people are friendly... low crime, slower paced. Butte des Morts is nearby, as well, and that also has some lovely lake-front homes. Just a couple places to look into if they sound like they might be interesting to you.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:41 AM
 
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That area doesn’t really buy you much either, unfortunately.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
And remember, the 2 hrs on google/mapquest, etc on a day like today, is going to be different than 2 hrs on a Thursday or Friday afternoon during the summer, nevermind a holiday weekend.
Trying to drive north on I90/I94 over the Illinois-Wisconsin border is a nightmare on Friday afternoons and Saturday mid-morning. I can't count the number of times I have been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic doing 25mph from Rockton, IL to Janesville, WI then 45mph from Janesville, WI to Madison, WI on a Friday afternoon.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:23 PM
 
4,016 posts, read 3,281,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtrlEsc View Post
Trying to drive north on I90/I94 over the Illinois-Wisconsin border is a nightmare on Friday afternoons and Saturday mid-morning. I can't count the number of times I have been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic doing 25mph from Rockton, IL to Janesville, WI then 45mph from Janesville, WI to Madison, WI on a Friday afternoon.
Meh. If you think that’s bad, try spending time getting out of downtown Chicago during rush.
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