Lake Winnipesaukee… home to over 72 square miles of immense beauty. When you ask most people about their favorite experience on the lake, they usually respond with memories of shimmering red sunsets, evening boat cruises to Meredith, or hot summer days anchored in one of the many protected coves. It is easy to see why it has become such a sought after destination. For me however, the lake has provided something beyond its natural beauty.
Growing up in the lakes region, I had spent most of my summer days playing along the shores of the many surrounding lakes. Having grown up in the real estate world, I was fortunate enough to visit most every nook and cranny the big lake had to offer. On one particular sunny day, we decided to spend an afternoon docked at Windswept Island. True to its name and no more than 120 ft across, this island sat looking over the most expansive part of the lake. Even in the heat of the summer, there was a constant cool breeze that lapped the shores of the island.
Over time, this little island became a continued hot spot for our boating destinations. However, it was neither the gorgeous views nor the cool breeze which kept us coming back. It was the feeling of getting away from it all that stuck the most. Even though we were just a few miles from mainland, this little island provided the sense of being on a mini vacation; just far enough away to make even simple obligations fade from the back of your mind.
Naturally, my family decided island living was for us. By the time of my mid-teens, we had purchased a small cabin on Welch Island. Through many years of use, I have come to several conclusions that may help others in deciding whether an island property is right for them.
- Unlike mainland waterfront, you only get the late spring to fall months of use.
- Contrary to mainland waterfront which range from $450,000 to several million, island properties are far more affordable, with typically properties ranging between $250,000 to $450,000.
- Outside of Black Cat Island, Long Island, Oak Island, Governor’s Island, Worcester Island and Christmas Island which are bridged, most island properties require a boat and a mainland boat slip or slip rental at a local marina.
- Many island properties rely on lake water for showering and cooking, drinking water must be carried by person.
- There are approximately 270 islands on Lake Winnipesaukee alone, obviously most are not habitable, but they provide a scenic landscape to the lake environment.
- Most island properties provide ultimate privacy and serenity, compared to mainland living.
- The water clarity is generally most favorable on the lake.
- The wooded landscapes, with large undeveloped centers of the islands provide an ideal environment for hiking and exploring.
- Many of the larger islands provide under- water electrical and telephone service.
- Several of the larger islands have common parking/boat launch areas on the mainland.