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Old 05-04-2015, 06:07 AM   #1
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Default Island info

Hi. We are considering buying a home on an island and are new to the lake. We have rented on an island in Fl and have a basic understanding of how services, etc work. Can anyone who lives on an island offer any other pros or cons? Does anyone happen to live on Sleepers Island?
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:15 AM   #2
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As someone who wants to buy an island place (and will as soon as my wife lets me!) you can find tons on this website about island ownership. Do a quick search and you will turn up lots of threads on this topic. Best of luck!!!
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by winnipiseogee View Post
As someone who wants to buy an island place (and will as soon as my wife lets me!) you can find tons on this website about island ownership. Do a quick search and you will turn up lots of threads on this topic. Best of luck!!!
For example:
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:03 AM   #4
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Smile Islands Rock!

Having been coming to the lake for almost 30 years, I can say having stayed on both the mainland and various islands, the island experience is more "real", for lack of a better word. I know that's not very good.

We finally bought a place on Rattlesnake Island after looking for several years.

It's nice to be away from cars and the whole "hubbub" of normal life.

On the island, you are much more subject to the weather. You have to plan better - can't just "run out to the store" and get something. Power sometimes goes out, etc. etc.

But, the vacation / lake "experience" is really good. You're right there, surrounded by water. You use your boat everytime you go somewhere. You get to know your neighbors because you depend on each other at times.

And, the prices are much lower on islands than on the mainland.

Sleepers is nice. We looked at several places there. Finally chose Rattlesnake, mostly because the hiking is really good over here, and we found a place with a pretty flat approach.

There is a cottage in this part of the island (on the peninsula, AKA the "thumb") coming up for sale (no, not mine and I have no affiliation with anyone connected - just informational) if you're interested, I'll pass along your info to the owner.

Islands aren't for everyone, but if you're an islander at heart, there's nothing like it. I got bit by the island bug 30 years ago
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
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I bought island property 3 years ago and it is by far the best thing I have ever done. So much so - I made the commute from Bear Island down to work in MA this morning just because I could not for the life of me leave last night it was so beautiful! Yes it was worth getting up at 5:30 this morning - sit on my dock to watch the sun rise (with a cup of coffee) then off for 2.5 hours of drive time. Sadly it's depressing to be at work... but there is next weekend to look forward to!

My first suggestion is if you are going to buy a piece of island property, get a good real estate agent that knows island property and the lake. As mentioned by me a number of times, Nancy Deporter and her husband Doug are the best. http://www.nancydeporter.com. You will find several others who would recommend them as well. There are others that claim to be specialists in island property but fall well short! This is really important because if you are not familiar with the lake, or some of the rather interesting construction techniques that could be problematic, they are the ones to help with pointing these things out. Plus you can't beat a fellow islander selling island property.

There are plenty of businesses that provide support for islanders for everything you can think of. Yes it can get a little pricy to do things such as major construction jobs, but if you can dream it up there are folks that can do it for you if you aren't able or adventurous enough to try it yourself. So really the price to buy may be cheaper, but that can be offset by hiring somebody to do stuff for you. It is helpful to be handy that's for sure.

Far as everything else, there is nothing you cannot get to by boat - there are grocery stores, hardware stores, and everything in between that are accessible by a short walk from most town docks. Most islands have full services such as electricity, some with cable and high speed internet. Depending on your situation mainland "logistics" are a consideration. You may or may not have a good place close by to launch your boat, if you choose to trailer up every visit, or you can either rent a slip, rack your boat at a marina, or buy a slip. That can add some overall cost to your annual cost of ownership.

I suppose it comes down to what you are after and if the island "lifestyle" is what you crave. From a personal stand point I wanted a place to completely disconnect and have that feeling of being isolated from everything. I don't mind the adventure, love how quiet it is, my neighbors are awesome folks, and it's a fantastic place to have what I consider to be the ultimate getaway. Quite frankly at this point, no matter if I had millions to spend on a mainland property I would not give up being on an island, no way.

Good luck in your search, there are some nice places for sale right now.
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:13 PM   #6
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My family is on Sleeper's island. We absolutely love it. As someone previously said, even though mainland is a couple hundred yards away, we feel so much more removed from it so it really is that much more of an escape. It's not an exaggeration to say that it is a vacation every weekend.

Also, as previously stated, the weather can be an issue. We've come across from WAM in some pretty nasty storms before.

Wherever you decide to look, definitely consider how much sun exposure you will have and how much you want. The sun starts warming up our deck in the morning and it shines on us all day (which we also love). We have been to some other houses where the tree cover is so thick or the island itself casts a shadow such that the sun only shines for a short time during the day. Other things to consider are the view (if that is important to you), boat traffic, etc.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:59 PM   #7
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Always go visit your proposed location (be it island or mainland), on a nice Saturday afternoon and get an idea of what the boat traffic is like.

In particular the SW side of Sleeper is an absolute zoo in terms of boat traffic plus the West Alton sandbar is right there.

The channel between Sleeper and Rattlesnake can get pretty busy too. The eastern shore of Sleeper is pretty good... not much boat traffic, some nice long views and protected from NW winds (but of course no sunsets)

The broads side of Rattlesnake is better (lots of boat traffic, but there is a lot of open space).

Barndoor is pretty nice for low boat traffic. The only pinch point is at the very southeast point.

Also don't overlook the number of steps to your cottage from your dock. I find it's an entirely different experience living "on" the water rather than "above" the water.

Finally look up the town's appraised value on the house. At least in Alton they're usually pretty much right on and at least island properties rarely sell for more than their town appraised values.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:30 PM   #8
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Island living is certainly a different game. Definitely more private than most mainland spots but the luxury of not having the car at your finger tips isn't for all. It really comes down to preference. We looked at a fair amount of island spots before we ended up on the mainland. The biggest considerations IMO is having a slip on the mainland close to your island property and also picking an island that gives you protection from the wind. Places like Bear island, little Bear, whortleberry and cow island offer this. Having to get on/off the island quickly in the dark, in rain and wind is fairly easy in these spots. Not sure what age bracket you are in but maybe that is a consideration as well.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:21 AM   #9
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Smile Island Living

I have been on Cow for 34+ years and still love it. Neighbors are Great and always helpful with everything-- help or advice you might need or be it a cup of sugar or a plumbing part. I started with Raw land and a tent, then small cabin and finally built my present Island home. Great !! Kerk
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:59 AM   #10
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Default Island Living

We bought our cottage on East Bear Island in 1967 [before we purchased our first house]. We have never regretted this decision. Many family members and friends have shared in the enjoyment of this wonderful place. It is important to "respect" the lake as weather is a major consideration for living on an island. Many neighbors are now like family members. We share doing various events together. Our family and friends will continue to enjoy our place long into the future.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:08 AM   #11
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Hello - You can find a wealth of information on this forum about choosing and living on an island. This will be my husband's and my seventh summer on Sleepers Island. Each year we discover some new pleasure/problem and are by no means experts, but please PM me if I can help with any specifics about Sleepers in particular.
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