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Old    wakelvr            09-16-2005, 3:47 PM Reply   
My husband and I are seriously thinking about relocating out of California within the next five years or so. We would like to live on affordable waterfront property so that we can raise our children on the water. My question is this.... where are the best places to live on the water and ride, state by state? The cost to live on the delta here in California has gone through the roof. A comparable home like the one I live in now would be in the millions. No thanks....

We are looking at Florida, Georgia and the Carolina's. But I am curious about other areas as well.

Any tips?
Old    Flight007 (poser007)      Join Date: Nov 2004       09-16-2005, 6:48 PM Reply   
Heck, I have been looking in the SanAntonio area of Texas ...nice lakes great weather most of the year and the houseing is still dirt cheap. You can buy a very nice home on the lake for around 200-250
Old (mjmurphy53711)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-16-2005, 8:37 PM Reply   
Im almost positive Florida is going to be the best/cheapes in relative comparibility of climate, scene, and wakeboarding community. Cable parks out there, but hey....Im pretty partial to Wisconsin.
Old    Andy Nintzel-NautiCurl Wake Shaper (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-16-2005, 8:39 PM Reply   
Freaking Minnesota. The Lakes here are Nuts, all 10,000 of them. If you throw a rock in MN it is gunna make a splash. You can ride 5 months of the year. The temp is like 80-90 all summer everyday. I rules here. I live here all summer and move to cali all winter.
Old    herbman            09-16-2005, 8:45 PM Reply   
NC is typically NOT going to be affordable... Also, A nice LOT on lake Blue Ridge in Ga. will run you up to $500K plus... Your best bet would be Tn. or a lake in Al. named "Smith Lake" which is less than 1 hour North of Birmingham. Fl. is nice too if you can handle the weather and the prices... BE SURE to research the lake heavily, as well as taking a look on the EPA's website about the water quality... I like our lake, but I also like being the only boarders/skiers out during the week!!! (32,000 acres all to ourselves!)
Old    Melissa (psych3060)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-17-2005, 7:12 AM Reply   
Matt, what would you consider not affordable in NC? Remember she said she is coming from California, where in most parts now a cardboard box is going for upwards of 500K.
Old    Jeff Baker (innov8)      Join Date: May 2005       09-17-2005, 7:47 AM Reply   
I relocated to the Fort Worth Texas area from southern cal. I know what you are taliking about cost of living, for what I bought here in Texas on the Brazos River would cost over a million, I paid under 500K. Its a great area for wakeboarding, there is alot of lakes and rivers some of the best spots in the Nation, the people are great the season is pretty long we wakeboard in shorts until about oct, and stay on the water till end of nov. I opened a cali style wakeboard skateboard shop two years ago its doing great, you could not drag me back to cali, and people from cali are moving here like crazy, it worth checking out.
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-17-2005, 7:57 AM Reply   
Orlando Watersports Complex Orlando, Florida.
Old    wakelvr            09-17-2005, 11:07 AM Reply   
Thanks for the info. I would like to stay under $500-600k if possible. Weather is a factor for us... We would like to ride year round (drysuits are fine) so I would prefer not to live on the water where it dips below freezing. I would love to check out Florida but the hurricane's are a concern. We are still very much considering it though. Does anyone have more specific information on particular communities/lakefront property? I want to do as much research as possible before we make trips out there to see for ourselves:-) I have been hearing a lot about Texas lately for some reason.. hmmmmm, will have to look into it.

Thanks a million!
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-17-2005, 12:19 PM Reply   
Are you only concerned with the wakeboarding aspect of moving? Orlando is a great place, or anywhere just outside of it. Winter Haven and so on.. check out maps of the area around there and look up communities that are appealing to you. You can't go wrong with Florida, home of wakeboarding, OWC is nearby, year round riding, it's the Sunshine state!! Housing is expensive however in some of the more attractive areas so do some 'looking around' and find a place that will suit you. When looking at lakefront properties make sure a wakeboard boat is allowed on that lake as well. If your looking at other areas in Florida cheak out the Gulf Coast; Destin, Panama City, Pensecola area. Salt water bays and bayous arn't bad either (I live on one). Good look and happy hunting.
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-17-2005, 12:20 PM Reply   
Ps, front a Real Estate investment standpoint buying Real Estate in Destin Florida now would make you tons of money by the time you move... Otherwise prices will be out of the range you suggested.
Old    tpalmeri            09-17-2005, 1:05 PM Reply   

I live here in NC close to the Raleigh area. There are some great lake communities that could suit your needs. Hyco lake is heated due to a power plant near by. As well as Lake Gaston is a good NC lake community as well.

If you check out , there are a few members there that live in those communities that can give you a good idea of what home prices would be. If you talk to a guy named Whit (he is the one that primarily runs that site), he is a real estate agent in the Hyco lake area.

You can pretty much ride year round here.

Hope this helps
Old    Randy (dudeman)      Join Date: Mar 2005       09-17-2005, 5:01 PM Reply   
Stefani. It all depends on what you do for a living. Depending on what you do, the salaries in the southeast are probably going to be considerable lower, unless your a doctor or have a specialty that is in high demand. Might want to put out some resumes or feelers and way the offers with the state to see if it's somewhere you would consider. My .02
Old    shane (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       09-17-2005, 6:21 PM Reply   
please stay away from texas it sucks, they let us have guns here. we definitely do not the mass exodus into DFW that ruined Phoenix and Seattle

(Message edited by auto on September 17, 2005)
Old    Danny Smylie (smylie)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-18-2005, 12:49 AM Reply   
Another thing that I would also look into is the schooling systems that your kids would be put into. Word on the street from a few friends of mine that lived in Florida and moved to wisconsin is that the Florida school system is pretty shabby compared to ours up here in wiscosin. Im sorry if i offended any teachers from florida but that is what i heard. Growing up on the lake is a big plus, heck i have spent all of my summers at our lake home. But its also good to have a good community and good school.
Old    Bill Montanye (bill)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-18-2005, 4:29 AM Reply   
Shane im right there with you ,jeff and some others just dont get it ....
Old    Jeffrey Byron (99xstar)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-19-2005, 6:39 AM Reply   
It would be stupid not to live in MN.
Old    fl_girl            09-19-2005, 7:48 AM Reply   
The schooling system in florida does seem to be a little behind. In the Orlando area it's definitely a sellers market right now.
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-19-2005, 8:47 AM Reply   
In Destin/Niceville area.... panhandle of florida... the Highschool is a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Top 15 in the Nation. The Community College for the same area is number two in the state. If Florida is behind in their school system I haven't heard about it.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       09-19-2005, 8:51 AM Reply   
Austin, can ride 12 months/year, homes are realtively inexpensive for lake front 200-500k. Best part of texas (hill country) weather is milder than other parts of texas...still hot but not as humid as coast. clean fresh water. No major weather systems (liek coastal areas in florida)
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-19-2005, 9:02 AM Reply   
The housing on a lake in FL is skyrocketing. Anywhere within an hour of orlando, you are talking probably 500-600k easy for a decent house.

Where the prices are reasonable, there are no jobs for professionals. Trust me on that one as I'd move there in a second if I could get a job.
Old    Andre DeLeon (cubanismo)      Join Date: Jan 2005       09-19-2005, 9:12 AM Reply   
Adam, where are you finding lake front homes for 200k in Austin???
Old    Daniel (agfan12)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-19-2005, 9:24 AM Reply   
^^^^^No Kidding, Adam, please, tell me where these are located. I'll wire you the money for the down payment!
Old    Face Planter (mastercraft1995)      Join Date: Nov 2002       09-19-2005, 9:45 AM Reply   
Ashville NC is where I would move to.
Old    Karl De Looff (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-19-2005, 9:48 AM Reply   
Check out It is high end, but the community, schools, and local economy is first rate. Riding season is April-November. December-March we snowboard.
Old    Andrew (atlsackedup)      Join Date: Mar 2005       09-19-2005, 11:07 AM Reply   
Stefani...seriously look into Lake Lanier Georgia (just north of Atlanta...pretty much suburb of Atlanta). Houses in this Lake front neighborhood are in the price range that you mentioned and the lake here is as pretty as any I've ever seen. Take a look at this link and see what you think. Also the schools in the Atlanta area are very good.

Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-19-2005, 11:11 AM Reply   
Can't beat the Delta, so why try?????

Actually we've been kinda thinking of Arizona or Texas when I retire in a couple years.
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-19-2005, 11:36 AM Reply   
yes I will also mention the fact that salaries are way low in FL for most things. I am considering moving back to the midwest for a 40% salary increase, with the cost of living being 30% of what it is here.

given that issue, a job here in FL would probably pay 50% more in cali.
Old    tpalmeri            09-19-2005, 1:38 PM Reply   
Also in NC that I mentioned Stefani, the school systems are a little behind the north. I am from Cleveland and feel that the schooling I received up there was ahead of the k-12 here. But there are still good school systems for kids here.

You should also be able to find lakefront property in your price range
Old    Kevin McGuirk (ktmwakeboarder)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-20-2005, 3:39 PM Reply   
hell yeah, Delta all the way :-) The Cali weather is pretty damn nice... In FL, I hear a lot of how its oppressively humid and hot, and gators. I have not been to FL, and I'm definitely not talking badly of it at all. At times I'm even a bit jealous of yall with the great conditions for so many months out of the year in the wakeboarding capital of the world. But yeah, agreeable weather can be important. Also, do you do any winter/snow sports? hehe, we have Tahoe nice and close! Just another thing to consider
Old    Lucky275 (lcky275)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-20-2005, 5:41 PM Reply   
North of Dallas on private lakes...

Old    Doctor Octagon (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-20-2005, 6:49 PM Reply   
I haven't read all the posts, but you know I am from North Georgia originally. South Ga or Fla is probably cheaper, but it is all flat, more humid, and more bugs. I could give you some guidance next time we get together. Hope the three of you are well. Up to my @ss in home improvement, rode exactly 4 times this year, oh well. Let me know when's the next party.
Old    lunker            09-20-2005, 8:33 PM Reply   
I have to put one in for Minnesota, too. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a ridable lake here. The down side goes like this:

April-- Ice out, wear your dry suit.
May-- Water in the 50's, drysuit.
June-- Water at 65 degrees cold in wetsuit.
July-- Water at 72 degrees warm in wetsuit.
August-- Water at 75-82 degrees, shorts ok.
Sept-- Water back down to low 70's.
October-- Water in 60's, wetsuit.
November-- Water in 40-50's and snowing, drysuit.
December-- Air can be 0-20 degrees, lakes freeze.

Best part is there is NO competition for good water except July and August. There is literally a ridable lake every 5 miles in most of the state.
Old    Ryan Gravalin (l7wakeboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2005       09-21-2005, 6:41 AM Reply   
Another great thing about Minnesota is that the school's here are really good, the people are nice, and the cost of living is really decent. Up here in Northern Minnesota you can get a really nice lake home for $300 to $400K, and I am talking like a damn mansion. The wide open spaces are nice!
Old    David (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       09-21-2005, 8:09 AM Reply   
Yeah I was going to say just what Adam said. Although lakefront in Austin is on the rise BIGtime, you can get stuff in and around Houston and Conroe for unreal prices.

That's what I did a couple of months ago - moved from Florida where a lakefront tear-down was $500k, to Texas, where you can get a house (on the water) for 1/3 of the price of Florida homes.
Old    Dizzy Jenkins (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       09-21-2005, 9:02 AM Reply   
austin waterfront is 500k+ and very, very quickly goes to 1M+
Old    stormrider            09-21-2005, 9:08 AM Reply   
San Diego Bay is a great riding spot. A vacant 1/10th of an acre lot only costs $5,500,000. Now when the real estate bubble bursts in California, and it will, because it always has-- we have a history of booms and busts in real estate-- and all these people are out of their homes, and the economy tanks, we expect the rest of you to pony up tax dollars to bail us out.
Old    wakelvr            09-21-2005, 9:29 AM Reply   
Some really good information here folks, thank you very much. Education/Schooling is our number one priority. Second would be finding a place on the water or very close by. Our goal is to own our home or close to. I will most likely not be working for a while. I need to start doing some homework and you guys have given me a good start! THANK YOU!!!

Jimmy, you got it! Let's plan a gathering soon.
Old    wakelvr            09-21-2005, 9:34 AM Reply   
Kevin, yes, we do love winter sports. Water sports will take a precedence though;-)
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-21-2005, 9:35 AM Reply   
If you wanted to just be close by the water and trailer your boat, then the house prices drop significantly in FL.

Also some of us LOVE the humidity, in fact that is one of my favorite things about the weather. When I go on trips out west, it is always too dry!
Old    Whit (whit)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-21-2005, 10:35 AM Reply   
I've never been to Smith Lake in Alabama--but from what I have heard it is simply amazing! Another underrated place in the south is Tennessee, central and eastern areas--lots of great lakes, awesome riders, and cheap, cheap boats. (well low, low priced boats.)

Love Hyco myself. During the weekdays the lake could be considered private--we might see one or two pontoon/bass boats. The main part of the lake is heated and tends to stay around 60 degrees during the coldest months. During the summer if you head to the right part of the lake the water will be 100+--great for a little evening soaking and socailizing. The lake is interesting history--when it was formed in tghe 60's it was unknown and lots of folks that you wouldn't think would live on the water bought lots for $3k to $5k. Now you have million dollar spreads located next to trailers on the water. Property prices are all over the place ranging from $100K-$200K for a lot, $225K-$275 for a doublewide, $400K to $600K for your typcial house (2000-3000sq ft) with a sweet boat house to over a million for the phatty, phat homes.

If you want to find out more about the lakes in NC--start a post on and ask. Folks on different lakes in the area can fill you in on what makes then so great.

The lakefront property in North Carolia is still fairly reasonably priced. The trend lately has been to buy two homes--one near a population center and one on the lake. (Southerns don't really like commuting--most folks live within 15miles of work.) Hyco is 60 miles from Raleigh, 70 miles from Greensboro, and 30 miles from Danville, VA.

Thanks Tony for the props--btw :-) As Tony mentioned I'm a real estate agent in North Carolina, specializing in lake front property--if you want to know more or would be interested in a personalized website with MLS searches setup--shoot me an email. (
Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       09-21-2005, 11:24 AM Reply   
i don't think any coastal community is the way to go, too much wind. maybe when i'm old and retired i will like the surf and wind. there was a lot with a house on it, on one of the best riding lakes in ohio for 50g, that was a steal, but it freezes in the winter. minnesota sucks(cold), california sucks(price), even in florida there is always wind(yah, i know some spots in florida where its always flat, you won't hear locals talking about these hidden spots) i am going to start visiting kentucky and tennesee, their lakes don't freeze and check this out
they haven't had wind in parts of these states for weeks, tons of lakes, and boater friendly(maybe they don't want anyone to know how good it is)


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