I should know. I’ve lived on the Oswego Canal for the past 27 years. And while I can’t see the main lake from my back deck, I can get to it after a magical eight minute boat ride winding between my neighbors’ backyards.
Canal living has its own allure and is worth checking out if you’re considering living on Oswego Lake.
1. Cheaper price tag. Just this past year, many homes on the main lake have sold in excess of $3 million. The range for canal-front homes has been between $500,000 to $1.2 million.
2. Big backyards. My backyard has played host to a dinner party for 100, slumber parties for 10 eight year-old boys, s’mores headquarters for 20 teenagers, raucous games of pickle with my three kids and their friends, and a competitive cornhole tournament just this summer. I like to think I have the best of both worlds—“waterfront living for land lovers” as my wife likes to put it.
3. Neighborhoods. Although we live on the water, we also feel like we are part of our neighborhood. Our street is quiet, refreshingly enlivened by the sounds of children playing next door, at the park at the end of our street, or while they are bike riding in front of our house. Neighbors stop to chat while they walk their dogs and there is plenty of parking for those 100 backyard party guests.
4. The canal. People who aren’t in the know, might think the canal ride to the main lake is a drawback to living here but it’s one of the things I like best. If you don’t live on the canal, chances are you’d never travel down it and you’d miss one of the unique windows into lake life.
There’s adventure down here. Just ask my son whose annual canoe treks headed towards the headgate at the Tualatin River with his uncle and cousins were always a highlight. The canal reaches a point in that direction where it is no longer navigable by motor boat. They would return with tales of forging their way through brush, carrying their canoe through shallow spots and ultimately reaching their destination after the third year trying.
There’s life in the slow lane down here. Heading out to the main lake, you can’t create a wake so the ride is leisurely, allowing you to take in the sights and even greet your neighbors in their backyards. As you’re heading out, you’re anticipating the adventure ahead and as you’re heading home, you’re reliving the great ride, who got up on the wakeboard or how high your son got the ski tube to fly while he was riding it.
If you’d like to explore canal living on either Oswego Canal or Blue Heron, give me a call and I”d be happy to boat you around and let you see firsthand what I’m talking about. Check out my blog on easements for another alternative for enjoying Oswego Lake without paying lakefront prices.