For those craving the Pacific Northwest vibe in an area with craftsman residences and free from McMansions, then Hayden Lake, Idaho, may be the ticket. Golf, lake activities and other outdoor recreational endeavors attract newcomers to this quiet community, located north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and east of Spokane, Washington.
On the east side of the lake lies the 726,362 acres of Coeur d’Alene National Forest.
“You can see a multimillion dollar home, then a cabin just one lot down,” said Cathy Oetken, a real estate professional with Windermere/Coeur d’Alene Realty.
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Hayden Lake set several real estate records in the past two years, said Connie Nelson, a real estate agent with Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty. A custom craftsman estate with 108 acres and an astounding 1,400 feet of water frontage sold for $8.78 million last June.
Typically, waterfront lots come with around 100 feet of frontage, such as a shingled mansion on Honeysuckle Avenue listed for $4.5 million
According to Ms. Nelson, Hayden Lake only saw four real estate transactions under $1 million in 2021. “Even the simplest, one-bedroom, two-bathroom super-cute cabin sold for $820,000,” she said.
Terrace view from a five-bedroom, $7.195 million luxury residence by Hayden Lake, Idaho.
Seven miles north of Coeur d’Alene’s city center, Hayden Lake encompasses 499 acres alongside a lake by the same name. The neighborhood stretches north around Berven Bay, south to Honeysuckle Beach and wraps westward around Hayden Lake Country Club.
Only 16 houses in Hayden Lake changed hands in 2021. Prices ranged from $679,000 to $8.77 million, Ms. Nelson said.
“The key components that really factor into the value of a property are proximity to town, water quality, views, access to the property, the septic or sewer availability from the city and the beach utility,” Ms. Nelson said.
While some listings may boast water frontage as a selling point, accessing the water may be difficult because of steep cliffs.
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“Everybody would love to have close access to the water,” Ms. Nelson said. “The typical waterfront property is going to have the house perched up on a bluff with either steps, or in more extreme cases, a tram to the water.” Some properties don’t have a sandy, usable waterfront.
Exterior view of a luxury Hayden Lake home with 75 feet water frontage. The property is asking for $2.95 million.
The Gold Coast has the most expensive land on the lake. “It’s right in town, and most of the properties are level, lawned and beach-to-water,” Ms. Nelson said.
Other desirable areas around the lake include Sunset Beach, Vatican Beach and Henry’s Point.
Dwellings around Hayden Lake are surrounded by red firs and ponderosa pines, and blend into the natural setting. Homeowners opt for exterior colors that camouflage man-made structures. Cabins and craftsman houses typically have prominent windows to maximize the lake and mountain views.
Ms. Nelson is co-listing a double-parcel that features a five-bedroom craftsman house with a guest house for $7.195 million. It has cathedral ceilings, plentiful wood paneling and fireplaces. The house is on 1.02 acres, including 85 feet of water frontage, accessible by a tram.
The pictured $7.195 million custom home on Hayden Lake come with a shop and guest house.
Meanwhile, Ms. Oetken represents the sellers of a charming four-bedroom house with an asking price of $2.2 million on W. Eagle Crest Drive near Lake Coeur d’Alene.
“There are a lot of old, old cabins on both lakes, though those properties are being transformed. A lot of people are moving in, tearing down old cabins and building nice new homes,” Ms. Nelson said.
A new housing development called Wildcat on Hayden broke ground on the north side of Hayden Lake in summer 2021.
What Makes It Unique
While both Hayden Lake and Coeur d’Alene offer boating, fishing and swimming in the lakes, the former offers better proximity to town.
“It’s easier to find properties on Hayden Lake that are more accessible to town than it is on Coeur d’Alene,” Ms. Nelson said. “There are few properties on the east and west sides of Lake Coeur d’Alene that are close to town. Many are a 30-plus-minute drive to town, and that may make a difference depending on the type of property or lifestyle a person may be looking for.”
Fewer boats and people recreate on Hayden Lake, making it quieter than Lake Coeur d’Alene as well.
“It’s a different lifestyle,” Ms. Nelson said. “If you want more of a quiet, family-centric, recreational lifestyle on the lake, I would say Hayden Lake is better for that [compared to Coeur d’Alene].”
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Hayden Lake Country Club serves as a social hub in the neighborhood. Besides golf, dining and special events, the private club offers bocce, tennis, pickleball and accommodations for overnight guests.
“It’s a prestigious place to be. It’s a good draw, and I tell people in particular, it’s the country club in the area. It has a nice golf course, and it’s right in town,” Ms. Nelson said.
Avondale Golf Course is the public option adjacent to the country club. Between the two courses, golfers and families dine at the popular eatery, Porch Public House.
In addition to hunting, hiking, camping and riding ATVs in the forest, residents enjoy the convenience of several ski areas within two hours of driving.
Hayden Lake is about a 45-minute trip to the closest mountain, Silver Mountain. “It has a gondola and a lot of nice runs,” Ms. Oetken said. Lookout Pass and Schweitzer are also nearby skiing areas.
Families with children have their choice between public schools in the Coeur d’Alene School District, or a handful of private schools.
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Who Lives Here
The vast majority of buyers relocate from California, Oregon and Washington.
“They’re coming in droves,” Ms. Nelson said. “We get high-end buyers who come from all over, but the largest group is from California. People are finding Coeur d’Alene because it’s gotten so much press.”
Retirees make up most of the population, but a younger set is moving in, too, Ms. Oetken said.
“They seem to be flocking to the Coeur d’Alene area,” Ms. Oetken added. “Because of the ability to work from home, we’re getting a lot more young people.”
Interior view of a $2.95 million, three-bedroom waterfront home in Hayden Lake.
Hayden Lake may be too sleepy for A-listers, but Ms. Nelson said celebrity sightings are more common in Coeur d’Alene.
“With the quietness and the solitude of Hayden Lake, there probably isn’t enough action,” Ms. Nelson said. “The Kardashians have been out on Coeur d’Alene, since they have super high-end, exclusive developments where people like to stay. John Elway and Dennis Franz have homes in Coeur d’Alene.”
Both real estate agents agreed that inventory in Hayden Lake will remain low, and prices will continue to climb.
Ms. Nelson shared that she sold her family’s 1970s-era timber-frame cabin in Hayden Lake in 2015 for $535,000. In 2020, she represented buyers who bought the place for $770,000. “Not even a year later, they sold it for $1.44 million,” she said. “That’s how much it’s changed.”
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