Building in Lake Chelan

Construction Loan Basics

Building a home with a construction loan sounds simple: you buy a lot, the bank helps pay for it, you move in.  LOT + HOUSE = HOME, right?  The math seems simple, but there are several steps along the way.  Here’s an overview of the process.

Step 1:  Secure Your Site

The first step in building a home in Lake Chelan is finding your dream lot.  Once you’ve settled on the right dirt, make an offer with your Realtor.  (more…)

Two Lifestyles … One Lake

The Uplake - Downlake Worlds of Lake Chelan

Two worlds exist in the lower stretches of Lake Chelan.  In the first, you are ten minutes away from a carton of milk.  In the second, it’s a longer drive to convenience, but you enjoy nature’s serenity year round.   In the first, sagebrush and grasses dot the rounded hillsides.  In the second, evergreens line steep slopes.  Welcome to the two worlds of Lake Chelan.

High mountains and steep shorelines characterize the Lake Chelan valley’s uplake reaches.

TWO WORLDS – Defining the Map

I draw the line between these two worlds from the State Park on the south shore to Manson on the north.  (Exact location debatable I realize.)

Downlake from this line, valley population grows.  The roar of Harleys in the summer can be heard a mile off.  Small town services – bank, hospital, grocery store – are a short drive away. (more…)

So You Want to Buy a Vacation Rental at Lake Chelan?

The Basics on Where, How, and With Whom...

Everyone seems to be doing it: buying a vacation rental in Lake Chelan.   And for good reason.  Vacation rentals can be a great way to enjoy a second home and make a little money.   But before you buy, here are some basics you need to know.


I covered the question of where vacation rentals are allowed in the Lake Chelan valley in a previous post.   Here is the summary:

  • Only select homes and condos within the Chelan city limits (and its Urban Growth Area) can be used as short-term vacation rentals.
  • The Manson area is a great area in which to vacation rent, but regulations governing their operation are still evolving.
  • Beyond Chelan and Manson, rentals are allowed without regulation for now. Check with your Realtor for the current scoop.



The Rules and Regs Governing Vacation Rentals

The question of where vacation rentals are allowed in the Lake Chelan valley is raised with increasing frequency.   The answer depends on where a home is located: City of Chelan, Manson Urban Growth Area, or non-regulated Chelan County.  Each governing area has its own set of rules.

Base Map1


The image above shows the three governing zones at work in the Lake Chelan Valley.

  1. The City of Chelan is shown along with its Urban Growth Area in yellow.
  2. The Manson Urban Growth area is shown together with Wapato tribal lands in brown.
  3. The non-regulated area of Chelan County is outside of both areas.


5 Tips for Selling your Lake Chelan Home

Create a Stress-free Home Sale

Selling a home can be stressful.  Our homes define lifestyle, create security, and hold memory.  But with good planning and a good agent the process can be transformed.  Here are five steps you can take to make the sale of your home more enjoyable.


The biggest ingredient in any success story is good planning.  Ideally, start thinking about selling your home three to six months before you contact an agent.  Use this time to tackle any glaring unfinished projects.  Fix the lawn sprinklers.   Organize the garage.   This physical cleanup will help your mind and body begin to prepare for the change ahead. (more…)

Best Lake Chelan View: North or South Shore?

The North Shore - South Shore Series

Which shore of Lake Chelan – north or south – is the best for a vacation home?  Ask ten locals and you’ll receive ten different spirited responses. When it comes to the Lake Chelan lifestyle, the best shore to call home is a hot topic.


I’ve lived on both shores and can see the relative merits of each.   In an earlier post, I explored how the sun dramatically influences life on either shore.  Today, I’ll consider how the views of the valley differ from each shore.


Lake Chelan Sun – Friend or Foe?

The North Shore - South Shore Series

The next time you are in a tasting room in Lake Chelan, ask the person next to you which shore – north or south – is the best for a vacation home.  You’ll likely receive a spirited response. When it comes to the Lake Chelan lifestyle, the best shore to call home is a hotly contested subject.


I’ve actually lived on both shores and can see the relative merits of each.  In future posts, I’ll explore views, driving times to Seattle, and aesthetics.  But today I’ll focus on that element that eastern Washington is known for – copious amounts of sun – and what this means on either shore.