Located in central Wisconsin, the city of Green Lake, Wisconsin is the seat of Green Lake County and has a charming small town atmosphere. It is known for Big Green Lake, a beautiful 7920-acre body of water and the deepest inland lake in the state of Wisconsin. The area offers plenty of recreational activities, like fishing, boating, golfing, and camping, and is a prime summer home and vacation destination. Easy to travel to, Green Lake is 180 miles from Chicago and 90 miles from Milwaukee.
Table of Contents
- About Green Lake, WI
- Homes for sale in Green Lake, WI
- Living in Green Lake, WI
- Beyond recreation
- Find your dream lakefront home today!
Homes for sale in Green Lake, WI
Interested in looking for homes for sale in Green Lake, WI? Here’s what you need to know:
About Green Lake, WI
Green Lake, WI is a picturesque community located on the north side of the deepest inland lake in the midwest—Big Green Lake. With over 27.5 miles of shoreline and a wealth of outdoor amenities, the City of Green Lake has served as a tranquil sanctuary to residents and visitors for over 150 years.
Sitting less than an hour and a half away from Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee, Green Lake offers easy access to the best metropolitan areas in Wisconsin. As a resident, you get to enjoy the splendid art galleries at Green Bay, the world-class food scene at Madison, and the numerous festivals at Milwaukee and then come home to arcadian pleasures and a leisurely lifestyle.
Before it became a historic lakeside retreat, the City of Green Lake started out as a small village called Dartford. Shortly after the establishment of its first summer getaway – the Oakwood Lodge – in the 1860s, the town quickly built a reputation as a must-visit summer destination.
The lake’s sparkling waters and the abundance of fishing, golfing, and sailing opportunities drew in people from all over the Midwest. As soon as the railway system was built and opened, trainloads of visitors from as far as New Orleans and Philadelphia arrived. A certified boomtown by the 1900s, the Village of Dartford transformed into the City of Green Lake in 1907 to match its train station, its role as the county seat, and the lake that was the foundation of its progress.
Today, Green Lake continues to provide a waterfront haven to both residents and visitors. Home to around 800 people year-round, a vibrant local business community, a fantastic park system, and a wide range of educational opportunities, this city is perfect for families and retirees to settle down.
Homes for sale in Green Lake, WI
Why is buying a Green Lake home a good investment?
First, both the average home value and the cost of living in Green Lake are lower than the national average. Green Lake homes are usually priced at around $305K, which is lower than the national median price of $391,200 (as of April 2022). The cost of living is also 6.4% lower than the national average.
Second, Green Lake’s real estate market has a diverse selection of property investment opportunities. Homes are listed anywhere between $229K and $3.9M, with home values appreciating by over 50% over the last decade. This means that no matter what kind of financial goals you have, Green Lake will have a home or investment property that can add diversity to your portfolio and give you great returns in the future.
There’s a variety of residential properties to choose from, ranging from quaint Ranch-style homes on vast acreage to luxury investment properties on the waterfront. If you’re planning to look through homes for sale in Green Lake, WI, here’s what you can expect:
Green Lake is the epitome of lakefront living. Many luxury homes here sit on properties with vast acreage and several hundred feet of water frontage, usually with their own private road and custom pier. These homes also feature custom architecture ranging from Tudor or provincial-inspired to modern log and beam styles.
Special amenities often include open floor plans, floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic lake views, main-level primary bedroom suites, in-ground pools, stone patios, chef-grade kitchens, and wine cellars. Some properties are fully furnished and ready for moving in, as well.
A ranch house is one of the most versatile types of homes on the market. Its open-concept, single-story design appeals to many buyers and existing homeowners. First-time home buyers are especially drawn to its laid-back floor plan because it’s easy to maintain. Similarly, families with young children or older adults over the age of 55 will appreciate its safe and accessible layout.
In Green Lake, ranch homes can maximize your location in this nature-centric city. Many properties of this type are found in neighborhoods with many amenities for recreation, including their own community harbor and golf course. You can also expect features such as expert landscaping, fenced-in backyards, and extended decks or back patio areas.
Log cabins and vacation homes
There’s no better way to appreciate Green Lake’s abundant foliage and gorgeous landscapes than living or vacationing in a log cabin home. It is a great property type for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, or any homeowner who prefers energy-efficient and sustainable materials.
Moreover, log cabins usually have family-centered designs that emphasize quality time, recreation, and relaxation, which make them excellent vacation homes. These kinds of homes are usually located in forested areas or have nearby lake access. Typical features include open-concept floor plans, great rooms with vaulted ceilings and stone fireplaces, cozy and furnished interiors, and extensive porch areas or decks.
Savvy real estate investors know that purchasing vacant land can be a lucrative investment, especially in a lake resort city like Green Lake. It is a blank canvas that you can develop into either a custom-built home for you and your family or a luxurious vacation rental that can generate a stable income, especially if you have the time and resources.
You’ll find many parcels of vacant land in varying shapes and sizes in Green Lake. Some of them have at least a hundred feet of perfect lake frontage, existing boat slips, and spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. Like most investments, purchasing and developing land in Green Lake can be complicated, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area’s zoning rules and regulations. Make sure to work with real estate experts who can help you achieve your goals.
Condos and townhomes
Looking for a low-maintenance Green Lake property that can provide you the same privacy, amenities, and gorgeous lake views as a traditional home? Then you might want to consider buying a condo or a townhome. These properties usually have a homeowners’ association (HOA) that takes charge of exterior maintenance services such as mowing, snow removal, and gutter cleaning in exchange for a monthly fee.
In Green Lake, most condo or townhouse developments on the market are newly constructed, built with high-quality materials, and furnished with state-of-the-art appliances. Condo or townhome ownership can also grant you access to amenities such as HOA-funded neighborhood parks, boat slips, or community docks.
Living in Green Lake, WI
Buying a home is more than just about the transaction – it’s about choosing a new lifestyle and community. So, as you search for homes for sale in Green Lake, WI, you might as well learn about the kind of life that you can look forward to in one of the oldest resort towns in Wisconsin:
Green Lake usually experiences long, warm, and humid summers, as well as snowy and windy winters. This particular climate makes it a prime location for a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, such as:
- Hiking. Green Lake has diverse terrain and abundant flora and fauna that you can discover while exploring its many public hiking trails. From wetlands and bay areas to oak forests and tall-grass prairies, there’s a trail for hikers of every level and endurance. Make sure to check out Hammer’s Trail at Assembly Creek, Winnebago Trail Conservancy, Tichora Conservancy, and Sunnyside Conservancy.
- Biking. This city has a biking trail for every type of cyclist. Loop the Lake is one of the most popular bike routes in Green Lake that follows the perimeter of the lake and provides gorgeous views of the surrounding scenery. History buffs can take the Northwestern trail, a shaded old railroad bed that can take you through Ripon’s historic downtown. Adventure seekers can try out Ceresco Prairie’s Mountain Bike Trail, which is also open to fat-tire cycling during the winter.
- Boating and fishing. With a depth of approximately 237 feet, the lake offers many boating and fishing opportunities. Deacon Mills Park, Canal St. Launch, and Hattie Sherwood Park are some of the closest boat launches to Downtown. Sunset Park and Dodge Memorial Park offer picnic areas and amenities in addition to multiple ramps and piers. During the ice fishing season, Illinois Avenue and Horner’s Landing are great access points for cars and trucks.
- Golfing. Green Lake boasts some of the best golf courses in the state. Lawsonia, which is located among the scenic natural landscapes of Green Lake Conference Center, offers 36 championship holes and consistently ranks among the top golf courses in the country. For a true Green Lake golfing experience, you can try out the historic par-71 layout at Tuscumbia.
Whether you’re an avid boater, an art enthusiast, or a dedicated festival-goer, there’s a fun local event for everyone in Green Lake.
No lakefront town would be complete without its own unique boating festivals and competitions. During the summer season, the city hosts the largest lake events in Wisconsin – the annual Boat Jam and Fourth of July celebrations. Residents and visitors can take their boat out for a ride while enjoying cookouts on the shore, a great line-up of live musical performances, and a slew of parades and fireworks.
Do you have an eye for art? Make sure to attend Green Lake’s Annual Fine Art Show at Playground Park! The show runs for two days, featuring local artists and their work which ranges from masterful paintings to delicate jewelry. If you missed this summer art show, you could still attend the From the Land Folk Art Festival which hosts a series of events and workshops on traditional crafts, folk art, and foraging.
Moreover, the city’s beautiful landscapes make it the perfect venue for festivals. In August, Green Lake hosts the annual County Fair, a family-friendly event filled with carnival rides, demolition derbies, and blue-ribbon competitions in a variety of categories such as photography, pie-baking, and botany. When fall comes around in September, Downtown Green Lake houses the two-day Harvest Fest, complete with a harvest parade, craft and food vendors, car shows, and a lively farmer’s market.
Arts, culture, and adventure
Green Lake has a rich history and heritage that you can learn more about when you visit the Dartford Historical Society. It has collected and preserved thousands of items from different time periods around the area. Most of these are on display in the Society’s Museum at the repurposed 1870s Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Railroad Depot.
Another iconic site to visit is the Thrasher Opera House, the epicenter of the performing arts in the Green Lake area since 1910. Here, you can enjoy world-class talent within an intimate and friendly space.
With the city’s small-town character, you’ll also find a warm and welcoming community. Residents and visitors can discover new hobbies and make new friends at the Caestecker Public Library and Town Square Community Center in Downtown Green Lake. There’s always something happening in these places, whether it’s a local artist exhibit, various recreational programs, or live musical performances.
If you want to explore Green Lake’s rural roots, you can take a cruise around the lake in one of the J. Lawson Tourboats – former Navy down-east-style boats converted for sightseeing. In nearby Ripon, you can watch a short grandstand show and take a 90-minute guided tour around Larson’s Famous Clydesdales, or sample Wisconsin-grown wine at Vines & Rushes, a locally owned and operated winery.
As a resort town, a huge part of Green Lake’s local economy is geared towards tourism and recreation. The Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is the local group serving as the main point of contact and promoter of the city’s recreational activities and attractions. Some of the biggest industries in Green Lake aside from tourism include manufacturing, retail trade, and health care and social assistance.
If you’re planning to put down roots in the area, you’ll be glad to know that the city’s economic development is on a steady upward incline, with the median annual household income growing by 1.8% between 2018 and 2019 alone. Green Lake also has its own ad hoc Economic Development Committee that is currently working on several strategies that can encourage business growth and strengthen its local workforce.
In terms of education, Green Lake is serviced by the Green Lake School District, recognized as the best school district in the county and one of the top 50 best school districts in the state, according to Niche. They offer Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, as well.
Green Lake is also home to the Peace Lutheran School, a K-8 parochial school that is a ministry of Peace Lutheran Church and a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).
Find your dream lakefront home today!
With its gorgeous lakefront views, the plethora of recreational activities, and overall great quality of life, Green Lake provides only the best of Wisconsin lakefront living.
Finding the perfect home out of all the homes for sale in Green Lake, WI requires a full-service real estate team with hyperlocal expertise and in-depth experience. You can have all of these and more when you work with The Emmer Real Estate Group.
Led by top Wisconsin broker Jim Emmer, the Emmer Team has been in the business of helping people to accomplish their real estate goals in Central and Southeastern Wisconsin since 1986. Innovative real estate strategies, round-the-clock customer service, and a constantly expanding knowledge base are at the heart of every home-buying process, so you can rest assured that our team will meet your every real estate need.
Ready to take that first step in your home-buying journey? Get in touch with the Emmer Real Estate Groupand explore homes for sale in Green Lake, WI today! You can contactus(at)emmerrealestate(dotted)com send us an email or call us at 262.629.4747. Also, feel free to send a message or inquiry here.