Homeowner on Why they choose Baldwin Landing? – “Location, Location, Location”

Baldwin Landing homeowner, when asked why they chose Baldwin Landing:  “Simple, the old adage of  ‘Location, Location, Location.’ ”

“We live in the Western suburbs of Chicago and we had been looking for a lake house in Southwest Michigan for about 3-4 years before we found Baldwin Landing.  Our intent was to find a place that could be easily accessed from home even for spur-of-the-moment weekend trips on a year around basis, since it is always hard for us to get away for any extended period of time.”

–  Location  (Access From Home).

“We had focused on Southwest Michigan because my wife and I are both Notre Dame alums and, at the start of our search, we had two children at Notre Dame and one more to be attending and for years we have been spending a lot of time at Notre Dame.  To us, then, we were trying to find a family lake house that was within two hours of our home and within about a half hour from Notre Dame, since many of our friends and many of our children’s friends will be visiting Notre Dame for many years to come.”

“Frankly, though, we had never looked East of South Bend, because our original impression of a two-hour drive from home did not extend that far.   As our search went on, though, it eventually became clear that many of the nicest lake areas in Southwest Michigan involve a lot of time driving on country roads.   When I happened to hear about Baldwin Landing and decided to visit after doing some initial investigation through their website, I was stunned to discover that the drive time from our home was exactly two hours because Baldwin Landing is so close to the Indiana Toll Road (just about 4 miles from the relatively new Exit 96 – Elkhart East).   It takes us less time to drive the 130 miles door-to-door from home to Baldwin Landing that it took for us to get from home to other lakes that are about 110-115 miles from home”

“Because we were interested in year around access to a lake house, my initial visits to Baldwin Landing confirmed that the entire trip would be very good roads (I-294;   I-80/90/94); Indiana Toll Road; Elkhart CR 17 / MI 217; and Wayne Street).  By contrast, I had some serious concerns about Winter trips to properties on some other lakes, since they were far away from interstate highways and accessed off of unpaved roads.

–  Location (Access to Notre Dame).

“Obviously, this is not a necessary factor for everyone, but it is for our family.  Many of our closest friends are fellow Notre Dame Alums and for quite some time we have spent a lot of time together in activities related to Notre Dame, from football weekends, to annual reunions each Summer.  In addition, many of our children’s best friends are Notre Dame students or alums.”

“Baldwin Landing is just 20-25 minutes from the Notre Dame campus.  On football weekends this past Fall, this has allowed us to be as close to campus as the many, many people who spend football weekends staying at Elkhart area hotels, BUT  we have an entire house  and not just hotel rooms.  This location has allowed us to have pre-game and post-game gatherings without being surrounded by 80,000 of your closest friends, but still be in close proximity to campus.”

“In addition, while you may be able to walk to and from the football stadium if you owned a townhome or condominium unit near the Notre Dame campus, we preferred to have a beautiful lake setting for our  “Notre Dame getaway home,” so that we would have other things to do on the other 45 weekends of each year.  Not to mention the fact that we have a much bigger living area here, which accommodates our family and many guests very comfortably in quiet setting.”

Location (Baldwin Landing Itself).

“From all our searching, it also became very clear to us that we wanted “new construction,” as opposed to dealing with old foundations, old mechanicals, old roofs, etc., etc.  My wife wanted a large lawn, but I was not too thrilled to be stuck with cutting grass while trying to be “on vacation.”  We came very close to buying a “new construction” home on the North shore of Magician Lake in 2008,  but that home had some significant  “next door neighbor issues.”

“I then heard about some “new construction” condo-townhome units going up just a bit East of that magician Lake home and I became intrigued with the “association” concept, but, while those units were going to be very nice, they were going to be connected units with no lawn.  At that point, I started searching for an open lot or perhaps an old home on a nice lot at Magician Lake where we could build our own new home.  I found two possibilities on the North shore of Magician Lake, but they were quite expensive the task of arranging for a local contractor, getting long-distance governmental approvals, and monitoring construction with a total stranger contractor from 120 miles away just seemed far too daunting.”

“When I happened to hear about Baldwin Landing  while touring a home at Eagle Lake near Edwardsburg last year and did some initial investigation through the website, it just seemed too good to be true: (a) new construction in a beautiful setting; (b) Helman Sechrist as the architects for the development (in our search, we had seen a number of homes by them that we liked very much); (c) an association concept, but with a small “community” of  free-standing, like-design homes; (d) a medium-size, all-sports lake (by contrast, Magician Lake and even Eagle Lake seemed way too busy for us and other “communities” of free-standing homes near Buchanan had tiny private lakes);  (e) a large common area  “front lawn” leading to the lake for my wife, but with someone else cutting the grass for me (even for the private lawns);  and  (f) a common dock area, a private beach, a pavilion (with grill), beach lockers and a fire pit.”

“When my daughter and I first came to the Baldwin Landing property on March 1, 2009 to check it out in person, we knew immediately that that this place fit all the parameters that we had set for our family lake house, plus many more.  As we explored the nearby area, we soon found the small commercial area on the lake (a nice local grocery store, a small restaurant and even a small tavern) and a very nice little bar/gill with great food very close to the lake on US Route 12 in Union (Zimmy’s).  We also found a full-size Martin’s grocery store and stores like Menard’s and Lowes plus more restaurants at Exit 92 (Elkhart), which is less than 10 minutes away.  Since that time, Martin’s has moved to a brand new store, with Walgreens, and a CVS Pharmacy at the same intersection.  Plus, we are only 15-20 minutes from all of the commercial areas of Mishawaka.  Up in the Sister Lakes, grocery stores and other stores are much farther away.”

“In driving around Baldwin Lake that first weekend, it seemed clear to me that the lake is developed to a very nice level.  No real “trophy homes” as on some other lakes, but generally very nice homes all around.  We were really convinced that this was the place for our family lake house when my wife joined me at Baldwin Landing two weekends later and we were able to take a leisurely pontoon boat ride with the developer.  A beautiful lake, nice homes all around  (widely spread apart, because sewers are still relatively new here, so that the process of creating small side-by-side lots right on a lake has not hit Baldwin Lake as it has many other lakes.  In summary, Baldwin Landing is in a very quiet and remote location, but stores and restaurants are within very easy reach. “

“We ended up signing a Contract for our lot three weeks after first seeing the development and we started working to tweak one of the Helman Sechrist designs.  Incredibly, we broke ground on April 16 and moved in on September 3 last year (the first home football weekend at Notre Dame).”

Personal Relationships

“When we met the developer (Paul DeLano), we hit it off right away.  His “concept” and our dreams meshed together perfectly.  That first weekend, my daughter and I toured the red house and Paul’s house (blue house) and liked the level of quality and the interior finishes right away.  I also walked through the green house, which was then being framed, and I could see the quality of construction for myself.  When Paul shared the “legal documents” that following week, I could tell right away that the documentation for this development was also first class. “

“There is no way in the world that we could have bought an existing house or a vacant lot on a lake in Southwest Michigan and built a new home for what we paid for our lot and house at Baldwin Landing.  In addition, there is certainly no way that we could have obtained all the necessary “small town” governmental approvals for new construction as easily and quickly as Paul Delano was able to get accomplished.”

“Our experience with the development’s contractor (Square 1 Builders) was top notch, including: (a) being able to carry out floor plan revisions long-distance (electronic delivery of drawings and revisions); (b) constant updates by e-mail and phone;1(c) website pictures of the progress of construction; and (d) in person meetings for selections.”

“Baldwin Landing met and exceeded all of our expectations and we are looking forward to our first summer on the lake.”

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