Fishhawk Lake Real Estate vs. the Coastal Properties


Lakefront Cabin at Fishhawk Lake

Birkenfeld, OR

I get alot of people who tell me that they look at coastal properties for 2nd homes/vacation getaways as well as Fishhawk Lake and it’s really two different types of lifestyle.  You can boat on Fishhawk Lake with pontoons, kayaks, canoes, sailboats, paddleboats,driftboats, whereas it’s pretty difficult to use any of these watercraft on the ocean.  Coastal properties face some erosion issues, too, depending upon where you’re looking to buy, not to mention potential tsunamis!   One of the biggest differences is that the price structure is much higher in Cannon Beach, Pacific City, Seaside, Rockaway etc. than buying something at Fishhawk Lake that either has a view of the lake or is on the lake.  The other plus that I like to mention is that you can have a vacation home here and still get to several coastal towns in about an hour.  Astoria, Cannon Beach and Seaside are all just about an hour and the drive is beautiful, no matter what the season.

For under $200,000, you could have about 1,000 sq.ft., furnished with a short walk to the lake,  all-year views, and have forestland in your back yard, along with social events, tennis, hiking, wildlife and not have to do anything to the home–that’s ALOT to consider for a very reasonable price, vs. a “fixer” that isn’t near the ocean and doesn’t include fishing, or any of the other activities mentioned (right at your doorstep, and FREE!)

For $215K-$450K, you could be living right on the lake with your own lake access, dock and STILL buy it beautifully furnished and  updated– a turnkey purchase. It can range from a true log cabin (many folks favor that here, the consummate “cabin at the lake”), to a high-end stunner of a home,2100 sq. ft. with all of the accoutrements and at $380K. This is the range of properties I’ve just sold or have listed.  In Seaside, for example, you would be spending $350K, without being anywhere close to the water and still have to furnish it.  For $450K in Cannon Beach, you would have a “view of the ocean”…and have to walk to get there.  Or, at Cannon Beach, you can spend $550K, and get a condo–just not the same. Then, you’re looking at another whopping $342 per month HOA dues, vs. $1300 per year here at Fishhawk Lake and that includes water and sewer, too!!!  For $390K, in Pacific City, you can buy a future home with  “views of the ocean”.  For that amount of money, you could’ve had a home on the lake, furnished, with a dock, pool table, 2100 sq. ft., granite countertops, decks, attached garage and much more and still saved about $10,000.  Alot of these places at Pacific City aren’t even built yet….so that might include trying to find a contsruction loan–hard to come by these days.  For $400K, you can buy a “corner lot fixer” in Seaside–yikes!!  And it’s not even on the beach!


 Corner “Fixer” at Seaside, OR

I personally think that one of the biggest pluses out in our “neck-of-the-woods” is one that you can’t BUY…that is the sense of community out here.  Everyone waves at everyone, whether we know you or not.  We are very neighborly and  watch out for each other, too.  The Fishhawk Lake office will send e-mails to the community about winterizing your home or if there are weather patterns or some other event where you would need to know the latest in how to protect your home, boat, etc. They will also send e-mails about social events, too, for example.  We have a neighborhood watch that is a group of volunteers that live here fulltime who drive the area on a regular basis making sure that they notice if anything unusual is occurring.  As a realtor, I’ve even been asked to stoke a woodstove, when the electricity was inadvertently turned off by the seller right after the buyers purchased it just before a snowstorm, that was just the neighborly thing to do!

Now there are some things we don’t have here at Fishhawk Lake:

We don’t do “vacation rentals” so you don’t see a throng of strangers coming and going on a regular basis.  I get asked that alot, and it can be a positive or a negative, depending upon if you need the income to supplement the mortgage payment.  We feel it’s a positive because it keeps out the riff-raff.

We don’t have a lake that you can waterski on or use gas motors, because it’s our watersource. Electric motors are welcome, along with “human-powered” watercraft!

We don’t have shopping malls a block away or fast food joints.  This is more about spending time getting away from all of that.  So, you wouldn’t be walking to the nearest outlet store or brewpub, but we have the ability to make friends quickly here and you could easily get invited over for a great glass of wine and a pontoon ride and later sit on the deck and have a  freshly grilled dinner while enjoying a gorgeous view to boot as the sun goes down and enjoy good company! 

You won’t see lots of crowds of people here.  You won’t be battling hours of traffic  just to get to your destination for Spring Break or 4th of July.  So, if you like all of that, Fishhawk Lake isn’t your style! 

You can certainly fish at Fishhawk Lake and you’re allowed to keep two cutthroat trout per day.  There is plenty of salmon fishing here, too with a wide variety of sizes, even though it’s catch and release only.  You won’t have to pay a huge fee to go out on a commercial fishing boat for a day, either.  But, if you like to go clamming or crabbing, we won’t be able to accomodate you unless you hop in the car and make the drive to the coast–a nice day trip!

Drive time is one of the considerations buyers look at, too.  How far, how much traffic, weather conditions, good or bad roads, what “kind” of drive it is; windy back roads,highway, do you see plenty of countryside, that sort of thing.  I’m finding that if people can get here in under two hours that’s a selling point.  That is one of the reasons why I find that my clients aren’t looking at Bend or Sun River either, because it takes several hours to get there and you can’t just do a quick weekend or overnite trip, like you can from Portland, Vancouver, Longview, McMinnville, and other cities in OR.  I actually have many California buyers who will gladly fly up because they see what  great investment opportunities there are here at Fishhawk Lake.  I even had buyers who, after spending a month looking for a vacation property in Hawaii, got fed up with all of the problems in purchasing real estate down there, came up here and bought a beautiful home on the lake the one (and only) weekend they spent here!!!

Gayle Rich-Boxman

Vernonia Realty (503)755-2905

About fishhawklakerealtor

I've been the local realtor/neighbor for 14 years who lives full time in the Fishhawk Lake area, a private lake community in the middle of the coastal range in a very small town in Oregon . It's heaven out here and my husband and I have lived here full time for about 12 years and over 15 altogether as weekenders before that. This area is my niche, my specialty, my passion. Doing this is truly a dream come true. Let me help you make it yours. Call me, your local expert: 503-755-2905 REALTOR® John L Scott Market Center Also check out my blog on ActiveRain: Or to check out my listings go to my website:
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