I had the opportunity recently to met with an extremely gracious retired couple that are in the process of selling their home on Fish River “By Owner.” As a person who has been passionate about waterfront property since he was a little kid, the first thought that always runs through my mind is “Why are they selling?” In this case, they actually found a great buy just up river from the home they’re selling at 14037 Isle of Pines Drive in Magnolia Springs. The sellers purchased the home in 2008 but prior to that, they always knew that they wanted to retire on the water in Baldwin County. They initially began their search in 2003 down County Road 1 in Fairhope, where the west side of the road is lined with bay front cottages. Mobile Bay was an obvious first choice for them, as it offers panoramic water views as far as the eye can see, as well as the most beautiful shades of varying orange, pink and purple colors that illuminate the South Alabama sky as the sunsets below the brackish waters. Yet, their extensive research of bay living turned up a few objections that were not easily overcome. First, the shallow shores of Mobile Bay require long piers to navigable water depths, which means less convenience, less oversight of your stuff and more annual maintenance costs. Second, there is the strength of the occasional sturdy north wind. When you have such direct exposure to the elements, it can hinder your ability to safely launch your boat in search of calmer waters.
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Thus, their search shifted to more protected waterways, with the obvious next target area being the banks of Fish River. This would mean a little further commute from town but the seclusion and more relaxing boating conditions provided the ideal waterfront lifestyle for these thoughtful folks. With the river water being so much more sheltered from high winds, boating conditions in the absence of rain, are far more conducive on the River. As the discovery process came to a close, a laser focus for the right river front house became the top priority and eventually led them to a small island community in Magnolia Springs, called Isle of Pines. This is a strong community of friendly neighbors look after one another and who share a passion for the many blessings of waterfront living. It was here that an opportunity arose for them to buy a raised home on the widest expanse of the river, which provided a panoramic water view, fast access to fishing in Mobile Bay and a peaceful spot to kayak in the early morning hours as the heat of sun draws steam from the gentle surface of the cool water.
The location was quaint, the lot was deep and the outdoor living space was everything they could have hoped for, to include a special spot under the house where you’ll enjoy a cool breeze in the balanced arms of comfortable hammock. Having grown up on Fish River myself, I could easily relate to the sellers as they spoke so fondly of river life, with statements like “When I come home I always get the feeling that I am on vacation. I may not have all the conveniences of town at my fingertips but I have island life at my doorstep.” With the serenity comes challenges and those who long to fulfill their dream of living at the waters edge must first seek to understand the trade-offs. Weather patterns are always going to be more extreme on the coast, with higher winds and humidity. Thus, you must prepare accordingly in terms securing your belongings and budgeting for more routine maintenance costs. According to the sellers, there are also times when bugs can put a damper on things and yet, “there are very few nights that we can’t sit out on the dock enjoying a glass of wine in awe of stunning sunset.” In a more underdeveloped environment, you have to learn to best coexist with nature and her occasional mood swings.
The return on your investment in Fish River waterfront property is far greater than unwavering sunsets. Your heart will skip a beat the first time you notice a small group of dolphins swimming in front of your dock or the all day affair that has become such a 4th of July tradition down on the river, as boat after boat band together until the last trace of the firework displays fade into the darkness. Taking friends on an evening cruise up the river to dine on a Big Daddy’s seafood basket is always a treat, as well as being apart of the only annual U.S. Postal Service River Mail Route. For a private tour of 14037 Isle of Pines Drive and the unfiltered beauty of the natural surroundings, simply call the sales office for the Jason Will Real Estate Team at 251-866-6464.