Homes at The Lookout at Lake Chelan offer an opportunity to both rent and own

Summer is here, and it might be tempting to make an impulse buy on a summer home so you have a place to visit and recreate. Well, what if it’s not an impulse but rather a sound investment instead? With a cottage-rental program and a community on the rise, Lake Chelan’s The Lookout can be both second home and second income.

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Photos by Jeff Hobson

When you go on vacation, especially to somewhere as beautiful as Lake Chelan, there’s always that feeling of wanting to stay and make a permanent home there. The Lookout, a vacation-focused planned community, offers the chance to
buy a resort home, and also rent it as an investment.

Home prices range from the low $400,000s to more than a million dollars, and you can choose from a variety of floor plans. Inside the community there is access to shared spaces, a marina with 70 berths, a sandy beach and swimming area, and views from high on the bluff the community is built upon.

All Lookout homes are eligible to join its cottage-rental program. The program handles marketing, reservations and housekeeping, so once enrolled, owners can relax knowing it’s all under control. Roughly two-thirds of The Lookout’s homes are in the rental program.

The homes range in size and style from stately with double-decker decks and enough rooms to house a party of 22, to small, sweet cottage-style homes. The homes are on sidewalk-flanked streets with happy names like Jackrabbit Lane. Most have old-fashioned bikes on porches and colorful lounging chairs, barbecues, and even hammocks. There is a playground in the middle of it all, and an outdoor pool, too. And every night the community fireplace is ablaze with fire and conversation as folks roast marshmallows for gooey s’mores.

The Lookout is making a name for itself: one of the homes recently was chosen as the 425 Resort Home of the Year for 2016.

DSC_5215The community is being built from scratch, and it typically takes eight to 10 months to build a home from the time of the purchase committment.

It’s the brainchild of Casey Roloff, who started building a few homes in Lincoln City, Oregon, in 2000. He later built a 12-acre walkable neighborhood near those in Oregon called Bella Beach. That success had him dreaming of building a bigger town — from scratch.

Seabrook, an award-winning, postcard-perfect beach town off Highway 109 near Pacific Beach, was it. He picked the area because Washington lacked a walkable, compact beach town. And that had people driving to Cannon Beach, Gearhart, and Manzanita in Oregon.

PropertyOfLookoutSidebar“We knew that if we built Seabrook we would transform the thoughts of anyone who had dismissed the Washington coast,” Roloff said. Throughout the years, Seabrook has become one of the fastest-growing vacation destinations in the Northwest, with annual growth averaging 30 percent.

The Lookout is Roloff’s latest community concept. When it’s complete, which should be in about a decade, The Lookout will have 300 homes. Sales are part of Roloff’s carefully crafted build-out plan, something adapted from Seabrook, saying the decade-long plan lets The Lookout do things “right.”

“Walkable communities are better for our health and build strong communities, whether on vacation or in a full-time residence,” he said.

To find out how to purchase a home, visit online.

This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of 425 Business.