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We Paid Cash :: Vacation Home on a Lake

We paid cash! Testimony from Lana

All of my life I wanted a vacation house on a lake. I don’t know what gave me this desire and I don’t remember a time that I did not have it.

The Background

About eleven years ago there was a class action suit against the manufacturer of the siding on our house. In the end, we got a check for $6500 in compensation. Our siding was fine so we didn’t need the money for replacement. I asked my husband if we could set up a savings account for my dream of a lake house. He was agreeable.

As I was setting up the account, I prayed for that money to be able to purchase our vacation property. I thought to myself that it was a ridiculous prayer as it was not even enough for a down payment and we couldn’t afford to put any other money toward it anyway.

Then a Big Surprise!

Two weeks later, I was listening to a garage sale program on a local radio station. A man called in with a 1/12 share of a cottage on a lake for $6000.  Well, I was so excited I didn’t even write down the phone number. I called the station after the program and they had the number in their notes.

We ed the owner and went to look at the house that afternoon. We agreed to purchase his share of the house. He told us that he had paid $5000 for his share 18 years earlier and he just wanted another family with kids to enjoy it now.

What We Gained

We have been blessed by being able to get away one week out of every season for over 10 years and we only pay 1/12th of the cost of keeping up the house. Our share of the upkeep is less than we would pay to rent a house for only one week.

We could have spent that settlement check on so many things but have been so blessed to have saved it and invested it in this way. Property values have tripled on the lake, so our money will someday give us a good return. We have also been able to share our time with friends who needed a break and could not afford to pay for a vacation.

(No picture — we have been going over there so long that we have long ago stopped taking pictures!)

Lana, and husband Bill live debt-free in Wellford, SC. They homeschooled their five children for 23 years and they are all grown and either married or in college. She enjoys teaching young women how to coupon and stretch the family budget.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? .

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  • Ellen says:

    This is such a GREAT story, Crystal. Thanks for selecting it to post!

  • says:

    Nice idea to share a lake cottage, if the group is well organized.

    • Lana says:

      @Carrie, For the most part it is. One partner handles the reservations and we have an attorney in the group whose office handles all the bills. Sometimes you DO get aggravated with others if they leave the house less than clean, etc. but that is to be expected. It can be difficult to make a big decision too because we are dealing with so many opinions. For the most part though it is good.

  • Erika says:

    I’m really enjoying this series! Thanks for sharing your story Lana.

  • Suzy says:

    We are working towards the same goal. Thanks for the wonderful story. If we are lucky enough to buy property on the lake we want, it will cost a small fortune but we have a plan and in 23 years from now, just maybe we will be able to manage it.

    I could only hope for a deal like that to come along. Congratulations!

    • Lana says:

      @Suzy, I hope you can make your goal. If you are looking on Keowee and wouldn’t mind sharing your email I can you if a share comes open. We are strictly a Christian partnership so I don’t know if that would fit your family, but many of the partners are older since this partnership has been around for 30 years and I expect that some of the shares will come open in the years to come. I am thinking the shares will be over $20K now but still a very small amount to get on the lake.

      • Suzy says:


        Thank Lana for thinking of us. We are actually in Utah. The only lake that is worth having a house on is Bear Lake around here and it is 2 hours away. Some day….

        Enjoy your time on the lake and building family memories.

  • says:

    Does the family mentioned in the story have a blog or website ?

  • Kristen says:

    Love this story! Well, I love them all. But the simplicity of this one inspires me. I love that Lana knew what she wanted, was willing to wait for it, and went for it when the opportunity arose, without second guessing herself!

  • says:

    What a great story, Lana. I hope you enjoy your lake home for many more years!

  • Autumn says:

    Lana, I am getting ready to close on my first home in Lyman…would love to have you as a for help with couponing and such! Please feel free to email me alchristopher9226(a)gmail

  • says:

    how awesome! vacations are a great investment- great family time 🙂

  • says:

    I think it’s great you’ve found a creative way to do this! A lot of people might not “get” the desire to be on a lake, but kuddos to you and your hubby for doing what’s right for YOUR family!

    My husband and I are toying with the idea of something like this in our future, we aren’t sure just yet how things will work out, or even what all we want to accomplish, but we are praying for direction and wisdom.

  • Sarah says:

    Yea! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I especially love the bio at the end! Too bad you don’t live near us- I need an adopted mom where I live!! I’m so glad you invest your life into others. People did that for me in college and I’ll always remember and continue to look for ways to pour into others now.

  • Lisa says:

    Love your story. I’ve seen partnerships like this for sale before and wondered about their workability.

  • Dawn says:

    Loved the story! What an excellent example!

  • Betsy says:

    Lana, would you keep my email in case a share comes open? My family might be interested in a few years. We’re in Atl, but Keowee is a beautiful lake not too far.

    betsy775 AT

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story as it’s such a reminder that nothing is too difficult for God! What a great place to make family memories!

  • says:

    I love these “We Paid Cash” posts! When I saw the title of this one, I thought, man, if she can do that, you can pay cash for anything!

    Like Jennifer said above, nothing is impossible for God, or too insignificant!

  • says:

    What a great story! I too have always dreamed of having a cabin on a lake. My aunt and uncle own one, and we have spent many fun memory-filled summers there. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  • says:

    That sounds like so much fun, and what a GREAT deal!

    All of these stories are so inspiring.

  • says:

    Oh..wonderfull post and great information …will have a try all the tips..thanks…

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