George Perlebach has always dreamed of living on the water.
California or Florida didn’t work because of professional and family ties, so he and wife Jenny picked a third option: stay put in Nebraska and buy a lot at the Bluewater development created by Lanoha Real Estate near Valley.
“We found the place we love the best,” George says. “The sandy beaches and clear water remind us of the Florida Keys.”
The retired physician grew up boating on Carter Lake, Lake Manawa and the Missouri River and wanted to enjoy that lifestyle again.
Since buying the lot in the summer of 2017 and constructing their home, he’s grown to love the former sand pit and fellow water enthusiasts who are their neighbors.
“Whether it’s fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding or just going out for a sunset cruise on a pontoon, activities in the neighborhood always center on the lake and tie everyone together,” he says. “We have a boat, and I‘m sitting on the back porch, looking at that boat. I need to mow, but I’d rather go out on the boat.”
JT Savoie of Lanoha Nurseries started designing the landscape even before the house was built, with an emphasis on curving garden beds to contrast the sharp angles of the house. George said it was important that the landscape fit their residence and casual lake living.
Because he didn’t know a lot about plants, he and Savoie spent a few days in a truck, driving through acres and acres of trees, shrubs and plants to determine what would work best.
The project turned out perfect, George says.
“I didn’t want something very formal. I wanted it to look like it belonged on the prairie,” he says. “We have a lot of grasses and native prairie.”
Though many in the development have pools, George and Jenny decided against one because with Nebraska’s weather, it could only be used four or five months of the year.
Instead, stepchildren Bridget and Will Reefe cavort on a large swimming platform on the lake. If they don’t want to dip their toes in the cold water, a neighbor lets them use their pool.
A large fire pit sits where they had once considered adding a pool. They also get a lot of use from their hot tub.
They’ve only been living in their home for a few months, but it feels comfortable and user friendly. You can’t beat the views of the lake, either.
“It feels like it belongs on the water,” George says.