CHINA LAKE – Affordable waterfront property in Maine is increasingly rare, but it does exist. Even for people who believe that they are priced out of the market, there are opportunities.

Here is one, at The Cottages at China Lake. The property began life as Cole’s Tea Room and Cabins back in the 1940s, and later was called Candlewood. For decades, the cabins were rented by seasonal visitors from both near and far, and the main building – “Candlewood Lodge” – provided meals, recreation spaces, etc.

Today, the property is in the midst of a two-year conversion that began just this summer: A total of 22 cottages are being restored and sold as condominiums. (Several have already been purchased; five have been converted.)

Rather in the mode of the “tiny houses” that are much in vogue, the cottages range from studios that measure 224 square feet, to larger units of almost 600 square feet, with two, or three, bedrooms. Cathedral ceilings enhance the sense of space, and the larger cottages have lofts, too.

The other significant numbers are the list prices, which begin at $49,900 for a studio and go up to $124,900 for two-bedroom cottages closest to the water. The two-level Lodge, which has a huge, commercial-grade kitchen, is also listed for sale as a two-bedroom home, at $139,900.

Speaking of the water, The Cottages has 406 feet of frontage, including a dock and a small beach and a swimming platform, on seven-mile China Lake, which is renowned for its bass fishing. In fact, the lake was named 23rd-best in the nation for its bass fishery in the 2014 Bassmaster “100 Best Lakes.”


On a three-acre plot, the cottages are arranged around a large, open common area of lawn (perfect for croquet, badminton, etc.) sited so that each condominium has water views – westerly, so that the sunsets over the lake’s East Basin are glorious.

There is a mooring for each condominium. Larger boats are kept on additional acreage across the street, where there is also parking (but each cottage has one parking space next to it).

To learn more about The Cottages at China Lake, at 1270 Lakeview Drive, please call 968-2851; e-mail or, and visit

Produced by the Marketing Department of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, the Home of the Week is provided at no cost.

Photos by Austin Grady.

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