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10 Ways to Buy Your Private Island

Birch Island
Location: Moosehead Lake in Greenvile, Maine
Price: $550,000  

Even in the cooler climates, private islands get costlier when they have a U.S. ZIP code. This six-acre island, however, was developed in 1968 and includes a main home as well as guest cabins, boat house, dock, canoe and two motorboats. The log cabin-style big house features a stone wood-burning fireplace, hardwood floors and panoramic lake and mountain views. It's also been on the market a while, and has had its price dropped by $100,000 since last summer.  

E. Sister Rock Island
Location: Marathon, Fla., in the Florida Keys
Price: $12 million  

If you want anything resembling true paradise, you have to spend like someone getting away from it all. This 5,000-square-foot house is surrounded by white sand and coral reef and has a 360-degree beachfront. Built in 1980 as a family vacation home, the estate's wrap-around porch measures 2,700 square feet, with 19 sliding glass doors for access. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home comes with a one-bed, one-bath guest house and a private dock with 21-foot boat included. If hesitant homebuyers don't want to dive right in and snorkel the private reef immediately, they can dip a toe and rent the place for $5,000 a week.  

140 Wallacks Drive
Location: Stamford, Conn., on Long Island Sound
Price: $15.4 million  

It's tough to own a private island when you still have to commute into the city for work each day. Built in 1909, the 11-bedroom, 14,000-square-foot home sits on a 3.5-acre island and includes a guest cottage, staff quarters and working greenhouse. It also contains a library, beautifully sculpted grounds and a private dock just in case the Metro-North is running late and you have to boat it in to Manhattan. This island may help buyers feel like they're getting away from it all, but shoppers may think the "it all" of Stamford's financial district and Manhattan commuters are just a bit close for comfort. The island was listed at $18.9 million last year but dropped its price when no Connecticut castaways appeared on its shores.

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