Affordable Minnesota Lakeshore
So you are once again dreaming of a lake home? The Land of 10,000 Lakes translates into millions of feet of shoreline in the state of Minnesota. But often it seems as only the very wealthy can live on the water’s edge. Is that an accurate perception? Stop dreaming and consider a few options that will make paradise more affordable.
Shoreline along a channel is a great option for a full recreational lake. Many large lakes will have channels or narrow extensions that lead to other lakes or ponds. Usually there is not a place for a beach but you can have a slip or short dock for your boat. The channel will provide access to the main lake. The view will probably include homes on the opposite shore of the channel but if your goal is affordable use of a full recreational lake, this is a great alternative.
Smaller Lake with Channel to Full Recreational Lake
Often the lakes in Minnesota are connected to one or several smaller lakes. This can be a great opportunity. Shoreline that is shallow or weedy is not considered prime but if it has access to a larger lake, it could provide the same enjoyment at a much lower price.
Small Acreage Lake
Smaller lakes can be of interest to the more laidback water lover. Often there will be restrictions disallowing motors or only small motors. These smaller lakes can still be great for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and swimming. Some will allow docks and beaches but check with the DNR for specific restrictions. A small lake will still offer wonderful natural views at a significantly lower price than a full recreational lake.
Environmental Lakes and Wetlands
Very shallow lakes wonderful for privacy but not great for recreation. If you are looking for a home with awesome views of wildlife, this may be something to consider.
Many homes and associations near a full recreational lake have been developed with deeded access providing use of the lake. The ability to have a dock, use the beach, or moor a boat, will be outlined in a legal agreement specifying what uses are allowed. Not all deeded access is created equal! Request a copy of all of the specific uses and rules before writing an offer so you can fully understand the access available as a home owner.
A home with a beautiful lake view but no shoreline or lake access, can provide the wonderful picturesque views everyone dreams of without the high lakeshore taxes.
Location with Public Access Nearby
A final option is to look for a home that is near park with public lake access. I sold one such home where the public access to a good-sized full recreational lake was about a quarter mile down the street. This family uses the lake to canoe, cross country ski and fish without driving or trailers. There was none of the additional cost or taxes associated with lakeshore property but all of the benefits!
Lakes and Shoreline Links:
Department of Natural Resources Lake Finder Comprehensive search engine to find information regarding the size, depth and condition of Minnesota lakes by county and lake name. There is even information on approximate numbers and types of fish found in the listed lakes.
Protecting Minnesota Waters Need to know if you can have a dock? Put in a beach? If the water is safe? This site offers a directory of who to call for the most often asked water, lake and shoreline questions.
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Theresa "Teri" Eckholm is a Licensed real estate agent in the State of Minnesota