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  • Writer's pictureSarah McKee

MN Lake Home 101

Dream of casually mentioning that you’ll be “heading up to the lake this weekend”? It’s a goal for many here in the land of 10,000 lakes but before you look for a waterfront haven, here’s what to consider.


As relaxing as you envision your lake experience being, don’t forget that lake homes come with the same house and yard work as any home, but also have a shoreline, docks, boats & lifts, and winter prep. Be sure you have a plan to manage year-round care or tap into a local concierge service to help.

Lake Type

Consider your primary motivation for being on the lake. Recreational activities like swimming, boating, or fishing? Or are you just looking for a place to get away and relax with a serene view? This should guide the type of lake you search on. Depending on your motivations, you need to know what recreation is allowed on the lake, what the water quality is, and if and how the lake levels vary. The DNR is a great resource for specific lake information at

Land Use

Lakeshore guidelines are set by the state, but can also vary by county. These restrictions might include set backs of the house from the lake and property lines, agricultural or DNR easements, and well or septic system requirements. Make sure to know the local guidelines and how they will affect your plans for the property.

Travel Time

The most important factor? Make sure your lake house gets used! Be sure to choose a distance and location that is right for you. Whether you’re a remote worker who can spend whole seasons away from the city vs an owner who will pop up only on weekends, it’s important to consider the right travel time and location to ensure you get maximum enjoyment from your home away from home.

While there are extra costs and efforts involved in a lake home, enjoying a sunset from the end of a dock, grilling by the lakeside, and listening to loon calls in the distance make it all worthwhile. If you're ready to start living the Minnesotan dream, I’m here to help you find the perfect spot!


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