12 Tips for Buying MN Lake Cabins

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Shoreline on Scott County lake

Scott County MN lakeshore at sunset

Purchasing real estate is one of the most important financial decisions you can make, but when you are buying MN lake cabins, there are a number of things you should seriously consider. Purchasing a Minnesota lake cabin is an important decision, and future value of your real estate purchase will be decided mostly by the lake quality and the condition of the lakeshore. Here a dozen reommendations to consider when you’re shopping for Minnesota lakeshore:

  • What type of boat do you have? Is there sufficient docking for it? If not, are there covenants that will restrict you from installing the kind of dock you require?
  • Determine if there are any flood plain restrictions. If you purchase a MN lake cabin in a flood zone you will have a tough time buying insurance.
  • Don’t buy any MN cabin without seeing it first. Of course, this would apply to any real estate purchase. Believe it or not, people will do this. You need to see it for yourself and inspect a copy of the plat map so you can determine exactly where the lakefront property lines are.
  • Talk to the neighbors before you buy a MN lake cabin. What kind of things to they have to say about the lake and the neighborhood? Whether they love it or they hate it, they will probably tell you.
  • Does the lakefront change through the four seasons? What happens to the lakeshore property when weather changes? Has there been a drought, and what did it do to the shoreline? Weather changes can greatly affect your enjoyment of your mN lake cabin.
  • If the MN lake cabin is remote, make sure you know who will maintain the road. Many banks require a Road Maintenance Agreement before they will lend on remote property.
  • Determine if the lake is constant. If it’s not a constant level lake, then the water levels could change drastically. How does this affect your ability to dock a boat?
  • If you want to construct a new MN lake cabin, make sure the land you’re looking at will support a cabin of the size you want. What are the setbacks? What are the shoreline restrictions?
  • If you are planning to build a Minnesota lake home, ascertain that you can access to electricity, water, sewage and other utilities. Make sure that you will be able to “hook up.”
  • If you’re interested in building a boat house or other outbuilding on your MInnesota lakeshore property make sure that there aren’t restrictive covenants preventing you from doing so.
  • Find out if the lake is classified as “fully recreational.” Some Minnesota lakes do not allow anything motorized. Some lakes are great for swimming or fishing, while others are not. And if you are really into sport fishing, be sure to determine if the lake supports the game species that you are most interested in. Also, determine if the lake has any special fishing restrictions. For example, some muskie lakes do not allow spearing. The DNR Lake Finder is an excellent resource to determine water quality, restrictions, and fishing conditions.
  • Finally, before you submit an offer on any Minnesota lake cabin or lakeshore real estate, always make it contingent on an inspection of the land, structure, and drainage. If your prospective MN lake cabin don’t have access to sewage lines, make the offer conditional on your ability to obtain permits for a septic system. Lastly, make the offer subject to your ability to obtain financing for the purchase.

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