For those who are interested in joining the great community at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia, Part 3 of Mike and Harriete Wock’s article from Kenyon Blunt’s Lake Home Tips on buying real estate at the lake, will be of much interest.
Seasonal Or Year Round Use
Do you want a “summer” home or are you also interested in using it year round as a get away? Do you snowmobile, cross country ski or ice fish? Is the house insulated for winter use? Have the water lines been plumbed so that you can readily drain them as winter approaches? Do you have to “crawl” under the cabin to get at the water lines?
Does the lake have a public access? If it doesn’t – how are you and your guests going to get your water toys in and out of the water? Is the landing concrete or sand/gravel? Will you be able to launch your boat? Beware of lakes on “chains”. Is there a usable/navigable channel that will accommodate the size of boat that you have?
With spring comes ice out. Depending on the pre-veiling winds, your lakeshore could take a pounding. Mille Lacs Lake for instance is notorious for ice out conditions that send walls of ice and debris towards the lakeshore. These walls of ice will move small mountains of dirt and sand. Your gradual slope to the lake could become a five foot drop-off.
Keep in mind that many lakeshores were plotted off before zoning regulations were in existence. Old wagon trails that were once lightly used have been paved and now carry lots of traffic generating significant road noise. Some lakeshore cabins are within 30 feet of busy highways. Is this situation safe for your children or grand children? What level of road noise is acceptable to you?
If you haven’t shopped around for lakeshore property, brace yourself for “sticker” shock. Depending on the location, quality and desirability of the lake and lakefront, lakeshore property in Minnesota will range from $1,500 to over $7,000 a frontage foot. For instance, on Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota, many sales are in the range of $1,500 to $2,000 per shoreline foot. That compares with $4,500 to $7,000 a foot for the upscale cachet of lakes near Brainerd like Gull or Pelican Lakes, $3,300 on Leech and $2,000 to $2,400 on Lake Winnibigoshish.
Minnesota Lakeshore Pricing “Rules of Thumb”
- If you live on a smaller lake (100 – 500 acres) with gradual to level elevation and a good beach you can expect to pay $1,500 – $2,250 per foot of lakeshore.
- For medium size lakes (500 – 1,000 acres) with gradual to level elevation and a good beach you can expect to pay $2,250 – $3,750 per foot of lakeshore.
- On larger lakes or chains (1,000 – 15,000+ acres) with gradual to level elevation and a good beach you can expect to pay $3,500 – $7,000 per foot of lakeshore.
These figures do not include structures nor do they take into consideration location, beach quality, elevation, trees, exposure and neighboring properties which always influence the market value of property.
Anticipate paying more for a “quality” lake and lakeshore. Buying into the “right” lake and lakeshore will have a major impact on your ability to enjoy your purchase and the amount of your return on investment.
In summary; when buying lakeshore property, the quality of the lake and lakeshore are as important as the house. Houses can be remodeled, lots can be landscaped, but you can’t fix the lake, lake bottom or lakeshore.
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About the Author:
Mike and Harriette Wock are founders of Paradise Real Estate, LLC
which specializes in lakefront cabin renovations.
Cell:612.803.2312 Home:651.439.1808 Email:email@example.com
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