Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Choosing the Right Lake for Your Vacation Home

When buying lakefront property, there are several important factors to consider. The lake is as important as the home.

Lake Quality and Shoreline

Photo by SSBBSBSSBSBS on Flickr

Lake quality can differ during different seasons. Summer is always the best time to view the water quality with many Minnesota lakes at their worst in July and August when they receive the highest levels of phosphorus and sunlight. This is typically when algae blooms and aquatic plant growth has peaked. In addition, consider talking to neighboring residents, the city chamber office or a DNR representative to find out more about the lake if you are unfamiliar. Take a close look at the shoreline and lake bottom as well. Don’t settle for a rocky or mucky shoreline if sand beach and swimming is high on your priority list. Shoreline can differ in different parts of the lake as well, so always take a close look at each property even if you’ve seen several on the same lake.


What do you plan to do on the lake? Look into lake size and ordinances to ensure the lake will suit you and your plans for recreation. There are many questions to consider. We’ve listed some below that might be helpful as you search for the right lake.

  • How large is the lake? Will this affect your use?
  • Do you plan on swimming at your shoreline?
  • What is boat traffic like? Always find out about weekend traffic as well.
  • Are there watercraft speed ordinances on the lake?
  • Are there dock size restrictions?
  • How deep is the water at the end of the dock? Can it accommodate your watercraft?
  • What is the lake depth?
  • What type of fish are in the lake?
  • Where are the best fishing spots?
  • Do a lot of boaters visit the lake or is it mostly residents?


Take a Boat Ride

Get in a boat and evaluate the lake and its community from the water. Look at neighboring properties, future developments, boat landings, resorts, islands, etc. This is especially important for property value. In addition, if there is an lake association, talk to the members and find out what has been discussed at recent meetings.

It’s important to remember that the lake is as important, if not more so, than the home you are purchasing. Keep in mind that many characteristics of a home can be changed, whereas a lake cannot be. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. We are Brainerd Lakes area real estate experts and can help you evaluate your must have list to match with the right lake. You can reach us by phone at 218-820-7355 or email at sales@upnorthproperties.com.