Sunday, May 4, 2014

Life on a Minnesota Wetland--Affordable Beauty and Privacy!

The legendary 10,000 lakes in Minnesota are why so many people want to buy homes in our beautiful state. Yet lakeshore homes can be very pricey. Sometimes buyers want something beautiful and natural but not too expensive. A great option can be a wetland property. Wetland or marsh doesn't sound as attractive as lakeshore. It can often lead to the question, Is buying a home with environmental lakeshore a good option or a huge mistake?

As a REALTOR who works primarily in the north Minneapolis/St Paul metro, I often educate buyers on the benefits of wetland homes. There are many acreage properties in Anoka, Chisago and Washington County areas on marshland or wetland as well as lakeshore. 
From White Bear Lake to Wyoming and throughout the communities of Hugo, Lino Lakes Centerville, Ham Lake and Blaine, there are acreage properties abutting wetlands and natural environmental lakeshore. Many Minnesotans seek out these properties  because of the size of the acreage and find them very desirable. But as with any purchase, opting to live on a wetland is a personal preference.

So how do you decide if a marsh, wetland or natural environmental (NEDS) lake home is for you? Take time to consider some of the positives and negatives.


Wildlife—White-tailed deer, raccoons, turtles, ducks, loons, cranes, hawks, eagles, and a host of other animals have been spotted living near Minnesota wetlands. In the spring there can even be a bear or coyote wandering along the shorelines.
Privacy—Whether the wetland is 20 acres or 200, it cannot be built upon so a property with a wetland or NEDS lake shoreline will limit neighbors.
Affordable—NEDS lakeshore and wetland properties are significantly less costly than lakeshore on a full use recreational lake.
Activities—Though there could be some limits on the use, wetland ponds, environmental lakeshore and NEDS Lakes have been used winter skating, summer canoeing or kayaking and more depending on the water depth.


Mosquitoes—Yes, wetlands are known to attract summertime pests like mosquitoes and deer flies.

Drainage Issues—If the home is on a smaller lot, the owner must pay special consideration to the foundation. A drain tile system and sump pump can be the best solution. Homes with private septic or sewer systems might have special DNR (Minnesota Department of Natural  Resources) or city point of sale requirements and additional criteria for a new installation if the system were to fail.
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