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Best places to buy a lake home in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Best places to buy a lake home in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Le Sueur County – fishing paradise

Just outside the busy college town of Mankato, there are several quiet, small towns known for excellent bass fishing in the southern half of Le Sueur County. Currently, there are 62 lakefront properties for sale within Le Sueur County, with the greatest concentration on Lake Jefferson and neighboring German Lake, connected by a small channel. In addition to bass, fishing enthusiasts are drawn to this area for the bluegill, northern pike and walleye.

Travel slightly southwest and Lake Washington offers another great location to search for a lake home. Pricing varies greatly in this area — from approximately $35K for a lot on German Lake to million-dollar homes on Lake Washington.

Best places to buy a lake home in Le Sueur County

Crow Wing County – an oasis of water fun

Nothing quite defines the land of 10,000 lakes like the home of Paul Bunyan and the legend of his powerful lake-creating footprints. This popular region is the place for summer fun! The Brainerd Lakes area stretches from Brainerd up to Cross Lake. Vacationers, weekenders and locals take to the waters year-round. The 14 connected lakes, known as the Whitefish chain of lakes, are home to beautiful family resorts, golf and quaint shops and restaurants. Altogether, these lakes total 14,000 acres and are popular for swimming, boating, fishing and all types of water recreation.

Another area to consider is Pelican Lake, six miles east of Pequot Lakes. Pelican Lake ranks in the top five percent of largest lakes in Minnesota with 8,367 acres. Need extra space for visitors on this beautiful lake? Breezy Point Resort is a favorite destination for lodging, boat rentals, chartered cruises, golfing, cabins and more.

Currently, there are over 500 lakefront properties for sale in Crow Wing County, offering a wide spectrum of options from luxury log cabins to open land. Prices range from $10K for a to-be-developed lot at Rush Lake Preserve in Baxter, to million-dollar homes on the Whitefish Chain. You can find public boat access in almost every direction and a plethora of entertainment and dining options.

Best places to buy a lake home in Crow Wing County

North Shore – breathtaking views and cold-water fishing

Lake Vermillion and its surrounding bays — just west of Ely in the heart of Minnesota’s Arrowhead region — is known for walleye and muskie fishing. If you love clear blue water and cooler temps, this area is a great pick for a true up-north lake home. There are currently 116 listings on Lake Vermillion ranging from $45K lots to $1.5M+ luxury homes.

Devil Track Lake, a few miles north of Grand Marais, is another not-to-be-missed favorite north shore destination. Positioned in the middle of Superior National Forest, Devil Track Lake is the perfect place to embrace nature and wildlife. The natural beauty extends to the nearby Boundary Water Canoe Area and even to the quaint local wares of downtown Grand Marais, the oldest art colony in Minnesota. And one simply can’t overlook the draw of Sven and Ole’s world famous pizza.

There are several other beautiful lakes in the area to keep an eye on for potential lakeside listings, including Caribou Lake, Deer Yard Lake and Pike Lake. Cook County, which stretches from Little Marais to the Canadian border, currently offers 84 lakefront properties for sale. Undeveloped lots start around $50K and prices cover a full range to almost $1.5M.

Best places to buy a lake home on the North Shore

Wondering how to determine which lake to choose or what areas to look in? A checklist of your must-haves will get you started in the right direction.

Eight steps to buying a lakeshore home

Western Wisconsin – home of the world’s largest muskie

How often do you set your sights on a 143-foot muskie? Well, if your lake home were in Hayward, Wisconsin, the world’s largest muskie landmark would greet you at the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame on the daily. Hayward is also home to the Lumberjack World Championships, mountain biking and over 600 miles of snowmobile trails throughout Sawyer County. If you are looking for lakefront near Hayward, Round Lake is an excellent option with 54 properties currently listed for sale priced from $59K lake lots to $1.2M homes.

Travel about 30 miles south of Hayward and you will find Red Cedar Lake. This 1,184-acre lake stretches between Barron and Washburn counties. If you are looking for a budget option to owning lake property, nearby deed access lots start at $5K. Currently, there are 82 lakefront properties including one-bedroom condos starting at $105K and eight-bedroom dream homes up to $1.9M.

On the very western edge of Wisconsin, and a mere 20-minute drive from St. Croix Falls, you will find Balsam Lake. The 2,054-acre lake is the largest in Polk County. It is popular year-round for water sports, boating and ice fishing, not to mention the more than 50 local businesses that line the shore. Currently, there are 20 properties for sale on Balsam Lake, from $74K to $1.4M.

 Best places to buy a lake home in Western Wisconsin

Ready for the next step? Begin your lake home search!

Looking for a lake home close to work? Check out the best lakes near Minneapolis to live on.

Numbers based on MLS listing data as of July 1, 2019. Listing information changes frequently. For up-to-date listing information, visit edinarealty.com.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings