Cattails! Is it the sign of a wetland, natural lake, pond or would you consider it just a swamp? The answer often will depend on who you ask. Many buyers of acreage properties whether a large 10+ acre parcel or less than an acre, will ask themselves this question. And just like with houses, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Minnesota wetlands can be very beautiful indeed.
I find many home buyers love the idea of living on a wetland. They can be pleasantly surprised when the backyard has this feature. Wetland properties are abundant in Anoka County, Washington County, Chisago County and even in some parts of the more urban, Ramsey County. In the MLS, multiple listing service, a wetland property could be noted as NEDS lakeshore (natural, environmental lake) or a pond. However, it might not be noted at all. When viewing property, especially in times of drought like this spring, look for cattails as a sign of lower land that can be wet from time to time.
So how do you decide if a wetland or natural environmental (NEDS) lake home is for you? Take time to consider some of the positives and negatives before making a final decision.
Wildlife—White-tailed deer, raccoons, turtles, bears, ducks, loons, eagles, and a host of other animals have been spotted living near Minnesota wetlands.
Privacy—Whether the wetland is 2 acres or 200, it is not buildable in most cases. 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 restrictions on the uses by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 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 the other Minnesota State bird too. But Minnesota does have a very good program for keeping these pests under control.
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 could be required. Also homes on private septic systems would have special DNR considerations if the system were to fail.
Need to know more about buying home on a Minnesota Wetland? I can help!