Buying a Home on Lake Minnetonka

Just to the west of Minneapolis is Lake Minnetonka.  The lake has more than 100 miles of shoreline, is 14,000 acres in size, and 31 channels connect all of its different bays.  The lake is known for its scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and luxurious properties. Below are some tips to keep in mind when purchasing on the lake.  And below that are MLS listings currently available for sale on Lake Minnetonka.

When purchasing on the lake, keep the following in mind to make sure you get the property that will meet your expectations:

  1. What is your Budget: How much do you intend to pay for the property? Keep in mind property taxes are higher on the lake, in addition to ongoing maintenance, toys, and potential renovations.
  2. Where on the Lake do you want to be: Lake Minnetonka is located across several communities and bays, each with its own amenities and character.  Consider which will most closely fit the lifestyle you are looking for and choose wisely.
  3. Research Local Regulations: Lake properties come with specific regulations relating to what you can build, shoreline restoration and management, boating, and even removing trees. Make sure your plans for the property can be moved forward without getting shut down by the local ordinances.
  4. Work with a local Realtor: A local Realtor who knows the area can be a valuable asset. Their knowledge of the different areas on the lake, market trends, and property values can help you find the right home that will be a solid investment.
  5. Waterfront Concerns: Lake Minnetonka properties can have weedy, rocky, or sandy waterfront. Properties can vary by how much waterfront they have, access to it, and even whether that waterfront is next to access considered as a “commons” area. Make sure the property you are buying has legal access to the lake and understand any dock restrictions that may apply.
  6. Get an Inspection: Many Lake Minnetonka homes have been remodeled or rebuilt. Because of local ordinances and setback issues, some have been rebuilt on the old foundation. Understand what you are buying and what issues may show up down the road.
  7. Water Levels: Precipitation from year to year, whether snow or rain, can affect the water levels of the lake. Will this property be more or less affected by those changes, could you lose access altogether either at your shoreline or through a bay? Are there sediment buildup issues? The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District can help answer these questions.
  8. Secure Financing Early: Homes on Lake Minnetonka are in short supply and can sell quickly. Make sure you have your financing in order so you are in a position to compete for these properties when the right one comes to market.
  9. Get your Team Together: The right Realtor can be a great help in finding your Lake Minnetonka home. But if you plan on building a new home on the property, your purchase will be contingent on making sure you can build what you want. Which will be affected by property size, ordinances, etc. Make sure you have a builder in place who has worked through these issues before. You may also want to hire an attorney who specializes in the lake properties to make sure every contingency has been covered.
  10. Be Patient: With a limited supply of homes on the lake, it may take a while before the home with the exact layout, lakeshore, and community you are looking for comes to the market. Be patient but also be flexible as it may not be possible to get exactly everything you want upfront.

While buying a home on Lake Minnetonka is an exciting process, it’s important to approach it with careful planning and consideration to ensure the home you buy will be both a great home for you and a wise investment long-term.

Below are homes currently for sale on Lake Minnetonka.

This post was developed and edited by Dan Kokesh, a realtor with Keller Williams Premier Realty Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.  ChatGPT was used to help gather and format the data.