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American Icehouse

Lane Ristomaki

Looking Ahead

One of the best and most meangful investments you can make is in recreational property, and this may be the best time to buy, ever.

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Minnesota Winter Barn

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Goodland Barn

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Split Rock Shore

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Sunset with Canoe

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Giant Snapper

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Ensign Lake Sunset

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Juvenille Eagle

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Returning Home - Mallards

Where is the inventory?

It appears that we are soon entering a real seller’s market. The average listing time in the Twin Cities is currently only four days.

Read more: Where is the inventory?

Photo of the Month

A Cloud of Snows

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January Lake with Boat

Christmas At The Cabin

One of the many advantages to owning vacation property is the ability to create memories in different settings that are consistent with your families values and goals. I know many families that choose to spend Christmas at the cabin because it allows them to unplug and focus on each other. 

Read more: Christmas At The Cabin

Photo of the Month

Sunrise Mist, Northern Minnesota

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Bay Lake Sunset, MN

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Thunder's Coming, Northern Iowa

Septic System Compliance

Septic system compliance inspections are becoming a very important part of most property transactions.  Point of sale inspections are usually required by counties and townships, but more buyers and lenders are requiring them as well. 

Read more: Septic System Compliance

Spring is Finally Here!

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love this time of the year. The birds are returning, the Maple sap is flowing, and the sun is still out in the evening.

Read more: Spring is Finally Here!

Photo of the Month

Embarrass Lake, MN

Go West Young Men

I remember my first hunting trip to the Dakota territory well. It was mixed with humor, cold weather, and most memorably........Birds, and lots of them.

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More Changes in Lending

Paul Trotsky, VP, Northview Bank

This will be my third and final installment on the pending TILA/RESPA/TRID changes the CFPB is implementing effective October 3, 2015.  This may be the most relevant of the series for you.  

Read more: More Changes in Lending

Photo of the Month

Palisade Head, MN

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Fillmore County Barn

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Devil’s Cascade, BWCAW

How do Septic Systems Work?

Septic systems can be very confusing to many prospective homebuyers, especially if you currently live in an area served by city sewer. Septic systems and municipal sewer systems are similar that they both dispose of and treat wastewater. 

Read more: How do Septic Systems Work?

More Changes in Lending, Part 2

Paul Trotsky, VP, Northview Bank

The previous article on the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures (or “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative) was a description of how and why we got to these changes. This article will offer a description of the finer details of the new regulations and the required waiting periods. My next article will discuss the steps Northview Bank has taken to help ensure we can offer a smooth transaction in the real estate financing process.

Read more: More Changes in Lending, Part 2

Photo of the Month

Shell Lake, BWCAW

Photo by Neil Johnson (June 2015).

Boundary Waters on my Mind

There’s a yearly tradition my family cherishes. When it approaches the kids count down the days like they’re counting down to Christmas. It’s a time of fish fries, challenging our abilities against weather and the wilderness, and relaxing while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. I am speaking about our annual trip to the Boundary Waters.

Read more: Boundary Waters on my Mind

More Changes in Lending, Part 1

Paul Trotsky, VP, Northview Bank

Yes it is true, mortgage lending is changing again! We all remember the “mortgage meltdown” that started in 2008. As a result of the mortgage meltdown, Congress signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. One of the most important aspects of the Dodd-Frank reform laws was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also known as the CFPB. 

Read more: More Changes in Lending, Part 1

Photo of the Month


Photo by Neil Johnson (May 2015).

Foraging for Food

Spring is a wonderful time as we watch the lakes and streams open up, witness the return of the migratory birds, and witness the color returning to the landscape. 

Read more: Foraging for Food
Bruce Pogatchnik - CEO, Northview Bank

The Vacation Property Market is Strong

At Northview Bank we have seen the year begin with a bang. Applications, inquiries, and closings have all been strong. The question we all want to know is “How long will it last?” 

Read more: The Vacation Property Market is Strong

Photo of the Month

Let Us Be Your Guide Campaign

Maybe you’ve seen our new billboard on Interstate 35. This shot didn’t make the final cut, but we think it’s fun and wanted to share it with you.

Liquid Gold

The nights are crisp and the days vacillate between freezing, warm, and close to freezing - it's spring in Minnesota! 

This year my family and I took part in one of the great time-honored spring traditions as we tapped some of our maple trees and made some liquid gold (maple syrup for the uninitiated). Many vacation property owners have at least a few trees they can tap on their property and it makes for a great family experience. In fact, my kids are convinced that our syrup tastes better than any other they've tried. Also, in these days when we seem to hear of food recalls every week you will at least know where your syrup came from.

Read more: Liquid Gold
Gunflint Trail, MN

Photo of the Month

Highlighting the natural beauty of the land. 

Gunflint Trail, MN.

Nancy Pogatchnik - Agent, Certified Insurance Counselor Town and Country Insurance

Four Essential Questions before Buying Insurance for Your Cabin

Nancy Pogatchnik, Town and Country Insurance

In my 30 years as an insurance agent, I have seen the seasonal cabin evolve from a one- or two-room structure passed down through generations to beautiful, sprawling, multi-level buildings nicer than many people’s primary homes. No matter the square footage or vintage, cabins are always special to those who choose to own them. Family memories are created there: traditions are created and passed on from generation to generation as peaceful times are spent together.

Read more: Four Essential Questions before Buying Insurance for Your Cabin
ice fishing

Getting Hooked on Tip-Ups

Northern Minnesota got cold early this year, but that frigid air came with a big upside: early season icefishing. This year icefishermen were able to get out on Red Lake with their vehicles in November. A friend of mine named Chad Benson guides up there on the Red. He said he’d never seen ice this thick in November. 

Read more: Getting Hooked on Tip-Ups
Moose Lake, MN barn

Photo of the Month

Highlighting the natural beauty of the land. 

Barn near Moose Lake, MN.

Four Essential Questions When Buying Vacation Property

There are many considerations to look at when buying vacation property. I believe four of the more important questions are: What will its primary use be? Who will use it? Can we afford it? and Who will we finance it with? 

Read more: Four Essential Questions When Buying Vacation Property
deer hunting with kids

Deer Hunting With Kids

There’s a chill in the air and snow on the ground. The coffee was prepped the night before, guns cleaned and oiled, and the alarm is set for an hour and a half before dawn—yes, it’s deer season.

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Good Signs for the Vacation Home Market

From the President

Greetings, and welcome to It’s been an interesting summer up north—some people wonder if we even had one.

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Photo of the Month

Highlighting the natural beauty of the land. 

Sunset on Fire. Sunset and fireweed near Floodwood MN.

3 Tips for Getting Folks Hooked on Fishing

I began to reel in my bobber. Spice, my springer spaniel, cavorted on shore: my only witness. I thought I would cast again since nothing was biting.

Read more: 3 Tips for Getting Folks Hooked on Fishing

Building a Legacy… Restoring Relationships

We wanted to restore what was lost and there is no doubt that land is something special. -Neil Johnson

Back in the summer of 2003, my wife and I started to aggressively look for a lake property. We were told that what we were looking for would be impossible to find, but I had been to too many PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) seminars and read too many Zig Ziglar books to be deterred. And really, how hard should it be to find a private lake with quality water, firm shoreline, and five hundred acres of good hunting land?

Read more: Building a Legacy… Restoring Relationships

Unexpected Gifts

I want to encourage you all to invest time, effort, and finances in to what's most important. The main reason we promote Lakeshore properties and experiences is because we ardently believe in its ability to promote healing and restoration within families. To illustrate this point I want to tell you a little bit about what my family has been experiencing.

Read more: Unexpected Gifts

Septic Systems: What You Need to Know

Buying or building a property in Northern Minnesota or Northern Wisconsin typically means dealing with a septic system. They’re a regular part of life in the great Northwoods. If you’re not familiar with septic systems, here’s a quick overview as well as a guide to the three basic designs. 

Read more: Septic Systems: What You Need to Know