Recently my wife, Lora, and I were asked to share our story about building on the old Boy Scout camp that we purchased back in 2005 with a loan from Northview Bank. We told the story to a group of about twenty people. Many listened with their mouths agape as we recounted the struggles.Read more: Time to Live Your Dream
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
The Vacation Property Market Has Experienced a Dramatic Recovery.Read more: Dramatic Recovery In Vacation Property Market
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?
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
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
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
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. Photo by Neil Johnson (February 2015).
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 by Neil Johnson (October 2014).
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
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
Barn near Moose Lake, MN. Photo by Neil Johnson (September 2014).
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
Greetings, and welcome to Vacationpropertyloans.com. It’s been an interesting summer up north—some people wonder if we even had one.Read more: Good Signs for the Vacation Home Market
Sunset on Fire. Sunset and fireweed near Floodwood MN. Photo by Neil Johnson (August 2014).
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
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
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
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