Many buyers who search for lake homes in popular lake areas like Brainerd, Aitkin and Detroit Lakes find that the types of cabins they envisioned -- with large yards for the grandkids to play in -- are only available at a hefty price. That is because zoning ordinances have allowed for many larger properties to be cut up into smaller lake frontages. During the hot market times of the late 90s and early 2000s, nearly anyone who could cut a lot or two off their property did. And many investors, looking for the quick buck, purchased older lake cabins and sold the properties off in lots.
However, in the Grand Rapids Area and Itasca County you will find that those regulations have remained tighter, and lot sizes are generally far larger than counties to the south and west. Most all of the recreational lakes in Itasca County are designated as Recreational Development, and that requires a minimum of 200' of lakeshore on each parcel. You will find some smaller ones here and there that were grandfathered in from many years ago, but overall most of these lake cabins have a lot of privacy compared to other parts of Minnesota.
Grand Rapids is about three hours from the Twin Cities and Fargo -- a bit further than many weekenders want to go -- but it is densely wooded and has nearly half of its land available for public use. With over 1,000 lakes, and immense privacy, it could be a great place for you to track down the lake place you have in mind.