County auctioning lakefront properties

They tell me you’re not a real Minnesotan until you have a cabin on the lake. There’s hope for the wayward this week in St. Louis County, though.

Sixteen lakefront lots that had been rented for decades by cabin owners will be auctioned to the highest bidders on Thursday, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: Bidding starts at the appraised value.

Bidders will have to pay for the cost of the land and appraisal fees. And they also will have to pay for the set appraised value for any cabins and outbuildings.

“It’s not exactly the best time of year to get people interested in summer cabins. But we’ve had a few calls expressing interest. We’re not sure what to expect,” said Jason Meyer of the county’s land department. “I had one guy call who said he’s already snowshoed around 11 of the 16.”

On the low end of price spectrum the waterfront parcels is a water-access (no road) lot on Thompson Lake. The property bids will start at $20,400, plus fees. But the high bidders also will have to pay the former renter $13,500 for a small cabin on the lot.

Another cabin — this one on Bear Lake Road near Ely — goes for $85,000 for the land and $50,000 for the cabin.

For years, the county leased lots and renters built the cabins, but it’s now trying to get out of the landlord business.

Many of the renters didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to come up with the cash for the land on which the cabins were built, however.

Here’s a catalog of all the properties in this week’s auction.