Zebra Mussels and Property Values

Zebra Mussels’ Effect on Home Prices

Zebra mussels are a big concern for anyone who loves enjoying Minnesota’s many lakes. The Department of Natural Resources recently added these lakes to the list of waters infested with the invasive species: Irene Lake in Douglas County, Lake Pepin in Goodhue County, and Peavey Lake, Libbs Lake and Forest Lake in Hennepin County.

All three infestations in Hennepin County are in water connected to Lake Minnetonka, which is already dealing with a zebra mussel population.

For people living on these lakes, or considering buying lakefront property on an affected lake, there are some things to consider when it comes to property values. Minnesota Association of REALTORS CEO Chris Galler talked to KSTP about how the new discoveries of zebra mussels could affect property values.

REALTORS say the discovery of zebra mussels in a lake will likely have a short term impact on values. This may be due to prospective buyers choosing to look at other properties on other lakes. Buyers may also be wary of any added costs for work done on the lake to fight a zebra mussel infestation. Chris also recommends thinking about how you will use the lake – are you swimming and boating or simply enjoying the scenery?

For sellers, the bottom line is that you must disclose if the lake the property is on has zebra mussels. You cannot hide this fact and your REALTOR must disclose it to prospective buyers. Being upfront in the beginning of a sale can save you some headaches down the line.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 19,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry in Minnesota.

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