As the real estate market slows and we look for more buyers for our home sales in Chisago County, we often get asked, “what is so great about the Chisago Lakes Area?”. This is an easy question for me because I made the choice to move here, as I spent most of my life in the Twin Cities.

I was familiar with the area, as my in-laws had a “cabin” and we spent our summers here, attended church, shopped and met many neighbors, but it was just a vacation place for us.

Our sons struggled with the Minneapolis high schools and crime was a common occurrence, even in the best neighborhoods. My youngest son requested that we move here so he could attend the Chisago Lakes Area High School.

Luckily the “cabin” next door to our in-laws was for sale so we bought it as a 2nd home. My work commute from Chisago City to my office in St Paul, was only 15 minutes longer than my commute from Minneapolis to St Paul. The longer part of the drive was beautiful, as I was away from the steel, glass and concrete, and enjoyed the views of the farms, trees, and lakes.

The first time I went through a drive through, a 16-year-old girl greeted me like she actually cared how I was doing. The people are here are much friendlier and more neighborly, than in the metro.

Within a year, this was our permanent home. Eventually we moved our businesses to the area. This is an excellent area to invest in, due to the proximity of the Twin Cities, the lakes and land. Commercial buyers can find excellent values here compared to the metro.

This has been a wonderful family community for us as well. All 3 of our sons have purchased homes here and our grandchildren enjoy attending the Chisago Lakes Area Schools. The communication with school faculty is easy.

We feel safe here and police and emergency response teams are extremely responsive if needed.

We don’t have the restaurants, and entertainment we had in the Twin Cities, but that makes the community events more special, especially the school sports, music and art programs, and of course we have the lakes and rivers!

The celebration of the community heritage in the Chisago Lakes Area is something you only see in small towns. People are willing to the share their story if you want to listen, and I am constantly amazed at how much support is available if you need it.

So, the bottom line when buying real estate is location, location, location! I have sold a lot of homes here and I don’t recall anyone being disappointed in the area. The main reason people move away is retirement and moving closer to family.

When selecting a real estate agent, make sure they are experienced and love the area you live in, to maximize your investment.

Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Realty who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.