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Since he was young, Ben Wagner and his family took road trips from their farm south of the Twin Cities to visit his grandparents on the North Shore of Lake Superior. When Wagner married, he and his wife made frequent trips and enjoyed it so much that they considered buying a vacation home.

"We just really kind of fell in love with everything that is the North Shore, and so it kind of became like a bit of a mission to find a place on the lake for our family," Wagner said.

They soon learned that lake listings weren't easily available and that when one did hit the market, it came with a hefty price tag.

"As a farm kid from Hampton, they're kind of a bit out of our price range typically. So finding a way to make it work financially was sort of the challenge," he said.

Wagner suspected he wasn't the only one wanting to own lake property while cutting costs. He purchased a home on Lake Superior just outside Two Harbors under a fractional ownership model. Ten shares of the house are priced at $129,000 each. A person who buys a share has access to the property five weeks each year and owns the rights to one-tenth of the deed.

"I wanted something that was easy to administer, and I felt like with a fractional share, it gives you an asset," Wagner said.

Listing agents Ann and Gary Kent said the property, which includes a three-bedroom, two-bath house spanning 2,260 square feet, would be worth more than $1 million if listed today.

Fractional ownership differs from a timeshare because your name is on the deed, Ann Kent said.

"It's just like owning a house where you could own the property forever and ever," she said. "You could sell your share down the road or, let's say if you pass away, you could will it to your relatives or your friends."

'It's a whole house to use'

While fractional ownership is not a new concept in Minnesota, the listing agents said this property is unique. So much so that the Kents ended up buying a share themselves.

"This is a single-family home, versus a lot of the ones in the area are condos," Ann Kent said. "We were up there so many times [from the Twin Cities] showing the place and it's just so cool that it's a whole house to use and it's so affordable."

Six shares of the home were available at the time of publication. In addition to the share price, there is a property management association fee of $225 a month for insurance, taxes, lawn care, snow removal, housecleaning between stays and a reserve account for future repairs.

Every October, each share owner requests their top choices for weeks they want to use the vacation house in the next year. The weeks are divided out on a rotation and go in the order of when someone purchased a share.

The Kents said the lake views, the location in Silver Creek Township -- just north of Two Harbors and south of Gooseberry Falls State Park -- and the fact that the property was recently updated sealed the deal for them.

3 bedrooms and a 'luxury' bathroom

Since purchasing the place in August 2022, Wagner joined forces with Keith Becker, who has owned a rental property management company for the past 10 years, and contractor Matt Howard to make several improvements to the 1920 house. One of the biggest projects was carving out bedrooms from a big open room on the upper level.

"We converted it into three really good-sized bedrooms, plus a huge luxury bath," Wagner said.

Wagner and his team of contractors also updated the kitchen and the mechanics. But they kept original features such as the fireplace and wood floors, which they refinished.

These days, Wagner, his wife and their 6- and 3-year-olds are enjoying time spent at their vacation home, a three-hour drive from where they live in the south metro.

"Whether it's having coffee on the deck or enjoying time around the fire pit or private beach and enjoying the views, it's been really great," he said. "Then you're sort of within a 15-minute drive to any number of walking trails and parks and Two Harbors. It's just a uniquely located property for enjoying everything the North Shore has to offer."

Ann Kent and Gary Kent (; 952-270-7701) of the Kent Group, a division of Edina Realty, have the $129,000 per share listing.